Monday, February 16, 2009

Cat People

When I admit I’m a cat person, I’m saying more than that I’m a lover of cats. If that’s what I mean, I’d have to say also that I’m a dog person. The late Eugene Walter, a too-little-known writer whom Mobile shared for many years with Paris and Rome, used to describe himself as a cat and monkey person, by which he meant he was a free spirit. Not what I’d say about myself, though I wish I could.

Walter was a party person who could throw a memorable bash in a Roman palazzo when he was in the chips or in his small apartment with peanut butter and an assortment of fresh bakery bread when he was broke. Sorry, but that isn’t me.

I’m a cat person in the sense that, like Walter, I believe people have more than nine lives--that every seven years or so we shed a skin and start a new one. Not so for many folks, but true for me.

Elton Trueblood, a popular Quaker author of another era, wrote that we live our lives in chapters. Soon after I retired, I wrote my memoirs, strictly for family circulation, titled Lines in Pleasant Places. There are fourteen chapters, each with a different setting. I enjoyed each chapter as I lived it, and the life I’m living now would require a fifteenth chapter.

Now that I’ve moved to the back pew, I’ve gone from writing sermons (and memoirs) to writing novels. A new chapter, another life. How that came about is a story for another blog, but the point for today is that I’m sort of like my own cat, Walter Mitty. Every now and then he moves to a different chair.

~ Bert Johnston, author of Parson Campbell’s Breakthrough

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