RAVEN MACK is a mystic poet-philosopher-artist of the Greater Appalachian unorthodox tradition. He does have an amazing PATREON, but also *normal* ARTIST WEBSITE too.

Tuesday, June 15

SONG OF THE DAY: Twenty Skinny

Working from home, I let the cats spend most of the day outside, but always try to get them in before we leave, or do anything down in the front of the yard, trying to train them to treat the back and woods behind the place as well as the sides and just out front as their full domain (which is a really FULL domain for two cats), and to stay the fuck away from the road. But if we’re going to go somewhere or be gone, I’ll call them in, and generally they’re out there long enough they come running if I call, occasionally even happily leaping into the house as I hold the screen door open.
I should mention how our two cats are. We have a grey tabby named Stella who is like a baby leopard in stomach markings and spirit. She is goofy as fuck, and would stalk bugs and butterflies for seven centuries if I let her. She’s also the one that comes in the last, barely needing inside time, and in fact I often let her sleep on the back porch because she likes it better than all the way inside. Ponyo is a black cat, and has one of the strangest auras of any cat I’ve ever been around. She skip flies onto an 8-foot bookcase in the living room to sleep on top of it, and will strangely show up meowing at me when I’m thinking sad thoughts. I really don’t know how to explain her other than she is something else entirely, like even in the realm of cats being strange, she is STRANGE, but not bad strange, just special strange.
The other day, me and the kids were gonna head out on some errands and goofing off, and I went to call the cats in. It had been hot and they’d been out there for a long ass time, so I knew they’d come running. I opened the screen and did my goofy cadence “KITTY KITTY KITTY” that I learned by osmosis from my younger sister growing up, a weird mountain yodel call to the cats that sounds ridiculous I’m sure if you look over and see this bearded dude jabbering it out the screen door at the world at large. But it works.
The other day, I do this, and immediately here comes Stella bounding from behind the graffiti shed, full baby leopard leaping mode the whole way across 50 feet of yard, through the screen door and porch, into the house. While Stella is coming, about halfway, I see Ponyo peripherally coming from the left, around the house, also leaping in full run. She is about two seconds behind Stella’s pace, and as she rounds the flower garden on that side of the porch, with an old metal goat sculpture, no shit, a spider leaps behind her from the garden. Stella jumps over the steps from the left side and goes through the screen door into the house, AND THE SPIDER LEAPS ONTO THE STEPS THEN SLIDES INTO THE PORCH AS WELL, right past the screen door, behind a recycling bin. It was the weirdest thing – the spider seriously leapt just like the cats, and followed them in the house.
In West African Ashanti culture, Anansi was a spider-trickster that had all the knowledge of the world. Similarly, in Lakota mythology, there was Iktomi, a spider-trickster spirit as well. There are tricksters of various forms in all indigenous cultures not yet bleached by economic colonialism, regardless of continent. There is no way that spider is not some sort of trickster spirit flying up into our house, and yet also this does not scare me, because the way it bounced, there was nothing but joy in its movement. It’s been two days, and I keep waiting for that spider to make itself known again, in some way, but so far as I can tell thus far, nothing beyond the regular extraordinary has happened. It does feel good to know we’ve already cultivated a home environment where silly spider spirits feel excited about coming in and joining us.

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