Last weekend we watched The Chronicles of Narnia. Added to the special thrill of seeing the movie as a family, was that we watched it with C’s whole school class and their families (7 of C’s classmates have sibs in E’s class–most of them girls). So though all the Remys were in the same theater, the kiddoes sat just about _as far as possible_ from their parents who snuggled together in the soft seats and tried to pretend that they were on a date totally by themselves (instead of being surrounded by elem school kids who called us Mr and Mrs Remy. blech).
Of course it was a lovely movie. The young actors who played Lucy, Susan, Edmund and Peter were all the more endearing for their British accents and lack of obvious orthodontic work. As always, the emotional tug that occurs when Aslan is sacrificed was a potent moment. I particularly like the way that Lucy and Susan embraced the dead lion’s body afterwards. It reminded me of my last embrace of my father’s body after he stopped breathing. A haunting flashback.
But why the story oh-so-powerful this time around was that I could relate to the Pevensie’s worship of Aslan in a new way. As the kids buried their hands in his mane, or as Aslan breathed life into the Witch’s cold statues, I was absorbed in recalling the tender feelings that I have for our two cats (and for all of catkind, pretty generally).
No doubt my feelings were magnified by the fact that just that morning I’d taken Ellycat to the vet for her shots. And, unfortunately, sweet ragdoll Elly turns into a cat-from-hell as she nears Northwood Animal Hospital. I’d taken her in safely ensconsed in her kennel (which they quickly plastered with signs saying “EXTREME CAUTION: Demon Kitty Aboard”), and left her to be ‘gassed’ so she could get her routine checkup, flea shot, and bath. I’d brought her home just before we left for the movie and watched her transformation from howling, hissing wet hyena to docile Ellycat. She was still a bit loopy from the meds when we left the house and was efficiently licking off the bath smell under our bed.
Elly is the only creature that comes between John and I. She nestles in the hollow between our bodies each night and purrs up a storm as we drift off to sleep. When I nap she snuggles with me, too, though generally on my lower back or legs. Though my love for cats is a relatively recent phenomenon, I now can’t imagine a life without them. They delight me. They calm me. For me, their affection is a symbol of my own deep-seated craving for unconditional love.
When I was younger I never thought much about why Lewis’ Savior was a lion–except, maybe because of the ‘king of the jungle’ thing. But now I know that Clive Staples must’ve known, and loved, cats. As I now do.