Blogs by Leslie P Garcia
Sisters and Lions
12/5/2006 3:36:46 PM
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Not everyone has owned an African lion. That's a good thing. Sharing unusual experiences with sisters is a good thing, too. Even if none of the memories quite coincide...
Families are, ultimately, their memories...
Ahhh, memories. Remember the song "Memories" from the Broadway play Cats? How appropriate that cats and memories should forever be linked.
My sisters and I are in the final stages of putting together our e-book Cat Chronicles: Stories, Poems, and Pictures of Cats and Life. I could be off a word or two on the title--my memory's shot.
Isn't it funny, though, that while some of us have reached the age of forgetfulness--I occasionally search for my name on the sign out sheet until someone helpfully supplies it--we never forget past experiences. If a sister or brother remembers something differently, we smile kindly and go right on believing that we have it right.
My sisters, Stephanie Logue and Victoria Potter, and I have always written, and the three of us all have been published in a variety of formats and publications. Deciding to combine our efforts, given the miracle of the Internet, really was a no-brainer. Ironically, though, given our love of horses, dogs, and other assorted creatures, we chose cats as our jumping off place.
We don't dislike cats. We have cats, except for Vicky, who is dreadfully allergic to cat hair, but put up with the cats we had in our childhood for years without complaining. Even without personal cats, Vicky is on a friendly basis with a number of her friends' cats. But if anyone of us were to name a favorite animal, cats would probably be somewhere down the list.
Yet we've all always written about cats. Funny, how those little four-legged felines get under your skin. From my grandmother's huge and incredibly vicious Siamese, Jinx, who used to use me as a kneading board, to excotic cats like jagarundis and African lions, cats have shaped our lives, or at least our memories.
Vicky, Stephanie and I all have such different memories of the cats we shared. Would we have been scared of Jinx if we hadn't kept crawfish as a pets? (We always thought the crawfish were escaping and pinching us, instead of realizing it was Jinx. Or wait. Was it just me that thought that?)
Forget our memories of the African lion, Ebeneezer--none of them match. We know that his owner also had a cougar that performed in Mercury ads. We can look up the tragic time when that cougar, Tom, mauled a boy in Florida and had to be put down. We know on occasion the lion broke out of his cage, and that our wonderful vet called him "Sport," even though he usually dealt with horses and cows. But our memories differ on pretty much everthing else.
And that's okay. In fact, it's good for families to go back in time, now and again. As crazy as our childhood was, with whatever pain and trouble there was--there were good times. Many of those good times involved around cats. And other animals.
Not all families go back to memories of chasing lions across Georgia red clay. But all families must go back sometimes to find themselves and reaffirm they share a past--and that the days they live now will be revisitied in memory someday. How much better to make them good days.
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