Thursday, July 14, 2011

Pets and books may begin talks with strangers

Today Gina Marie reposts "Homage to Kitty Miss Kier" as tribute to her late "beloved 15-year-old feline companion" — a brief vignette set in a city park, with a non-judgmental cat, a visitor, and a description of Thomas Moore's book, Care of the Soul as "It’s more-or-less the Bible of the Psychology/ Self-Help movement,” when the woman who seeks permission to pet her cat, asks what she is reading.

Gina Marie continues the exchange:
“I’ve always been interested in psychology,” the woman said with a far-off look in her eyes. “I plan on opening up my own business.”
“Your own business – really?” I didn’t mean to sound condescending, but I couldn’t help but remain skeptical. After all, this woman looked as if she had just rolled around in a pile of dirt, and her ill-fitting clothes were ripped in places. “What kind of business?” I asked, my curiosity piqued.
“Counseling,” the woman said.
“Ah, counseling,” I began. “I’ve thought about doing that. It would be hard work, but definitely rewarding.”
“I don’t think it would be hard,” the woman contradicted. “At the end of the day, some counselors go home all wrapped up on their clients’ dramas, but not me – no, siree.”
“That would be the hardest part for me,” I told her. “I think I’d have a hard time separating my work life from my professional one.”
“Nah,” she grunted. “It’d be a piece of cake. You see, I’m a sociopath,” the woman explained, as nonchalantly as if she’d just told me that her grandfather was Swedish.
“A sociopath . . . and how, exactly, would that make you a good counselor?” I asked.
“Well, I feel no remorse,” the woman told me.

Step away from the cat, I wanted to tell her. Instead, I nodded my head, as if what she’d said made perfect sense.

“And because I feel no remorse,” the woman continued, “I wouldn’t have any problem shutting the door on my clients at the end of each workday.”
A 2009 photo of the wise Kier closes the blog post.