By Peter Trachtenberg
From “a real American Dostoevsky” (The Washington Post): a blinding, humorous, bittersweet exploration of the mysteries of courting, either human and animal.
When his favourite cat Biscuit is going lacking, Peter Trachtenberg units out to discover her. the adventure takes him seven hundred miles and lots of years into his past-- into the background of his relationships with cats and the background of his courting along with his spouse F., who may perhaps herself be at the verge of disappearing. What ensues is a piece that recollects go back and forth narratives from The excellent trip to W. G. Sebald’s The earrings of Saturn. Trachtenberg ponders the mysteries of tom cat intelligence (why do cats ranking worse on a few exams than pigeons?), the origins in their domestication, their bad therapy in the course of the center a long time. He additionally seems to be on the riddle of why any people loves whom we like and all of the unexpected locations to which that devotion leads us.
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Extra resources for Another Insane Devotion: On the Love of Cats and Persons
The humming mounted; the bees stormed out in greater numbers, like cavalry making sorties from a besieged fortress. The workmen sweltered beneath the July sun in padded jackets and canvas gloves. The cats clamored to go out. At some point the extermination began to take effect. Soon there were no bees by the back door. Then, in a coordinated assault, the landlord drilled a second hole in the office wall, and the two of us sprayed in more bug killer in unison. Along with the cans of Bee Gone, he’d brought along a sprayer, the kind with a pump that you see in old cartoons, with no markings on it, but he didn’t use that yet.
I stayed behind to help with the lights. Outside it was still raining. “You’re never going to get a taxi,” the photographer told me. We looked at each other. Her eyes were blue but looked black because of her makeup. I don’t remember whether F. was down in the city that night. She may have been traveling. Regardless of where she was, she’d put no pressure on me to come home and would be unlikely to question me too closely even if I were to walk in while the neighborhood parents were seeing their kids off to preschool in the street below.
She was so listless I had to scoop her out of the carrier. She rose unsteadily and looked about her, then drank a little water before stumbling off to the spot by the radiator where she liked to sleep. I watched her through the day. Did she always sleep this long? Did her stomach look swollen, or was that just because it was shaved? ) Shouldn’t she be drinking more? I was used to sick people. All through my teens my mother and grandfather took turns trooping in and out of the hospital like the allegorical figures in those clocks you see looming over town squares all over Germany.
Another Insane Devotion: On the Love of Cats and Persons by Peter Trachtenberg