Another Insane Devotion: On the Love of Cats and Persons by Peter Trachtenberg

By Peter Trachtenberg

From “a real American Dostoevsky” (The Washington Post): a stunning, humorous, bittersweet exploration of the mysteries of dating, either human and animal.

When his favourite cat Biscuit is going lacking, Peter Trachtenberg units out to discover her. the adventure takes him seven-hundred miles and plenty of years into his past-- into the background of his relationships with cats and the historical past of his dating together with his spouse F., who may well herself be at the verge of disappearing. What ensues is a piece that remembers shuttle narratives from The very good trip to W. G. Sebald’s The earrings of Saturn. Trachtenberg ponders the mysteries of pussycat intelligence (why do cats rating worse on a few exams than pigeons?), the origins in their domestication, their negative remedy through the heart a while. He additionally seems to be on the riddle of why any people loves whom we like and all of the unexpected locations to which that devotion leads us.

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I don’t know if it was the dog’s crying or the cat’s unblinking gaze that softened him. “Well, I only warned those two,” God said to himself. ” It was the first time that anyone had ever spoken in a voice filled with disgust. He looked at the animals. “How were these ones supposed to know? ” And so they were spared everything except death. That was nonnegotiable. But from then on, the Lord added, the animals’ fate would be tied up with that of the humans, for if they hadn’t taken part in the humans’ sin, they had still been its witnesses.

Drive them out? ’” He was large and red faced, and his politics were to the right of the emperor Nero’s, but I respected his industry and lack of bullshit, and I think it amused him to see somebody who worked with his mind proposing to drive out vermin. He came over, drilled a hole in the Sheetrock, sprayed in some industrial-grade bug killer, then capped the hole with a butterfly screw. We waited for the humming to stop. It didn’t. Outside the window I saw a dark plume of bees issue from the side of the house like smoke and hang in the air, but it was just a detachment from the main colony.

I don’t remember anything about him, but I can still remember the sweet voltage that tore 0738215266-text_Layout 1 8/24/12 10:06 AM Page 33 Another Insane Devotion 33 through me as I got his meaning. ” For a moment, I was almost too shocked to laugh. Then I did, out of the same shock that had struck me dumb a moment before. I can’t imagine how I kept it quiet, but I must have, or else Mrs. Mehrer would have been on top of me, wanting to know what was so funny and if I’d like to share it with the other children.

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