Monday, July 14, 2014

A Visit With Charles

On Erin's couch. Eating artisan granola with my hands and wondering, could this be the fourth day already?
After these few days away from home, I am just beginning to decompress. Like a beach ball losing air and growing soft, the taut plastic panels giving way to puckers and dips.

I am not in the woods or at the beach, or even beside a park, but in my daughter's Beverly Hills apartment on a corner of one of the busiest crossroads in the city. Even so, I am finding something rare (at least for me nowadays), solitude. I am not completely alone. Her cat, Charles, is the main reason I'm here. To feed him, brush him, and play with him, and to keep this cat who I've known since he was 2 months old, company.
The once scrappy little Charles, who grew to be a teenager and became a feline who could play hide-and-seek for hours, is not ancient, but at age 12, has grown stodgy and slow.

Charles--an Abyssinian--is social, and follows me non-stop with his eyes. He seems to remember the games we used to play, but rarely shows up to confront me where I'm hiding. In those old days on Woodcliff Drive in that sprawling 3-bedroom house with its long, narrow hallway, we used to run and chase and scurry from room to room. But now, when I hide, I wait and wait, and Charles does not come to poke his head in curiosity around the corner, or rub his back against the door. Instead, I finally lean out from my hiding place to look and find him sitting 10 feet away starring at me with stunned anticipation. He has silently and stealthily crept from the living room through the office into the kitchen. When he sees me appear, his ears twitch and his head starts, but that is all.

I will then dart out and rush toward him, but he does not flee like in the past, scampering all the way across the house like a rabbit to hide in his favorite place under the couch. Today, he just sits and flips his tail, as if to say, "Go on now, hide again. I'm enjoying the show. Continue to entertain me."

Hello Lovely Readers, 
It's delightful to see you here. This is not the first time I've introduced Charles on this blog. He can be found in several posts here: "Charles,"Nov. 30, 2010; "Running Away From Home," April 4, 2011; "Greetings From Charles," Sept. 15, 2011; "Winter Sights," Jan, 2013. 

You can find me on my Facebook page: "Anitra Ford's Celebrity Page," 
as well as on my artist's page: "Anitra's inspriation."

Sending you all cool summer breezes and warm wishes,

Sincerely,   ~   Aneet

P.S.: My next post will be in 2 months on the 15th of September. It would be lovely to see you then.**


  1. Anitra, you've accomplished some situational poetry here that I recognize personally and profoundly. Creatures on this planet are wildly various, but we meet on a level of play and affection. Charles is a lucky cat and knows it. My compliments and appreciation.

    1. Geo, hello. I'm delighted to read that you recognize and identify with something in the tenor and body of these words. As I admire your writing gifts, I find your words especially meaningful.

      We are fortunate to interact with these wonderful creatures, and sometimes come to realize (more and more) their various capabilities and how like ourselves they are.

      It's always and honor and a delight to hear from you Geo.

      Sincerely, Anitra

  2. Hi Aneet,

    How have you been? I do remember Charles from past posts. Very cute cat! It's amazing how cats just like other animals have a unique way about themselves. I have 2 felines that I think you might remember. Trouble and Nino. I originally thought that Nino was a female and had called that cat Nina. Since they broke the news to me that Nina was a male, I changed the name to Nino. Just had to change 1 letter. Trouble on the other hand likes to play volleyball games with me. I take a piece of tinfoil, fold and round it out to the shape of a ball and play volley back and forth with this cat. You've got to see it to believe it! We could probably make America's Funniest Home Videos.

    You look gr8 in that sidebar photo! Hope your summer is going well!


    1. Jonathan, hello, hello!

      Gee, it is now quite a long spell between our visits. And yes, animals do have (like humans) unique qualities and personalities. I too had a pet with a misdiagnosed gender. My rabbit Peter turned out to be Peterina (honest!)

      Trouble sounds like a very rare critter. It makes me think of the two two cats on YouTube playing pattycake. One is definitely the instigator, and the other acts as if he's been bullied into going along. Have you filmed trouble in this tinfoil activity?

      Glad you like the recent photo. Hope your summer is also going swimmingly.

