Of Engagements and Cats

As you can probably guess from my last post and the list of events that occurred in my life in 2015, I am glad to be on this side of 2016. But one more good thing did happen at the very tippy end of 2015: my son got engaged! He bought his girlfriend a pet rock (that’s what I call it), proposed on bended knee (on a hotel rooftop overlooking the ocean and city lights), and even asked her father for permission. Both son and his fiancée are traditional types! Not that it’s necessarily my business, but I definitely approve his choice. Come to think of it, I guess it is as much my business as it is her father’s business!!! I’m thrilled to be gaining another daughter!

The last couple of weeks I’ve been spending more time than usual on the shelter cats. I even started to think that my next project after the one I am working on ought to be poems about an animal shelter. That is a rich, emotional, and even dangerous setting.  Nobody has done that one before. The problem is how to write about the issue without becoming too sentimental or too cold. I think that is why it’s a subject usually avoided in literary poetry.

For your entertainment, a little cat poem by Irish/American poet Eamon Grennan.

Cat Scat

Dearest, note how these two are alike:
I am watching Cleo listening, our cat
listening to Mozart's Magic Flute. What
can she be hearing? What
can the air carry into her ears like that,
her ears swivelling like radio dishes that
are tuned to all the noise of the world, flat
and sharp, high and low, a scramble of this and that
she can decode like nobody's business, acrobat
of random airs as she is? Although of course a bat
is better at it, sifting out of its acoustic habitat
the sound of the very shape of things automat-
ically-- and on the wing, at that. The Magic Flute! What
a joy it is, I feel, and wonder (to the end this little scat)
does , or can, the cat.

—Eamon Grennan

What do cat poems have to do with son’s engagement? Not much, except that he has two cats, Lily and Meesker, so they will be very happy to be part of the marriage ahead.


Filed under #AmWriting, Cats and Other Animals, Memoir, Nonfiction, Writing

54 responses to “Of Engagements and Cats

  1. Congratulations on your son’s engagement! What a wonderful way to start the new year 🙂 I think a collection of poems about animal shelters is a great idea. Might also be a great way to heighten people’s awareness 🙂

    • Thanks, Marie! We’re pretty excited although the wedding is not going to happen in 2016, I don’t think. It’s hard to say really about the poems because until I write a few I don’t know how they’ll “go.” You know what I mean?
      Did I ever tell you I had something we wrote for class accepted by a journal? Have you revised anything you wrote and sent it out?

  2. Congratulations, Luanne–and to the happy couple! Our son-in-law also came and told us of his intentions before he proposed.
    I think your animal shelter project could be interesting, although as you say, a fine line to balance between sentimentality and objectivity. I imagine you also encounter some “interesting” people there, too. 😉

    One of my cats notices music, but the other one doesn’t. My younger daughter’s beloved cat (the one who died when she was a senior in high school) used to run to the piano when she practiced it or voice. He’s try to stick his head in her mouth, and he’d run across the keys.

    • I think that is so charming that he did that (your SIL and my son too). I wouldn’t have let hubby do that haha. If my dad had said no, then what would I have done?
      Yes, a very fine line. And yes, the people, too, although I might not do much with that. It’s all very hazy yet.
      I loved hearing about the cats and music. that story about your daughter’s cat is quite amazing! I too have one cat that loves music more than the others do. It calms her down on the way to the vet, even. That reminds me that when Mac was alive I had a complete choir of cats–tenor, bass, alto, and soprano. With Mac gone and adding Kana, I now have no bass and two altos. Quite a difference.

      • I thought it was sweet that SIL did it, too. He did not have much of a family life growing up, so it was extra sweet that he wanted our approval. Yeah, my husband asked me without talking to anyone. I think at that time I would have thought it was weird if he asked my parents.
        Interesting that you had such a range of cat voices. Ours have always had high voices, and we think it’s funny that our big guy has such a high voice. The two who are now gone also howled. 🙂

  3. Great news. I learned my son’s wife is pregnant, so I’ll be getting a new grandchild. 🙂

    • Yippee! Congrats, Susan! That’s so wonderful to hear. Well, you will have that grandchild before we will have a wedding, that is for sure!

  4. I love the idea of a book of cat poems. TS Elliot did a fine job of writing about them and became quite famous!

    • LOL. For one, I wouldn’t want to compete with the illustrious Mr. E. For seconds, haha, if he only wrote Old Possum I don’t think he’d be famous! Although I LOVE those poems and named Macavity after them. And Pear’s middle name which is Jellicle Jill.

  5. Congratulations to your son Luanne. I hope that happy event heralds a good year for you 🙂

  6. How wonderful that 2015 ended on such a joyous note that carries over into 2016! Cats, music, love, poetry–they all go together. I think it might be an opera!

