Sunday, July 12

Kitty Day

Right before Colby moved to Paris, when I still lived in New York, I would call him while he was at work to tell him Americans-learning-French jokes.
"Hon, I can only talk for 15 seconds," he'd say when he picked up. "What's up?"
"Honey, honey - why do French men only eat one egg at a time?"
"Uh, what?"
"Say why."
"Uh, why?"

Sometimes Colby would be in the midst of saying Goodbye and I'll See You Really Soon, and I'd squeeze in a quick, "So there were two cats that were racing along the Seine..."
"And one of them was named Misses and the other was named Un Deux Trois."
"O.K. Hon, I can call you in a--"
"And you wanna know what happened in the race? UN DEUX TROIS CAT [Quatre] SANK [Cinq]! IN THE SEINE!"

My favorite joke, which is decidedly the least clever and hardest to understand for both Americans and Frenchies, is:
Why is Easter a good idea?
Because it's a bon idée! [The answer, in some pronunciation, is supposed to sound like Bunny Day, somehow.]

I liked the joke so much that I tried to alter it to make sense.
Why is Halloween a good idea?
Why, Alaina, why?
Because it's a BONEY day! [This nabs the correct pronunciation but, as in the original joke, brings up an awkward and/or imaginary way of describing the fated holiday.]

But I didn't like my new version more. I liked the other one more because I liked talking about bunnies. Bunnies, kitties, puppies, duckies, even ratties, these things are common points of conversation for me. And I really liked saying, "Bunny day," even if it didn't form a sensible phrase. I began answering my phone calls from Colby as "Hello Bunny Day," much to his chagrin.

When I eventually moved to Paris, too, I didn't live with any pets. I would get extremely excited to see animals on the street, and from there began to call to French dogs passing by with, "Oh! Bon soir Puppy day!"

This habit has since spilled into my American life, often still with the parts of [poorly pronounced] French. I live with four adult cats and two extra-large dogs, but to me they're just a festival of puppy and kitty weeks. Prarie made a series of kitty day necklaces for a show we did at the house in New York, and when I returned from my Euro Trip one had come for me in the mail. The image of her black and white cat, Crybaby, appears in a purple teardrop gem with a hint of gold glimmering from the bottom. She has since made more necklaces in honor of her little honey. Yesterday, Mia asked if my necklace was of Socks: First Cat, of whom I had many t-shirts as a child. Prarie usually also mothers 2-5 fancy rats, so I'm hoping she comes out with thick rings or charm bracelets celebrating the ratty days sometime soon.

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