Jul 25, 2022

Wagging the Cat

Artist’s rendering of International Space Station

So I have this little cat that comes to visit me when I go outside in the twilight to watch the International Space Station fly over. She startled me at first, since I was looking up when I felt a soft, gentle rub against my ankles. She was a little gray tabby, and she really wanted to make friends… rubbing, purring, doing that cute thing cats do so well. A few days later I walked outside again to view the ISS, and she was there in about a minute. She has no collar or ID. Will she be there again, tonight?

I don’t know why I subscribe to SpottheStation@mail.nasa.gov but I do. Maybe a reminder of when I innocently believed the hype about space travel, or when the US and Russia could actually collaborate on something. Maybe it’s the predictable, man-made, clock-like nature of the station sightings, a defense against the growing chaos.

Knowing that NASA leaves no mythical stone unturned, I’m sure that ISS was a play on Isis, the great Egyptian goddess and mother figure. Wife of Osiris, mother of Horus, proto-type Mary archetype and all the rest. Hmmm… cats, Isis, space: 

Star Trek TOS Episode Assignment: Earth. Some guy named Gary Seven is abducted by aliens, perfected, and returned to earth with the assignment to enable a near disaster of an armed rocket blah blah but he has a black cat names Isis. Who shape-shifts into a lovely woman from time to time. I guess my little feral cat just chose a name for herself.

It turns out that we have entered the Dog Day of summer, which is the traditional date of the helical rising of the "Dog Star" Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky, as well the traditional opening of the Dog Days. Sirius, being the brightest star in the sky (up until ISS) is also associated with Isis, go figure. So we have a man-made “brightest-star” passover in the Dog Days, usurping the stars of the old gods. And yet, here is a real cat, a beautiful biological creature, who rubs me on my ankles when I go out to witness her. As if she is telling me to look down and notice her.

“I’m the goddess you are looking for”.

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