  7. Congrats to your son on the happy occasion.

  8. I imagine writing poems about an animal shelter would indeed be emotional. But it would make for a touching collection.

    Congrats on your son’s engagement!

    • I would like it to be a touching collection, but not called a touching collection, if that makes sense? In other words, I want the poems to be a little more difficult than just touching those soft emotions that rise up when we hear Sarah McLachlan songs on TV commercials . . . . I don’t think anybody could read a whole book like that. Just thinking out loud here, Carrie, so thanks for listening haha!
      And thank you re my son’s engagement! It’s so exciting!

  9. Congrats, Luanne! I saw the post on FB and am thrilled for the entire family. Looks like 2016 is already bringing in some much needed happiness. xo

    • Thanks, Rudri! It’s really thrilling as it’s been quite a journey for son and fiancee and everything is coming together for them! I don’t think the wedding will be in 2016, but I hope not TOO long of a wait.

  10. Ian

    Congratulations, Luanne. It does indeed sound like 2016 is starting well for your family.
    I like the cat poem–now I’m pondering what cats think of when they hear Mozart… 😉

  11. I saw the sweet picture you posted of the happy couple on FB. Congratulations, Luanne!

  12. You sound like the perfect mother-in-law to be. Not an easy role, I always think.

  13. Luanne, this is a FABULOUS start to 2016!! You see, it’s already better than 2015!! You are in for a wonderful joyful time with your son and new daughter – break out the Big Bucks!! 🙂 I’m so happy for you and your family!!!

  14. Congratulations to all concerned

    • Thanks, Derrick! Yes, there are the kids themselves, hubby and me, our daughter, their cats, and then her family. LOTS of people (and cats) are happy about this!!!

  15. Congratulations, Luann!!! What a perfect start for the new year. I love the cat poem!

    • Thank you so much, Sala! It is such a great start!!! I thought that was such a great poem, focusing on one of those funny little things you notice in a certain cat.

  16. Best wishes all around to you, your son and his fiancee and the cats who will become part of everything. 🙂

    • Hah, yes, the cats are always in the midst of everything! My kids and I have a group thread of text messages going and we send each other cat photos and videos to show the latest of what our cats are up to ;)! Thank you so much for your good wishes!!!

  17. Oh Luanne, such happy news to begin the new year with, many congratulations to your son and his fiance, and his two cats of course 🙂 Love the cat poem… xoxo

  18. I’d love to read the cat poems – and congratulations on your son getting engaged! When I first read your line about it not being any of your business, I was thinking WHA?!?! Because it sure is your business, LOL! Then you said it was and I agreed. After all, she will be a family member! 😉

    • LOL, I wouldn’t want to be one of those buttinski MILs! My own MIL was so great–lots of love and help without too much advice or control.
      The cat poems are just an idea at this point as I am still working on the dead ancestor poems. I would like to get enough of those written that I feel comfortable to start experimenting with cat poems. So we will see!!! Thanks, CC.

      • I guess I was thinking more of moms who have serious reservations about who their son or daughter marries but they don’t at least voice them. To me if that’s the case a parent certainly has a right to share them,maven if they choose not to. But in your case yeah I agree – not being a busybody MIL in best! Not that I would think you’d ever be one!

        • Hah, I sure hope not! Re the first thing you said, it’s so hard to be a parent and see a mistake happening like that right before your eyes.

  19. Oh good! 🙂 ♡♡
    I am very happy for you, your husband and the “Newly Engaged Couple!”
    I have one of three children who is married so I have only one experience of meeting soon to be new members (yes, it was a package deal) of my family. Felicia and I took my son, Jamie and his fiancée at the time out to eat with her 4 year old daughter Lara and 2 year old son, Landen. We drove away nearly shrieking at each other, Felicia said we had to stop them and the kids were wild and unruly. I was saying she has no control of her kids and also showed no sense of embarrassment. We were at wit’s end! Of course, my sin and his wife have built a family that is strong. My DIL and I are closer in some ways than my own daughters. She asks sincerely how I am. Many happy feelings for your family’s addition, Luanne.
    A book with shelter stories with cats as characters could be very multi-dimensional and uniquely yours. You see natural and spiritual in the shelter, therapy and connections. I can only imagine the way you will do this but it would be a Luanne Castle original! ♡ xo

    • Thank you, Robin! We are all very excited! Your story is funny and shows how first impressions are not always correct! We are lucky in that we have gotten to know my son’s fiancee over a period of a few years and have grown to love and respect her . The book I am sort of starting to envision would be a poetry collection of poems that have to do with an animals shelter but wouldn’t provide a narrative as such, but rather dip into the emotions and images of animals and humans in the shelter environment. Still thinking it through . . . .

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