Hail, Caesar

A picture named caesar_exits.jpgMy mom called this morning with the sad news that Caesar the Cat had passed away. He was 21 years old; his kidneys were failing, and he had to be put down.

The gravity of that didn't really hit me until after I got off the phone. It was the loss of a family member, and while it was certainly expected, I found myself caught unprepared.

Caesar came home as a kitten the summer before my sophomore year of college; he was, in some ways, my replacement at home. A flufy Persian, He came to rule the street my parents lived on, defending his turf from larger, less furry cats ferociously. Even just last summer, he persued an interloper into the street and tore into him.

Caesar came and went pretty much at will; my father would banish him from the house at night lest he awake my parents at 4 am to go out. He was alternatingly sweet and sadistic, climbing up on laps for petting and purring loudly when he recieved attention, but dispensing swats when his mood changed. He coexisted with two dogs over his lifetime, and made sure they knew their place in the pecking order–below him.

When I came home from college, or the Navy, or later in life with my family in tow, he always let me know that he recognized me, and lavished his royal attention on me. He set the bar for every other cat I have shared a home with.

My mom said the house felt strangely empty without him. It's no surprise; he had such a larger-than-life presence. He was housecat sized, but he had the bearing of a lion.

General Chaos

“Mister Anderson, welcome back”

I went with my two boys to watch The Matrix: Revolutions last night as a break from the story I'm working on.

I never saw the second “Matrix” film; my older son filled me in on the details. I'm sure I'll see it on DVD when it comes out, just like I did with the original. But even without the full reference points of “Reloaded”, I was able to just unplug my brain and enjoy the film.

My kids enjoyed it, too, though I suspect they were less enthralled with the cinematography than I was. The fight scenes were even more absurd than the original; Jonah, my younger son, said he thought some of the Neo-Smith fight scenes were torn directly from Dragonball Z (which I had to concur with). He thought they were “cheesy.”

I guess people flying around, running into each other at supersonic speeds, making craters in the pavement and such could be seen as “cheesy,” detached from the complete look and feel of the film. It wasn't exactly stunning dialog, either. But it was fun. And I'll get a lot of mileage out of my Agent Smith imitation with the kids for months to come…