Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

Archive for the ‘Cats’

By Jove, Thor and Toutatis! and other childhood cusswords

March 18, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Cats, Childhood 1 Comment →


Supposedly all women turn into their mothers, and we thought we were spared because we don’t have children (never liked them, even as a child), but we live with cats and the youngest, Drogon, can be a pain. He’s extremely affectionate and hyperactive, and the other night while jumping from our desk he upset a cup of coffee over the papers we were reading and we found ourself uttering an oath we haven’t heard since childhood, when our mother said it.

Lilintianan! That’s Bicolano for “Lightning strike”. She also said Babagratan a lot—that means “Thunder!” (Our ancestors came from the volcano; that’s all the Bicolano we have left.) Which is like saying “By Jove!” or “By Toutatis!” Basically it’s “Hala, kukunin ka ni Thor!” (Yes, please.)

All cats are critics

March 10, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Cats, The Workplace No Comments →


Saffy: It is faithful to its literary source.
Drogon: There are not enough cats.

Kung hey faaat choy

February 18, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Cats, Food No Comments →


Saffy and her stuffed toy sheep, with a box of the world’s greatest hopia. Delicately flaky crust, finely ground mung bean paste. Hopia that you have to get from Xiamen, since they invented it.

Adventures in near-sightedness

February 11, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Cats, Pointless Anecdotes 1 Comment →

Mat may be nearsighted. He also pretends to be afraid of heights. Sometimes we catch him prowling the tops of the shelves.

We’re myopic, so when printed signs are not near enough for us to read, our brain notes the shape of the letters and makes a guess. Today we saw a Valentine event poster that said “A Calibration of Love”. This struck us as admirably unsentimental for our gooey culture. It sounds like something our druid might say while wielding her slide rule to club stupid people unconscious. Then we realized that the text was “A Celebration of Love” haha. Nearsightedness has its advantages.

Drogon tries to read by osmosis

February 05, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Cats No Comments →

drogon le guin

Obituary for a black stray cat

February 04, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Cats 2 Comments →

black cat

She was a small black cat, extremely frisky, always trying to get in the door. We had to be careful when going down the stairs because she would dart between our feet. She didn’t have a name, we didn’t give her one, she was just “yung pusang itim”—if we gave her a name she would become part of the household, and we already have three and a half feline housemates (Three indoor cats, one outdoor cat who walks the earth and appears at mealtimes). She lived downstairs in the garage with the other strays, and was particularly close to Meriadoc our outdoor cat—we’d open the door and they’d be curled up in a single ball on our welcome mat.

This morning the guard reported that she’d died. They found her in a corner, by a stack of old furniture. She got sick and went quickly. We last saw her on Sunday night and she seemed less frisky than usual. Sad. Terrible things are happening in the world, violence and bloodshed and body bags, and we mourn over a nameless black stray cat. On balance she had a fairly comfortable life—she had regular meals, shelter, and the company of other cats. And she could roam the neighborhood, though she stayed close to the garage. And her life didn’t go unnoticed.