What do kittens, alone in the dark, think about? A few minutes ago, Tintin climbed on the bed, then walked over my tummy. I gave her a few sleepy strokes on the chin, she gave me some playful bites which I thought were preludes to friendly wrestling and tumbles: I tickle her tummy while her legs kick in the air, sometimes wrapping around my fingers.
My eyes open and I notice it's getting light outside. Where's Tintin? First place I look for is above the headboard, there on the window sill where the bottom slat of jalousie was removed to give more space to generation of Ragdolls and Persians raised in our room.
Tintin just sits there on her hindlegs, quietly thinking kitten thoughts, just sitting, thinking. With a distant look, she surveys the small realm of her existence. How she has grown in 90 days! Sometimes I see her stride across the room with graceful maturity, as her ancestors did thousands of years ago, in now-forgotten African jungles or in the shades of Egyptian palaces. I imagine thousands of her forebears still lie with pharaohs in undisturbed pyramids under shifting desert sands.
My hand reaches out to Tintin, outlined by the false dawn against the jalousie. She acknowledges my greeting with gentle bites, then with some proprietary licks which seem to convey: "When was your last bath? You smell ripe, you know. Let me groom you up a bit. When mommy Mau wakes up ask her to teach you how to be presentable. Meanwhile, my love will see you through."
Tintin is asleep now, a lovely bundle in the window. So solitary, her mind so at peace. I follow her lead. Even kittens have more sense than me.
Mention of shifting desert sand made me think of Ozymandias, my favorite Shelley Poem:
I met a traveller from an antique land
|Tintin on Leena's bag|
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.