Sunday 8 December 2019

ALS: 'Kat en muis'


I’ve forgotten the tits this year, not the cats. They sit in front of the window early every morning and gaze inside. They’ve slept somewhere or other I know not where – in barns, attics, cellars. When they see me they know that I’ll be coming out with some chunks of meat and pieces of bread. They do not know that recently they have been subject of an investigation. Scientists have calculated that at night they wreak considerable havoc in the animal kingdom. Every cat owner ought to carry out measures to prevent a disaster. As usual, I woke up suddenly with a start of shame. I’ve had cats all my life. They helped me in my fight against mice. They, in turn, often got killed while crossing the main road. I thought without thinking that this was a question of balance. But now that science had made it its business, I realised that that we’d once more landed in the area of a new balance. I hung up fat balls – the tits that I hadn’t seen this year so far were there within fifteen minutes. I think I’ll rely on this for the present winter. The strong tits will survive, just as the strong mice will. The cats will be helped by me, and I can always appeal to homecare if it looks as if I seem to have made a mistake in the winter cold. There’s always someone who can help me do the chopping. While he chops, I read aloud a poem by Jan Hanlo. Cat and mouse are present, the tit is absent. It’s really delighted with the fat balls.

What shall I buy you, son of mine?

A cat? a mortal mouse allover white? a what?
A girlfriend from the Orient? a slave?
A jet-black German raven? or a rat?
A dog that’s really healthy? or a flute?
A mandolin that’s in its sleeve or a machine?
A globe of planet Earth? maybe a wheel?
Maybe a blouse of bombazine?
Or Dante seen in profile?

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