Saturday, December 31, 2011

Of Cats And Bags: An Exposition

There's a reason we keep the cat in the bag, you know. In point of fact, there are actually two reasons but let's not quibble, okay? Now I could use up a whole lot of five dollar words explaining just why this is, but I won't do that.

It's not that I don't appreciate a well-used five dollar word. I do. It really is a matter of simplicity, you see. Some things in life are best expressed in their most basic, unadorned fashion. That proves to be the case here.

The plain and simple facts of the matter are thus: The first reason that we keep the cat in the bag is because, on a very basic, primal level...nobody really WANTS to see the cat. As long as the cat remains in the bag, we don't have to deal with the cat. We all know the cat is in there, so there just doesn't seem to be any sense in belaboring the point.

A fine practical example of this would be that nobody, and I DO mean nobody, truly wants to know the REAL reason my Uncle Frank became a Boy Scout leader. In true "cat in the bag" fashion, draw your own conclusions here but please do not ask me to elaborate. I am confident that whatever reason you arrive at can't be any more shocking or odious than the reality of things. But, just to be on the safe side, let's agree to keep the cat in the bag on that one, eh?

The second reason we keep the cat bagged may seem redundant but, trust me, IS subtly different. We keep the cat in the bag because, frankly, that is just where some cats were meant to be. These are the cats that we KNOW exist and so are willing to accept on faith alone without ever being subjected to the significant pain and stigma of actually having to see the cat. We put the bag in a deep, dark corner with the sure and certain knowledge that, yes, the bag DOES contain a cat. We are content to leave it at that and, fervently, hope that others will honor our wishes vis-a-vis said cat.

I think we can all agree that, for instance, it may well be common knowledge that, on garbage day, your beloved blue-haired Grammy sneaks outdoors at two o'clock in the morning. It may well be no secret that she does so in order to discreetly place her empty sherry bottles into several different neighboring trash receptacles. And yet, no one in the family finds it necessary to wait up in order to follow Grandma on her appointed rounds. That would just be too traumatic to, willingly, seek out an opportunity to observe and so, get out a bag and stuff that old kitty right on in!

I promise you that there really IS a point to all of this seemingly over-weighty consideration of cats and bags and such. The point being, that I have spent the better portion of my life as a cat of either one sort or of the other. I have grown accustomed to the concept of living out my days in a bag. I understand and readily acknowledge the inherent rightness of my closest friends and dearest family members, metaphorically, placing me where I am. In simplest terms, I really DO belong in the bag.

No one should have to explain or have it be known that their son, brother, nephew, grandson, college roomie, etcetera, etectera ad infinitum, ad nauseum can see, talk to and otherwise interact with the dearly (and not so dearly) departed. But that is me and that is how things are.

The how's, the why's, the whenfore's and such can, and will, have to wait for another, more opportune time. Suffice to say, for now, that I am a cat content with his place in a bag that has become an all-too-familiar place for me to be. Enough said, for now, I believe.

Author's Note: The inspiration for this piece was a prompt found on the site of a new acquaintance of mine who blogs under the name of Elise Rae or @hammer_and_nail for my fellow Twitterati. While she seems somewhat new to this whole process, she seems firmly committed to providing me (and my fellow writers) with inspiration and a forum to share our creativity. I encourage you to scrutinize her website located at: for further details.

1 comment:

  1. Ever hear about Schrodinger's paradox - about the cat in the box? It's a key concept in quatum mechanics. I could explain it (not) but that would be like letting the cat out of the.....