Public Comment

Christmas Cookie Head By William smith and Lisa Wenzel

Tuesday December 27, 2005

Her name is Desdemona. Yes, a color-specific name for our white kitty-cat, inspired by the lead female character in the Shakespeare play Othello.  

Desdemona’s fur radiates purity. I must quickly here interject that her nickname is “Deedee” and moreover, true to her feline nature, behavior not always pure has earned her a more sinister moniker, “Devil’s Daughter.” But this mischievious charm has only served to add shadings of wonder to Deedee’s ivory-snow goodness, merely adding an extra sense of necessity to her instinctively incessant self-cleaning rituals, her salmon pink eraser-like tongue lashing away at all infringements upon her cloak of shorthaired princessly haberdashery. 

Her vanilla coat sadly offers no balm against cancer-causing sun rays; chief among the many reasons vets advise against allowing Deedee outdoors, particularly in the summer. Yet the winter carries with it an even more peculiar danger. Because Deedee’s tastily round, fresh snow powder-like head replicates a four bite-sized Christmas cookie to the stomach’s eye at yule time, only the restraint inherent in the half-serious nature of whimsy sees her through another noel noshfest. One can only protect one’s diminutive housemate from the occasional eggnog-sloshed, hungry Christmas party invitee for so long before the admonishment: “No that’s not a snow cookie—it’s just our cat sticking her head up through our fancy new wierdly designed snack bowl” fails to convince. 

Getting back to the “Devil’s Daughter”-type behavior of our ghostly be-clawed and be-fanged apparition, the fact is, if it’s new, Deedee will try to wear it, eat it, throw it, break it, nurse it, or nurse from it. She is a relentless mouser, regardless of whether the object she’s chasing is really a mouse. Expensive wooden chairs become four-legged scratching posts. A new radio becomes her own alarm, always set to go off between midnight and pre-dawn.  

The rest of the seasons? 

Spring brings sentry duty at whichever window in the house provides the best view of the morning’s earliest songbird. Deedee’s white coat now represents the county animal control jacket worn by the workers who keep vigils on creatures who find themselves to be on nature’s delinquent list, by mere virtue of a sudden incompatibility with their co-inhabitants in a given municipality. That usually means skunks, snakes, wildcats, and any others that probably shouldn’t be removed from the backyard by the untrained.  

Of course, Deedee’s instinctive training leads her to include those conniving, pesky songbirds dangerously hanging out in trees with their hideously sweet morning sirens, distracting us away from our duties keeping her food bowl filled. The cat would love to fill her food bowl with these yowlers. In the fall,only the leaves find themselves caught up in the imaginary chase that nevertheless continues as a permanent psychological gyroscope inside the head of our feline white tornado. 

Appropriately, during the other 13 or so hours a day Deedee spends curled up sleeping, she takes on the quaint appearance of an old lady’s Sunday go-to-church white woolen shawl, perhaps dreaming a marathon confessional to Father McKitty about her “nature made me do it” feline ways. More likely, if any sense of guilt permeates the psyche of one with such pristinely glowing fur, it’s over getting the slightest smudge on it.