How many days have passed since I moved? I thought this while laying on a particularly sunny spot on the floor of my apartment. It gets sunny here from about 9 in the morning until after lunch. I love laying here. Lately though I’ve taken to just staying here the rest of the day too and just lazily follow the sun lines across the house by moving my eyes. It is part of my study called Cat Culture.
It is my study in movement philosophy. Soon I’ll be famous you’ll see. My name is Henry. Henry Jacobs. The watch, enjoy, and be cynical philosophy. All of the life you need to see will be shown to you and you can either accept or reject it.
On November 22, 1988 I’m going to get published. I’m going to make millions and millions of people around the world are going to lay in sun trails and on rainy days they will watch the rain on window sills. People will poop in sand boxes and watch with bemusement as life goes by.
I’m going to be famous.
Before Henry Jacobs made his millions Cat Johnson watched him. Cat Johnson was an innovator of the Cat Cynic Circle. The Cat Cynic Circle used to follow and track the message 3seeyousee?weC written next to the ground on the corner stone of large buildings in New York City. They would go down the alleys late at night and find the messages.
Cat Johnson was the original prophet. It was rumored in the Book of Johnson that he once followed a stray cat for five years and eventually mated the cat and fathered a litter of cats with near human intelligence. It was these cats that the Cat Cynic Circle sought to find.
The culmination of Johnson’s philosophical path ended with the finding of his children. Some say that it is the kittens themselves who leave the messages. In the defense of these theorists, the messages are incredibly low to the ground and messy. As if say, a cat wrote them.
The Cynic Circle and Cat Johnson had over five hundred recorded and photographed messages and they remained dedicated to the Cat following. It was the only way to complete the path.
Cat Johnson never found his children, but in the 1980s he found an eager young disciple in Henry. Johnson and Henry would lay in the sun for hours licking one another and napping. Servants would bring food pellets to them and they would remain behind a locked door in the basement of an animal shelter, only coming out to see if any of the cats brought in could write.
On September 9th 1983, remember that date, Cat Johnson died and the messages stopped appearing. Most people said that Johnson himself was scrawling the messages, but a few at the funeral remembering seeing a small bemused tabby wearing a small black collar watching from a nearby tree. It is rumored that the messages stopped because he failed.
Henry Jacobs paid for the funeral.
Before Cat Johnson died I began to document his life. I never liked Henry Jacobs, but I did like the way he smelled so I let him stay in my apartment. I figured the extra money towards rent wouldn’t hurt. He only slept most of the time anyway.
I was a writer in those days and I was a grad student at NYU. I used to spend my time wandering the streets for my next big feature. What was out there. There was so much but I couldn’t find it! I knew I was thinking too big. So I thought small: cats. I followed a a stray cat one day just to see where he went. Eventually, after four hours of walking, he climbed up into the arms of a man who wrote his name on a pad of paper. “Snip ‘Tabby’ Ignatius” it said. Snip couldn’t talk but he was writing on buildings in those days. I came to find out that he was writing what “prophets told him.”
Cat prophets. Their names in alphabetical order were Elijah Whiskers, Furry Job, Sniffy Jefferson and Tuna Toyota “Che” Tonka. This was a feature. This was also a feature that got me fired from The Daily Squirt, the independent investigative newspaper I was working on at the time.
The cats made me go crazy. It was the cat underground. The prophets wrote their messages through Tabby Ignatius in the hopes that Cat Johnson would find them. But they made me promise not to tell him about them. He had to find them on their own or it would be an unworthy find.
On June 9, 1983, remember that date, I killed Sam Fritz. She was going to tell Cat Johnson about his children. That would have made fools out of all of us.
Before Sam Fritz died, an old Chevy of a woman named Eloise was baking bread outside of Baton Rouge. She had been working on the mixture of this loaf for fourteen years. Just slowly mixing it in the bowl. Her fingers swirled in with the dough as she kneaded it. The dough sunk around them coating her hands in flour and she was one with the dough giving care and needed time for it to bind together and become something beautiful and new. A little piece of the creation story in Elly’s kitchen.
On August 1st 1976 Eloise put the bread in the oven and let it bake. She sat on the porch while it baked and sat on the porch while it rose. The next day Eloise walked in from the porch and put her perfect bread on the table and sliced it so perfectly and slowly you could have watched her all day and never saw the knife move. Eloise had an easy, relaxed smile on her face while she cut the bread. It was a knowing smile that only people of great peace of mind keep plastered on their face. The knowing smile of a cat.
After she was finished she knelt down and sat on the floor with two slices of the bread and her friend Hugo Sir Rompstad came over to join her. Hugo was tired from his journey overseas. Hugo was one of the cats in Francoise De Fleurs intellectual salons of the late 1960s and he was eager to come back and publish his work in the United States. Eloise gave Sir Rompstad a piece of her bread and she packed one away for his journey north. While she was tying the tiny parcel around his neck she looked in his eyes and whispered, “Three see, you see? We see.”
Rompstad knew this was the truth De Fleurs told him Eloise would tell him. As the sun began to set on the flat Louisiana horizon, Hugo Sir Rompstad began the journey of his destiny unsure of where the winds of fortune would take him.
Artwork courtesy of Norman Rockwell