30 November 2008

Cats in the November Rain

This November's ending with rain, again. It hasn't stopped all day, but it didn't show any signs of turning into a torrent. And the temperature was just enough to prevent the rain from turning into snow or sleet.

In other words, if November has to end with precipitation, this is perfect. This kind of cold, steady rain, falling in a sad patter from a gray sky, echoes a lament of, and through, tree limbs just lately laid bare.

The last November of my current life...I suppose this is the way it was supposed to end. That's November: Gone is October's blaze of colors, yet to come--possibly--is snow, which is beautiful, at least until it turns to slush.

If living through the one month of the year that loses whatever adornments the land and the season offer affects me this much, when I'm taking hormones but don't yet to have the anatomy to go with them, what will next November--when, save for those pesky "Y" chromosomes, I'll be "all woman"-- be like?

Dominick says that, really, I'm a woman in mind, body and spirit already. I would certainly say that I'm number three on that list, and possibly number one. But as for my body: Maybe I'm more female than I was before I started this process. Still, I have a ways to go, as they say. And, the truth be told, I always will, in every sense: there is always something else to learn about this person I am becoming because I have always been and wanted to be.

This year is old; sometimes I feel I am, too. An old man, on his way out? An old woman? What a way to start one's life!

On days like this, sometimes I think cats are the smartest living creatures. They curl up and cuddle up to anything that feels soft and warm, physically or psychically. Blankets are prized targets, but the favorites are human bodies. Poor Charlie and Max: They have only one--mine! Two guys, and they have a middle-aged woman with a body like mine!

I used to have another cat named Charlie. A friend of someone in a poetry workshop I took had a cat that had just given birth to kittens. I went to that woman's house, not far from where I grew up in Brooklyn. Charlie looked at me as if he knew me: He knew me well enough to know that I was going to take him home! Throughout his life, he always seemed to get along better with women. Judith, whom I met when she was a chaplain at Housing Works, said that Charlie knew that I'm a woman even though I was in boy drag, beard and all.

Charlie (the current one) and Max are very female-friendly, too. And, it seems, they can't get enough of me---especially during a late November rain.

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