Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Touché, pussy cat!

I have to confess, I’m holding onto guilt about something that happened a long time ago.
When I was about 5, I really hated cats. I think the hatred mostly came from watching Tom and Jerry; I felt that mice were nice fun animals and that a cat’s primary purpose in life was to bully, torture and eat mice.
You wouldn’t believe what a big Tom and Jerry fan I was. I think I’ve seen most, if not all of the episodes, but prefer the older cartoons, anything pre-1970. After consulting wikipedia, it seems that my memories are with cartoons made during the Hanna-Barbera era (1940 – 1958), and the Gene Deitch era (1960 – 1962) I didn’t really care for the Chuck Jones era (1963 – 1967) of cartoons, which had a distinct animated look to it. I couldn’t watch any Tom and Jerry Cartoons that came out after the Chuck Jones era because I felt the animation and the story lines were sub par.

My favorite episode of Tom and Jerry is “Mice Follies.” That was the episode where Jerry and his little friend overflow the kitchen sinks and stick the refrigerator coil onto the wet floor, thus freezing everything in the kitchen. When I was younger I actually thought this was possible, and fantasized about freezing and ice skating around my kitchen. Lucky for my parents I didn’t try it.
Watching some of these cartoons now that I’m an adult, I notice that there was a lot of political incorrectness incorporated into the cartoons, where an unsuspecting child with an impressionable mind can learn that it’s funny to blow something up in someone’s face, because when the smoke clears they’ll be standing there in black face.
Anyway, back to the confession—
With this cat bias coursing strongly through my veins, one day I took my dislike out on a neighbor’s cat—named Mickey. I clearly remember picking up Mickey by his tail and swinging him around and letting him go—from the feel of his tail between my small hands, the weight of his body swinging around, to the smell of the autumn air and the feel of my sweater against my skin. After I let Mickey go he ran off, and he was fine. He suffered no repercussions from that incident, other then being more cautious around me in the future. I’m sure Mickey’s been dead a long time now, but Mickey, wherever you are, I am sorry I was such a jerk to you.


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