When I was growing up I had a cat named Panther. He was a stray cat who adopted us. For the most part he was an outdoor cat. He hunted. He left gifts of birds and mice and even one time a snake on our doorstep to show us his appreciation for providing a lair for him. He was my cat. I was the one that fed him and put him out at night, and cared for him. My brother took care of the dog, but Panther was my pet and best friend.
He was also a philosophizer. Or at least, that's how I interpreted it. He would spend hours staring at a wall with a happy grin on his face. I knew he was not just a dumb, fat and happy kitty (well maybe fat and happy, but certainly not dumb). I thought he was pontificating life, and in his little cat language in his head, he was solving life's mysteries, seeking answers to the great questions.
In high school, instead of taking French class at Tam High with the rest of my classmates, I enrolled in a night course at the community college because I thought our high school French teacher was useless. I was the only teenager among a group of 20 or so adults. Near the end of the semester, we decided to have a potluck dinner party so we could socialize en français. So I offered my house (well, my mom's house) as the location. When I told my mom that I was hosting a party the following week, and making crepes as the main course, she nearly flipped her lid, but she knew me well enough to be sure that I would pull it off sans problème.
Which brings me to the point of this post. The group came over. I made mushroom crepes, which were delicious. I don't think I was a wine drinker at the time, but I'm sure some of the adults brought a few bottles over. And of course baguettes and fromage. We all sat around the living room on pillows on the floor in front of the fireplace and conversed about films and books and travel. All of a sudden, Panther walked into the middle of the circle and sat down in front of one of the men in the class, and began to stare, with that same happy grin on his face. Panther's gaze made the man nervous, and he finally looked at me and asked, "What does he want? What should I do?" I laughed, and wondered if Panther had been following our conversation all along and somehow wanted to partake in it.
I found this picture through a link on my friend Libby's blog. It reminded me of that evening and my philosophizing kitty.