Last Night I Dreamt of Cats

Recently anyway.

About two months ago, I adopted Nora, a silky black feline, born of a feral mother, destined to live her life mostly outdoors. My neighbors had cared for her these past five years. Then they moved. I felt moved to step in. Nora is adjusting to her new family. She slept with me last night. By morning, she was gone. She has almost mastered the cat door—to exit at will, anyway.

Nora has a boyfriend. I’ll call him Tom. He looks like a bobcat, uglier though, a brute of a cat. Nora doesn’t exactly cat around with him, but Tom hangs around in hopes we’ll throw him a bone. Nora doesn’t seem to mind his presence. It’s hard to know what a cat thinks. Maybe Nora and Tom triggered my dream.

Benedict Cumberbatch and Claire Foy in The Electrical Life of Louis Wain

Maybe it was the movie I saw recently: The Electrical Life of Louis Wain. An illustrator and lover of cats, Louis Wain was elected president of the London Cat Club in 1890. He drew millions of cats and popularized them as pets in Victorian England. Louis Wain also had schizophrenia. His illustrations grew increasingly psychedelic. None were copyrighted. His story pulled my heartstrings.

In one corner of our yard, there’s an overgrown flower garden where the cats convene, dozens of them, perfectly posed. Kittens frolick. That is all. Maybe a kind reader interprets dreams.

Meowy Christmas! In memory of Louis Wain.

39 thoughts on “Last Night I Dreamt of Cats

  1. I literally just woke up from a Christmas nap and said, “I dreamed of an old man playing a piano in our garage.” The Electrical Life looks like a fun movie. I just put it on my to-watch list. Merry Christmas, Crystal!

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  2. Dreams are interesting things, and that you remembered your dream is telling. Dear “Africa” passed away last month after a long fun life. She was so close to my daughter especially and her husband. We always remember her and my last cat “Errol Flynn”. Now you have a new source of ideas – Nora and Tom. Bless you and your family in 2022. Please be safe. – David

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  3. I didn’t know Louis Wain at all. Thanks for mentioning him in this blog post. Googled him, he did great cat paintings. I may take a closer look at his life story sometime.
    Merry Christmas, Crystal!

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  4. I love cats, most of the time anyway. My daughter moved back home with her two felines. Whiskey is a bit of a bully and I spend way too much time playing bodyguard for my Callie. I am hoping his behaviour will change toward her buty it seems every time I think so he has another rush at her. Poor Callie seems permanently traumatized.

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  5. Dreams are so interesting aren’t they? I don’t think I’ve ever dreamt of cats before (maybe I will tonight lol) but once I dreamt of a duck. A very bright yellow duck and it kept coming at me, pecking and pecking.. then I woke up all sweaty and freaked out lol… what that was about? NOOO idea lol…

    Happy Christmas! 😀

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    1. Yours seems to represent a fear (associated with anything that won’t leave you alone). Crazy how vivid a dream can be. Mine was, too. I couldn’t explain. Maybe I have a fear of being overrun by cats. Happy Christmas and Merry New Year!

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  6. Crystal, I am pleased to see that Nora is adjusting to her new surroundings. I need to ask my youngest Montana daughter if she ever dreams about cats. She and her husband will soon add a dream of their own to their home filled with three rescued cats. Their first-born baby is due in about a month.

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  7. Merry Christmas, Crystal! Wishes delivered either one day late, or 364 days early, depending on your perspective.

    No wonder cats accompanied your journey from dusk to dawn. It seems dreams are our mental junk drawers; our minds taking in everything we experienced recently, and incorporating it into a single unified narrative. Most of the time this hodgepodge is completely scatterbrained, but you have to give our brains credit for trying. From this, creative writing rises.

    Thanks for providing details on Louis Wain. I never had heard of him before, actually. Intriguing.

    Even mundane Victorian holiday illustrations are slightly unnerving. Ten years ago or so, I found at a used book store a collection of Victorian Halloween postcards. Simultaneously comforting and chilling. just like the feline illustrations you showed. Somehow, seeing the psychedelic final product, the earlier “mainstream” illustrations reveal themselves to be steps along the path.

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    1. I’ll take those wishes anytime. Now on to the Happy New Year, Keith! As for Louis Wain, people debate his diagnosis. Less was known about the brain then, so how do we know for certain? But the movie (and the progression of his work) lean toward schizophrenia. Either way, I found his struggle compelling.

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      1. Same to you, my friend! They have five days too, meaning the wishes will be of the most exquisite aging and well-rounded maturity by January 1, don’t you think?

        Similar to your reaction, Wain’s story- what little of it I know, at least – fascinates me. It recalls a case I read a year ago about one of the first people understood to have schizophrenia. This happened all the way back in the 1700s, and the skepticism, disbelief and misunderstanding surrounding the tale makes it all the more visceral. If you will, even shocking.

        We’ve come a long way, but there still is so far to go. Many discoveries still await.

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  8. My wife and I were also deeply moved by the film. Frankly, I thought it would be too sentimental and only consented to watch it as a gift to my wife. However, we both greatly enjoyed it.

    I hope you and Nora have many happy years together.

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  9. Happy New Year Crystal, I finally have a day to catch up on my favorite blogs! Cats? This seems like a positive omen in my opinion, soft, loving, fun, independent, adaptive, and curious! All good things for 2022! All my best to you and your, hugs, C

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