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Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994
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Archive for the ‘Cats’

The long stairway to the nearest cat (can make the wretched sigh)

December 05, 2017 By: jessicazafra Category: Cats, Places, Traveling 2 Comments →

According to my friend Rebecca, there is a large colony of cats living on the hillside around Sacre Coeur, and she sees some of them on the street every morning when the neighborhood cat lady feeds them. I didn’t see any of the hill cats. Whenever I missed my feline overlords at home, I had to climb the long stairway to the cafe with the resident cat extortionist, Me.

The blasted stairs even have their own song, written by Jean Renoir for the film French Cancan.

I bribed Me by ordering fish for lunch.

Andre Kertesz photographed the stairs of Montmartre many times. This picture is from his 1945 book, Day of Paris.

This is that same spot today.

Daisy Bar is now No Problemo, the nearest refuge for Calvados and charcuterie on a rainy night.

On Thursday night as we trudged back to the apartment, it began to snow.

A Halloween Story about my late cat Mat

October 31, 2017 By: jessicazafra Category: Cats, Notebooks No Comments →


Illustration by Anne Tamondong

Yesterday I organized my journals, meaning I collected them from wherever they were scattered and put them in a trunk and in a big plastic box (there’s a lot of them). I found my journal from mid-2015, a leather notebook I got from Papers and Tschai, a handmade studio in Cebu.

In it was an account of my cat Mat’s last day. Since he had fallen ill a week earlier, he had been very weak and sleeping in the kitchen. On his last day, I was awakened at 6:30 in the morning by something fluffy landing on my feet. It was Mat, who had used his last burst of strength to walk to my room. I knew then that he didn’t have long, so I stayed with him all day and tried to make him comfortable. At 8:08pm, he breathed his last.

There was no place to bury him, so I asked my friend Tina if I could bury Mat the following morning in her garden. Then I wrapped Mat in one of my old T-shirts and put him in a box. The janitor wrapped him up some more and we put the box in the lobby where the guard could watch it overnight.

I went to bed at midnight, exhausted. At 2:45am I dreamed that someone was pounding furiously on the door. I woke up, but there was no knocking. In the morning I noticed that the welcome mat had been moved.

I like to think that Mat was trying to get back in the house, or maybe the angel of death had come to collect my firstborn male cat. (I’m sure it wasn’t a Pet Sematary scenario because Koosi and the neighbors’ dogs are all buried around here, and none of them came back.) Mat was a sweetie. The next day we couldn’t get a taxi to take us to Tina’s place (pre-Uber) so Juan lent me his car and driver. So Mat arrived in an SUV (according to witnesses, he leapt out of one and ran to my building) and left in an SUV. He was a sosyal cat.

Jacob Jonesy Totoro Tormund Z. Howlett is 2! Today he is The Oracle.

October 20, 2017 By: jessicazafra Category: Cats 17 Comments →

Hello, I am Jacob the cat.

I am named after Jake Gyllenhaal; one of only two survivors of the xenomorph attack on the Nostromo; Miyazaki’s forest spirit; the wildling from Beyond the Wall; and the Wolverine, because when I was a kitten I was run over by a truck but was protected by my adamantium skeleton.

My hobbies are eating, exploring the house, eating, wrestling with my older brother Drogon, eating, and eating.

My human has decreed that today is my name-day. Do you have questions about your past, present, or future? Post them in Comments and I will answer them. I will also grant wishes, but first you must find a stray cat and feed them.

* * * * *
I fed the three strays downstairs and here’s a wish. I wish Lin-Manuel Miranda would do a benefit concert of West Side Story for Puerto Rican relief. With Ricky Martin, Jennifer Lopez, everyone.

We know what you’re doing this morning.

August 28, 2017 By: jessicazafra Category: Cats, Television 7 Comments →


I am the star of Game of Thrones. Drogon, fool, not a White Walker.

Much as we love Game of Thrones, with an affection that cannot be shaken by its abandonment of logic, we aspire to a life in which a new episode of the series is not the high point of our week, or the topic of all conversation.

P.S. Could not resist.

JRR Tolkien = George RR Martin
Aragorn the reluctant heir = Aegon (Jon)
Frodo the hobbit = Tyrion the dwarf
Samwise Gamgee= Samwell Tarly
Boromir = Theon Greyjoy
Eowyn the lady who wants to fight = Arya, who might kill
The Witch-King of Angmar, lord of the Nazgul = the Night King

Watch Mark Z. Danielewski, author of The Familiar and House of Leaves, talk about writing, cats, and cosmic things

August 27, 2017 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Cats No Comments →

Allan Carreon recorded our Q&A at the Philippine Readers and Writers Festival yesterday. Thanks to Allan, Deo and Roni for the post-discussion discussion, during which they filled me in on the pop culture I have missed. I had no idea there were telenovelas in which women fought using photocopiers and balut.

Wanted: A human parent for this sweet little cat

July 11, 2017 By: jessicazafra Category: Cats 2 Comments →

This sweet girl needs a home. She is currently living in a construction site in Bel-Air 2, Makati. My friend thinks the cat used to live in the house in front of the site, but her people moved out and did not take her along.

A kind foreman at the construction site is feeding and looking after the white cat for now. However, the house will soon be finished and the kitty will be left on her own again.

This kitty is docile and accustomed to being around humans. She is approximately three years old, white with blue eyes (I will check on the hearing situation). She is already spayed, so you don’t have to take her to the vet for the procedure.

Don’t let her wander around by herself, rooting in the garbage and getting drenched in the rain. Won’t you let her be part of your household? She is looking for people to love.

If you would like to adopt this cat, leave a message in comments or email me at saffron.safin@gmail.com and I’ll arrange a meeting.

Update: We’ve been in touch with the cat parents we know, and they all have too many cats as it is. So we need to convince someone who likes cats to start adopting. Know anyone?

Update: We have a human! Abs has kindly offered to adopt the kitty. We will meet next week to introduce them.

The white kitty is still looking for a parent. If you are interested in giving her a home, please email me at saffron.safin@gmail.com as this blog is on vacation.