and Silver below, awaiting loving homes at the Oyster Bay Town
history cats have sparked social conscience and creativity in the greatest of
minds. To DaVinci "the smallest feline was a masterpiece"; to Schweitzer "music
and cats were the two means of refuge from the misery of life"; to Hemingway "a
cat had absolute honesty." Edgar Allan Poe and Sir Walter Scott envied the cat's
mystery. Even an unknown feline philosopher, no relation to Descartes, once
joked: "I purr, therefore I am."
For Dr. Joan Digby, LI University Humanities professor, compassion and cats
complement curriculum. An advocate of TNR (Trap Neuter Return), Dr. Digby, along
with her colleagues, manages an inconspicuous yet content colony of campus cats.
Her Honors students design cat shelters that blend with college architecture.
The ferals in her care inspire Dr. Digby to compose picturesque poetry. The
following are selected from her collection- A Clowder of Cats:
They come from nowhereat the sound of my car.Gray streaks at first:dappled Puffball,Oyster, flat like pewter,long haired mop of aphilosophical sister called Plato,yellow-eyed
and pensive.Then from the bushesa flash of black and white-Kodak
and Ilfordshooting pastat a a hundredth of a secondclick, click
like fast film.Now the Clones march slowly on parade,black with the
same white star on theirchestssporting the mark of a long family line.Delicate maidens take their time:she with the white nose,the shy
aunt who lost her tail,Cleopatra fringed with a golden face,two hungry
tigersand at last the Red King.I wait and watch and count and feed,I call them jeweled movements,the time piecesthat regulate my
morning hour.LOVE HANDLES
also have love handles,that wiggle when they walklike a runway modelin a swing coatletting each thrustof her hips revealall the
soft longingfor the days beforeshe had her tubes tied.RITUAL MEAL
The cats didn't know
my mother died.They were simply waiting for the foodI bring them every
morning."Momma's here," I called as usual,"Breakfast," as they tripped
around my legskeen for the opening of cans.But my
momma wasn't here todayand wouldn't be again for an eternity to come.Snapping the lids I thought of breakfasts she had madeand threw myself into the taskof serving
up food in my mother's name.THE OLD
(SIX-PACK 1988-2006)It's ThursdaySix-pack
is sittingon a chair in the front rowwaiting for classbut no
other students have arrived.He has taken Foundationfifteen timesand still is yearningto learn moreabout perspectiveand figure
drawingWith polydactyl pawshe has the meansto be creativefar
beyond his kind.The human studentswill not come todaybut Six-pack
holds his placemeditating on the monumentalplastic formneeded to
expressthe shape of feline thought.
A huge portrait of Six-pack leaning on an art pedestal hangs above Dr.
Digby's desk. This majestic tabby lived to be 18, and spent his final years in a
loving home off campus. Poster Pets
Our poster pets at Oyster Bay Town Shelter (677-5784) Miller Pl Syosset
deserve loving homes too. "Bella" #365 is a 7 yr. Italian Greyhound who was
turned in by elderly owners along with "Coco" #364- her Min Pin pal. They need
not be adopted together. "Silver" #374 in the lobby showcase is an exquisite
Maine Coon type. This 1 year old beauty gets along with dogs and other cats.
Dogs: "Sonoto" #314 male Siberian Husky; "Foxy" #353- Wirehaired Fox Terrier
puppy that would do well in either a breed experienced or agility home;
"Beauford" #287- Coonhound mix pup.
Cats: "Slippers" #331- gorgeous longhaired kitten shown last week; a
determined female tabby #341 who sounds like she is saying "Hello".
Last Hope-"Dog Walk, BBQ & Fun Night" Sat. 6/2, register at 4:30 at
Wantagh Park. Call 516-486-3158 or