Hello from the hairless side…
O and om 🐱
Odysseus, in disguise to all, returns home to his castle, accompanied by Eumaeus. They stop outside the castle gates to talk, with Eumaeus none the wiser of our hero’s identity. What follows next is Homer’s touching tale of enduring love between man and animal.
Excerpt from Homer’s ‘Odyssey’, Book 17: 260-327 by STEPHEN MITCHELL
As they spoke, a dog who was lying there lifted his headand pricked up his ears. It was Argos, Odysseus’ dog; he had trained him and brought him up as a puppy, but never hunted with him before he sailed off to Troy. In earlier times the young men had taken him out with them to hunt for wild goats and deer and hares, but he had grown old in his master’s absence, and now he lay abandoned on one of the heaps of mule and cattle dung that piled up outside the front gates until the farmhands could come by and cart it off to manure the fields. And so the dog Argos lay there, covered with ticks.
As soon as he was aware of Odysseus, he wagged his tail and flattened his ears, but he lacked the strength to get up and go to his master. Odysseus wiped a tear away, turning aside to keep the swineherd from seeing it, and he said,“Eumaeus, it is surprising that such a dog, of such quality, should be lying here on a dunghill. He is a beauty, but I can’t tell if his looks were matched by his speed or if he was one of those pampered table dogs, which are kept around just for show.”
Then, in response to his words, Eumaeus, you said, “This is the dog of a man who died far away. If he were now what he used to be when Odysseus left and sailed off to Troy, you would be astonished at his power and speed. No animal could escape him in the deep forest once he began to track it. What an amazing nose he had! But misfortune has fallen upon him now that his master is dead in some far-distant land, and the women are all too thoughtless to take any care of him. Servants are always like that: when their masters aren’t right there to give them their orders, they slack off, get lazy, and no longer do an honest day’s work, for Zeus almighty takes half the good out of a man on the day he becomes a slave.”
With these words he entered the palace and went to the hall where the suitors were assembled at one of their banquets. And just then death came and darkened the eyes of Argos, who had seen Odysseus again after twenty years.
Translation by Stephen Mitchell
Keep your furry friends closer tonight. Heck, let them sleep on the bed for once, if not always from now on. Tell them how much you love them. For they hold more faithful love for us than those who have the ability to speak such words telling us they do.
O and OM.
My sphynx sits upon my lap and looks into my eyes. His bewitching Golden yellows meet my mellow dark browns. I am entranced. He is cherubic. We adore one another. I must tell him so at this precise moment.
His interruptions never displease me.. Drawn in once more, I follow..
Om: And I suppose sound, by that rationale.
Odie: Not just sound. Music.
Om: The sound of music?
Odie: great movie.
Om: You jest with me.
Odie: Glad you mention humor. Your thoughts?
Om: It is that by which we may survive this?
Odie: And enjoy this.
Om: and Overcome this all.
Odie: yes. That which keeps us alive.
He begins to purr upon my lap. his eyes close, filled with bemusement. I see he is content with our dialogue. But he is not finished… his eyes reopen.
Odie: yet it is the the vitals which employ us.
Om: And again annoy us.
Odie: Except when they delight. We cannot forget food and drink.
Om: Good food. Great drinks.
Odie: Great rum
Odie: And all other kinds.
Om: as youve mentioned before, remember?
Odie: I do. But never a problem to mention time..
Om: and time..
Odie: and time again.
Om: and I quote, “a myriad of golden rainbows resonate in the sheer visual veracity of rums variations.”
Odie: one of my better creations. By our allusion Im given illusion of those rich rums now..
Odie: Warmed by the touch of your lithe little honey colored hands-fixed tight yet nimbly upon each, and every, passing shotglass.
Om: past my blush rose colored lips…
Odie: …ending at red hot scarlett burning gizzard.
Om: Ahh. Memories.
Odie: Fuzzy at best.
Om: But Most enticing and inviting.
Odie: And terrifyingly exciting.
Om: all Before a great big sleep.
Odysseus settles deeper into my lap. I adjust accordingly. he speaks again, his voice is softer and somehow clearer.
Odie: Sleep. Another “cannot do without”.
Om: I see your daily dedication, odysseus: no less than18 hours upon a large pillow and under an even larger blanket.
Odie: Obviously a product of my nature, only rivaled by your 8, hmm?
Om: well if i must, I admit as much.
Odie: As much, she says…
He seems less than satisfied with my pressed confession. He frowns. Though not upon my need, (knowing never do I upon his) for life giving sleep. we both understand the rest of human society not to be so kind about our habits. I think of frowning too. I change topics to keep us both happy.
Om: post rum sleep, so sweet.
Odie: still an inevitable lead to wretched mornings with harsh sun blistering our dream crusted eyes- reminding us of another need.
Odie: yes. Though thats not where I was headed…
His pause is uncomfortable. I push us past it.
Om: You spoke of rum and sleep.
Odie: and of hangovers and brain damage. Awful. Feels like youre dying when you suffer them.
Om: so you get them too after long nights??
Odie: of the best hotbuttered rum the planet has to offer. As they say, the sweeter the drink, the deeper the pain.
Om: you speak my truth.
Odie: I am a sphynx after your own heart.
Om: And many a humans.
Odie: We have gone slightly Esoteric but remain maddeningly concrete…
Om: Are you suggesting..?
Odie: Our direction. Yes. Change of. As a final rallying point that will make us smile again.
Om: Then lets speak next of purity: I propose light.
Odie: And beauty.
Om: And love.
Odie: Of course love. For all the rest is as dust and empty without it.
Om: Can I then tell you now, as ive been meaning to tell you all this time?
Odie: How much you love me?
Om: I love you odysseus. Very much. There. Thats the best words can do.
Odie: im glad for what we have. Thank you.
Om : You’re welcome.
He rests his head on my hand, ready for sleep. Then, surprisingly, he looks up and into my eyes one last time.
Om: yes my Dearest lamb monkey pookie booger dragon sweet baby?
Odie: I love you too.