I just made a small change to this blog’s subtitle: instead of “eleven cats for company”, there are now ten. Shandy, a very friendly young male African Wildcat hybrid, died last Thursday morning of feline distemper. His colleague Eponine, a little grey tabby kitten we rescued, got sick as well, but appears to be recovering. Pixel, Shandy’s one-eyed, slightly evil sister, and Echo, Eponine’s presumed brother, seem okay so far; all our other cats (Shunar, Ember, Cricket, Xiao Lin, Tribble, Shalva, and Meshi, in case anyone’s counting) are adults, and, we hope, less at risk than the youngsters.
I don’t normally blog about purely personal stuff; this is supposed to be a site about my thoughts and opinions, not about my private life. But in truth, the division is an artificial one: all writing is, to some degree, autobiography. I have no idea how the death of a cat affects my thinking about Israeli politics, the peace process (or whatever’s left of it), or anything else, really. Maybe having animals in my life helps to keep things in some kind of perspective: whatever’s going on in the human sphere means little or nothing to cats, dogs, and horses, as long as they are cared for, loved, and – when the time comes – mourned.