Oh nobody knows the trouble I seen…

Sunday, 27 March 2011 § 2 Comments

Nobody knows but Kitteh.

I can has Weimar Republic?

I’ve been catsitting for one of my very dear friends this week.  I have gotten her cat to respond to “Kitteh.”  I have also crooned to him nonstop in lolcat speak, discussed with him the merits of the Bolshevik revolution, and debated the efficacy of a commissarial dictatorship.  I worry she may never let me catsit again.   For the record, his take on the collapse of the Weimar Republic is that Reichspräsident Hindenburg’s kitteh was like, “Ich kann hat Republik?”  And Hindenburg was all, “Nein! Aber ich kann hat Artikel 48, lol.”  It’s the truth.

But know who else knows the troubles I seen?  That friend.  And my friends here in general.  Empathy is not to be underrated.   I just sent the “I love you, but I’m crawling under a rock for a while; see you on the other side” email to my family.  The next month is going to be the mother of all pressure cookers, and I just can’t guarantee that I’ll be able to chit-chat — or to pretend that the way that they understand my exams is actually what it’s like.   My family loves me, as best as they know how, and to the degree that they understand what my life is like and what it means to be doing this, they’re really proud of me.  But they don’t quite get it; it’s not exactly legible to them.  My parents are a nurse and a mechanic; while my mom eventually got her MS in nursing, she got both that and her bachelor’s while I was also in undergrad.  So when I went off to Unicorn University, I was literally traipsing off into an entirely different world — nevermind PhDLand.  When they call and I’m in full-on panic mode or despairing over a draft of the dissertation prospectus, they say, “I’m sure you’ll do great!”  or “It’s almost over!” It’s nice to know that they support me, and I know they’re doing the best they can.  But the quiet support of my friends means so much more right now.  We all get it: yes, we know it’ll be over soon; we know we’ll be fine.  But we know that in the meantime this is pure. misery.  And somehow, that’s really reassuring.

Also really reassuring: a kitteh on the lap.  Just for the record.

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§ 2 Responses to Oh nobody knows the trouble I seen…

  • barefootrooster says:

    pets do seem to get it ever so much more easily than parents do. also, they speak the truth. i don’t doubt it for a minute that the kitteh in the picture can commune with Hindenburg’s kitteh. new sources for original historical insights? i would like to see you footnote a non-human animal.

  • Ethel Louise says:

    Well, as you know, one my my qualms with a lot of syllabi is that they only represent the voices of the dead-white-male camp. Part of how I’m planning the syllabus portion of my first exam has to do with making it a point to integrate the voices of women and people of color (gasp) — I see no reason why the non-human animal’s voice shouldn’t also be included. Maybe the readings for that week will involve the lolcats website, Darnton’s The Great Cat Massacre, and the Spiderman musical.

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