You know you’re a writer at heart when you’re relieved it’s raining. I’d have complained to the high heavens had it snowed but a sunshiney Saturday would have made me feel just as bad, if also foolish. All I want to do is curl up with another Helena Rubenstein biography and write a section of the larger project gathering dust on my desk. If my city were still the Audrey Hepburn movie it’s been all week long (radiant smiles, radiant sun), I’d have felt too much pressure to carpe diem to actually carpe diem as I wished. Now if I venture out at all, it’ll be to catch that Helena exhibit one more time before it leaves the Jewish Museum March 22. Purples and reds; Polish rubies and art deco ivories; a rainbow of self-portraits and silks. What better weapons to stow in the imagination’s arsenal? Anyway, I am the scion of another enterprising Polish Ruby (my great-grandmother Masha Rubenfire ruled boudoirs rather than vanity tables), and I like to think she and Helena live in the same tree, impatiently shaking fruit at we grown children stumbling through this world without them. Tucking that bounty into my skirts is the only properly grateful thing to do.
Permakitten Grace and I are in a fight. I’m not going to pretend it doesn’t stem from extreme cabin fever–as I type this the sky is issuing a white cold substance that I no longer deign to name–but I do think I am wrong and she is right. It comes down to this: I pay for our home and food, clean up her excretion, provide her with toys and scratches. In return she is very beautiful and sweet, if occasionally standoffish. But this extreme cold has driven a few mice into our building, and the one job you can expect any feline to do is kill mice. Heck, they’re supposed to enjoy this activity. My once-tough street kitty has become so soft that she assumes these eldritch interlopers have been invited for her explicit delight, though. The other night I even caught her cradling one as if it were another catnip stuffed animal I’d bought for her entertainment: When I walked in the room, the rodent casually stepped out of her paws and walked away while she watched contentedly. Uh, no.
I sat her down. “Look, in our house, all Rosman girls work. You can’t just play with the mice. One way or another, you have to get rid of them. That’s what kitties do.”
My talk fell on deaf ears. The next night I woke to scratching noises in my office and found the two of them happily scampering after each other in a circle. Continue Reading →