BOUQUET FOR A FELIDAE

You don’t have to know me very long to become aware of several things about me, including: I hate cats. Not big cats: lions, tigers, leopards, etc. Not the smaller wild cats: lynx, serval, ocelot and the like. Wild animals, in their native habitat, doing what they do, is something to be treasured.

Nope- domestic cats is whats I hate: introduced destroyers of local wildlife, stink creators, hair shedders, foul nasty disgusting creatures and I loathe every single one of the fuckers on sight. And no, trust me: it’s not just because I haven’t met yours, or haven’t got to know them properly or whatever. Domestic felines are fur-lined arseholes and I would cheerfully kick each and every one of them into the nearest river and laugh merrily as they drown.

Just in case you were wondering.

However, I must make public a small amendment to this statement of revulsion: there is one cat with whom I semi-regularly come into contact, and who recently, and not for even close to the first time, showed such a lovely side to her nature that it went a long way towards dispelling a sense of gloom and despair I’ve been carrying around with me. I’m very fond of this cat indeed, and have been for several years, and it’s a relationship I see as rolling and tumbling along for years to come. So this is just a public note to say that yes, there is one cat who I look upon with friendship and affection.

Of course, this cat is a human 🙂

TOM DISCH

I’m a few days late on this, but due to circumstances beyond my control I’ve only just found out that the death roll for this year has been added to once again: Tom Disch took his own life on the 4th of this month.

Disch’s early work was compulsive reading when I first discovered it during my Uni years- Camp Concentration and 334 are wonderfully bleak and despairing works, and his short fiction was the same. I never felt that same concentrated burst of emotion from his later work, although The MD stood out purely for the level of craft, and later still he seemed to become almost exclusively a poet. Much of his last works are on display at his LJ: I find it mixed, and don’t connect with a great deal of it, but that’s the nature of poetry.

By all accounts Disch was a difficult person to know, and once crossed, you were never forgiven (witness his exultation at Algis Budry’s passing, mere weeks before his own). He was a writer who stood apart from the genre in which he worked: like Barry Malzberg he was scarred by his early experiences of SF people and SF publishing and was both articulate and unforgiving enough to let us all know of his dissatisfaction, and accurately, scarily, why it was so. Still, as much as he may have hated it, he was one of us, and losing him is significant.