      My fond regards, ~ Aneet

  3. I don't know that one can better express the interaction we humans have with our four legged children (or grandkitties and granddoggies) than in Charles' telepathic "Go on... continue to entertain me". Oddly enough, it's WE who think they are entertaining us. But the truth is different. I realized this the other day when my canine child sat at the edge of the sofa and dropped her chew stick on the floor and looked at me. It was a clear but gentle command for me to retrieve it and return it to her. Oh, I'm the one who has been trained to fetch! Beautiful post, Aneet!

    1. Louis. It's always a treat to hear from you. I'm delighted that you enjoyed this little slice of life. Your take on Charles' telepathy is especially satisfying, as is your own experience with your canine child. They do have us exactly where they want us.

      So enjoy the cadence of your words.

      Warm wishes and cool breezes, Aneet

  4. Hello Aneet!

    I see you've traded the tranquility of Santa Barbara for the hustle and bustle of Beverly Hills for a few days.

    One of the things that comes to mind when I think of Beverly Hills is the extremely busy intersection on Wilshire & Santa Monica. The architecture of some of the buildings in that area strikes me as being from the early 60s, and I always think of TV shows from that era that depict life here, and wonder what life was like during that time.

    I also enjoy walking down Wilshire past some of the upscale stores such as Neiman Marcus and Saks, and daydream about what I would buy there if money was no object.

    By the way, I think your new sidebar self-portrait is lovely.

    Wishing you cool breezes and an enjoyable rest of your summer,


    1. Hello Joseph,

      Welcome! Actually, as expressed above, I was in the thick of the hustle and bustle, but far more peaceful than at home in S.B. It was the solitude. Really lovely.

      I know what you mean about the 60's architecture and life in B.H. back then. I was one of the multitude trucking through traffic in a tiny Renault, knocking on doors and trying to get noticed by photographers. The intersection you mention is a major crossroads and a definitive spot in the city.

      Window shopping and strolling there is lovely, eye-opening and fun.

      Thank you for sharing your perceptions Joseph, as always, they are interesting and enjoyable.

      Happy summer days, ~ Aneet

  5. Hello Aneet,

    Charles is a beauty...or would he prefer to be called handsome? Cats in their teen years have wisdom and grace. They are mesmerizing, as always. Our angel Tigger made it to almost 19. We recently adopted two new angels Cleo and Amber, aged 3 and 1, respectively. All three have added so much to our lives. They are pure joy.

    Sending you best wishes during these long summer days.


    1. Tom,

      So nice to hear from you. I am thinking this is Tom M. and I remember your response from one of my early posts of Charles. Then, you mentioned your love of cats.

      Thank you for sharing your news of Cleo and Amber, both names I admire. And yes, I agree, I have found cats to be mesmerizing since my early childhood. Then I thought the faces of cats were the most beautiful of any earthly creatures.

      Always a delight to read your words. Happy days and cool breezes,

      ~ Anitra

  6. Yes, it is me! I remember you commenting many years ago (has it really been that long?) when you saw a picture of me with my wife Mary and our little angel Tigger. Mesmerizing is the perfect word. I can watch them all day and never be bored!


    1. Ah Tom,

      Okay, good to know this is, in fact, you. And yes, it's been four years since I began this blog. I would have guessed three. So nice to know you and Mary through this connection, and to hear from you and see your life developing in so many interesting ways.

      I remember your photo, and I agree, our feline friends are mesmerizing.

      Warm regards to you and Mary, ~ Aneet

  7. Hi Aneet,

    Just wanted to wish you a very happy and healthy birthday! ( I think I have the date correct?) Wishing you a day filled with everything you wish for yourself! Don't forget the 72% dark chocolate........

    Jonathan :))

    1. Jonathan,

      Hello, hello. Thank you for your sweet (literally) and thoughtful birthday wishes. It's so nice to hear from you. When your message came in, I was out of town and unable to access my blog other than through my email. I answered it there (which is something I've not done before), but I can see now, that it didn't post here on my blog.

      I so appreciate your dark chocolate wishes. Though I should tell you that at the moment I am taking your lead and avoiding the yummy stuff. What does one do without chocolate? I haven't quite figured that out yet. But give me a few more months and I'll tell you.

      I sure hope that your life is going well and delivering health, happy days and venues for your talents.

      My fond wishes, ~ Aneet