Sometimes I think we need to get back in the habit of declaring each other anathema.
Cats never ditched this habit in the first place. As a matter of fact, they raised it to an art form.
Back in Them Olden Days, people with a gripe or a grievance or a gasping groan of theological discrepancy would declare their opponents “anathema.” I think this translates roughly to “dunderheadeness with a side of heresy.” Funny thing is, people didn’t like being declared anathema. So, often enough, they would spin around in the medieval equivalent of a swivel chair and say, “I declare YOU anathema!”
“I declare you anathema.”
“You can’t do that…because I declared you anathema first!”
“I declare you anathema.”
“I know you are, but what am I?”
And then everyone was anathema together, and they went out for ice cream.
Of course, I am proposing a far friendlier, more playful form of anathematizing* than the ones that cast people into dungeons and out of communities. Which is to say, I am proposing the feline form of fun-loving anathema.**
This is an anathemethod known well by one American Dream, Tabby’s Place’s own Dusty Rhodes.
The first thing you notice about Dusty Rhodes is her brain-addling beauty. We have adored a great many creamsicle-colored cats at Tabby’s Place, but Dusty Rhodes is in a class of her own.
And she knows it.
Perhaps her beauty makes her impatient with lesser beasts. Perhaps it’s the fact that she shares her name with a professional wrestler, who despite perhaps being a very nice guy (Dusty Rhodes Rosenberg assumes the best of all non-felines), is very much a guy, and Dusty Rhodes is 100% pure lady.
But I’d venture that Dusty Rhodes’s sporadic dust-ups with her neighbors have a simpler explanation.
She thinks they’re heretics.
That is: they do not worship Dusty Rhodes.
What’s a glamour girl to do? Obviously, declare them all anathema. Which is to say: make haste for Time Share.
Time Share is the Tabby’s Place equivalent of a private island off the shores of Tonga. It’s where divas and darlings and feline Liz Taylors retreat when the exhaustion of existing among mere “cats” gets to be too much.
This peaceful, private suite brings out the best in heresy-hunters like Dusty Rhodes. Far from the muddleheaded crowds, Dusty is sweeter and calmer and only 10% prone to randomly chomp a passing human leg. Free to think her own thoughts and perfect her own theology, Dusty Rhodes is a delight.
At least, by our limited definition. By her own expansive, transcendental understanding, Dusty Rhodes is 100% DELIGHT AT ALL TIMES. It’s everyone else who is a little or a lot off. (Especially Faye. Dusty’s hisses at Faye are properly translated [extreme sarcastic voice], “Awhhh, you faaaaancy, huh?” Who dareth to attempt glamour in the presence of The Creamsicle Crown?)
It’s not always easy being an imperious introvert with the beauty of five billion butterflies. But Dusty Rhodes knows her way around both mathematics (Dusty Rhodes + 0 cats = world peace) and anathematics (“I DECLARE YOU ALL FRIGGIN’ DUNDERHEADS!”).
Until the day she finds her forever worshiper, we’re just lucky to bask in her orange stained glass.
Declare us whatever you want, Dusty Rhodes. We’re on the side of the angels, because we adore you exactly the way you are.
*This is what you come to Felis Catus for. I know it. Tell me one other place where you will encounter the word “anathematizing” today, and I will declare you…glorious.
**Also, my old seminary professors are having conniption fits right now. Please do not refer to this blog post when you have to write about anathema for your next term paper, since my depiction is approximately 7% accurate and 93% dunderhead frippery. Poetic license, kittens. Don’t declare me…