Friday, 6 February 2009


(Charlie has been putting up his own posters as well - and he's also got a blog. I'm surprised he knew how to plug it in. See here)


Loved, adored, cherished, Zig-Zag, former resident of the storey institute, is lost. Zig-Zag was cared for by the sensitive staff of Litfest, and it is owing to their love (I witnessed Sarah reading a short story to him once, and he was purring like a diesel engine) that Zig-Zag became a special cat, humming with creative energy and verve, but with a misty faraway look in his eyes and a kind of well-who-am-I-to-know-what’s certain-in-this-universe manner in his walk, which was most uncatlike somehow. Can cats be somewhere on the autistic spectrum? Like Charlie?

That was it about Charlie. There were vast psychological distances in him, like looking down into a deep well, and when you asked him a normal question –like have you come for the lunchtime lecture on unicorns: well: his poor, confused face contorted, his fingers scrabbled in his hair, and I imagined the question like a tiny leaf spinning and tumbling while he examined it from every angle, discovering myriad, bewildering meanings that weren’t intended. Like the way short-sighted men are attractive to the ladies, men who don’t connect with the world – those edgy, misfitty ones - exert a similar pull. Certainly they do on me. I think that Zig-Zag, our lost cat, possessed these qualities too; Zig-Zag was aware of his own mortality.

Charlie asked me to make these signs because I like calligraphy and I like cats; when I used to deliver my lunchtime lecture – DRAGONS UNICORNS AND THEIR ILK: MARVELLOUS MONSTER FROM THE MEDIEVAL BESTIARY TO THE CONTEMPORARY IMAGINATION, there was a cat at the Storey then and I always gave it a hug.

The Storey reopens soon and it wouldn’t be the same without Zig-Zag


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1 comment:

  1. My husband is allergic to cats, so if he starts sneezing there's a good chance ZigZag could be near. I will keep a close eye on him.