The Pussy Cat Nuns and the Little Hex Kitten

O, Readrrr. O, O, O, Ow Readpurr.

It’s time we talked about the strange and enchanted, folkloric and spiritual, relationship between nuns and cats. I’ve waited a long time to address this subject, Readrrr, but the cat’s about to get out of the bag real fast so bunch those granny apple panties into a rhododendron and prepare to regress back into the high-waisted Hanes-wearin’ prude you were at thirty two.

I’m going with a no-holds-barred approach. Why? Because I love nuns and I love their pussy cats. And because something really awful happened at the abbey this week that has caused me to rethink my approach to being a nun spy and a journalist for The Sapphic Times (the volunteer gig for which I was originally enlisted).

The awful thing that happened last week is that The Vat gave that anus-table of a priest, F. Danno, an extension on his stay at the Shabby Abbey. As if things aren’t BAD enough around here, now we have to deal with his presence for even longer. Our letters of protest and our nun signatures have gone (n)unheard. (Big fat Greek wedding surprise there!)

To make matters worse, The Vat increased F. Danno’s liberties over the convent and, as part of this increase in power, gave him the right to search our rooms, which essentially means we have no privacy here and have to be ten times more creative than we already were in order to evade his constant surveillance. He has already been in to check my panty drawer eighty nine times (just this morning) for “contraband.” Who gets to check his underwear drawer? Not that anyone would want to but I swear, that crapscallion stole six pairs of my lace panties. I’ve been saving those lace panties since high school. I had been saving them for my graduation from probation and now they are locked in F. Danno’s nunderwear coffin. Whatever will I do. (Get them back: that’s what I’ll do.)

Aside from my grief over the temporary loss of the dream of getting to dance around in my high school panties outside of the abbey, his newfound surveillance powers are not all that different than they were before. He cannot control the truth or misconstrue it anymore than he already has. Plus, I’m a thousand times more clever than him and his petty intellect doesn’t stand a chance up against mine (after all: I learned all I know from the nuns and they are the sources of high intelligence here on earth).

The truth, not the F. Danno “truth,” but the Sapphic Holy Truth, will get out there, and soon the nuns will be redeemed and delivered from the life-sentence of serving under a corrupt dicktator. Now don’t get me wrong; I don’t want that dope sniffing around where his nose doesn’t belong, but there are two things I find reassuring in all of this. 1) His nose is actually defunct. He has no sense of smell. Not one based in the reality most people share, at least. It was one of his many birth defects. He doesn’t know about it, however. His mother told him he could smell since he was a young brat(wurst), so he grew up thinking he could smell. The medical term for his condition is “Phantom Olfaction Syndrome.” 2) He’s too dopey to actually catch a nun “in the act” (what act? the sistrrr act?). No nun is going to leave her “contraband” out in the open for F. Danno to confiscate!

What nun would be stupid enough to leave her chastity belt off of her, anyway? That would be way too risky. We all wear them now. We know what a sadist rapist F. Danno is. He is completely impotent, in brain and body, but he likes to see the nuns in pain and so when he rapes them, he uses household objects, mostly wine bottles, because that’s what he hoards. I could not believe this either, Readrrr! As soon as I arrived at this convent, I used the last forty-six hundred dollars I had to my name to buy a set of forty-six German chastity belts from the early 17th century, and I gifted them to the nuns. The nuns never take them off. They wear their panties snugly underneath the belts. And I hold the mistress key. You see, I protect my nuns from harm, and I keep that key in, Readrrr, a place no one will ever find it.

So back to the no-holds-barred Holy Kitty party. The scatological origins of the nun-pussy connection began, strangely enough, with Ella Fitzgerald. In 1956, long after the advent of many a Telefunken form of radio, the nuns were finally introduced to radio sound for the first time. The Vat would not allow the nuns to be exposed to the radio until that year, and it was this first exposure to the crackle and pop of radio waves and record sounds that tuned the nuns in to the extra terrestrial cries of the cat.

The first song the nuns ever heard on the radio was Ella Fitzgerald’s “Satin Doll.” The version of the song that they heard does not feature many words in English, purr say, and is, instead, comprised of sounds that are a bit foreign-sounding, or (n)un-human-sounding, to the untrained ear. These sounds, which form a beautiful melody and can only be communicated successfully by a genius vocal artist, are what jazz musicians and listeners refer to as “scat.” To most humans, scat is nonsensical. But to the nuns, these sounds make purrfect sense and are, therefore, nunsensical.

The nuns, at the time that they first heard “Satin Doll,” had been looking for a way to communicate without The Vat taking notice or being able to understand them. They had been forced into silence over the years and barely knew how to communicate anymore, especially with one another. And then a miracle occurred and one of the priests brought in a radio to the abbey. Ella Fitzgerald, The Queen of Scat, taught the silent nuns how to speak again. She gave them the voices they had lost over years of suffering and hardship. They started by just listening to her sounds. For two years, they listened intently, almost doing nothing else, but could not yet utter a word. They were learning language. Not the language of the church. Not the language of priests. Scat. The language of the nuns. They would gesture to the sounds, and began signing to one another.

I cannot give you all of the details from the Arch Diocesan Nun-abridged Dictionary of Scat-Language. You can order a copy for yourself off of Scamazon.com if you’re really bent on studying it, but I’ll give you a few hints.

First, the language is based on syllables– the placement and arrangement of syllables as well as the pronunciation and tone of syllables. The combination of each of these factors determines the meaning of a given scat symbol, and the reverse is also true: meanings determine factors, too. It is a high aural and oral art, but there are also physical gestures associated with each scat symbol, and every one correlates in some way to the movements and nuanced behaviors of cats. I’ll get to the cats later; right now: focus on the scat.

Let’s start at the very beginning and take, for instance, your standard ‘do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti, do’. Yes, quick reminder: it is said that “when you read, you begin with A-B-C” and “when you sing you begin with Do-Re-Mi”. I mention this not out of some kind of insistence of the assimilatory Edelweissification of language but, rather, to point out that there are many different ways of communicating. You can learn to read, for example, outside of the “A-B-Cs” and you can even learn to sing outside of the “Do-Re-Mis”. And you can even learn to read by singing and learn to sing by misreading. All sorts of wayward things can happen with communication, can’t they! And mishaps in communication can sometimes lead to breakthroughs. Which is what has happened on many occasions with the nuns, who don’t have the easiest time communicating.

It is not the scat sound that determines the meaning but the nun’s nuanced and particular use of the scat sound. The nun creates the meaning, and, therefore, creates the symbol, for they are nun and the same. And it is a language created in action. It is not set in stone anywhere but is mobile everywhere. Ever shifting shapes and only accessible to nuns. It’s both an open-access and closed-access language because its development created access between the nuns and simultaneously protected them from the outside world. Anyone who hears the nuns using scat will think they are just doing terrible, terrible impressions of Ella. What most would fail to recognize is that the nuns are engaging in highly advanced, intelligent, profound, erotic, glorious, and holy communication: Nunspeak. Some might say it’s witchcraft (I don’t believe this cauldron was here in 1956, but you never know; it does have a rather vintage, or maybe time-traveling, look to it). But, to be hexact, Readrrr, and to tell you the tRuth: Nunspeak happened in a backlash against Newspeak. It is a survivalist language. The nuns had to create Nunspeak because the Vat insisted on Vatspeak, a form of 1984ian Newspeak. On, or um: in, other words, the Vat would only allow the nuns to speak their dumbed down Vatspeak language, and they took away all the literary devices from the nuns in an attempt to rape them of their literacy and cliteracy. The nuns could not let the Vat get away with this and so, in retailiation, we came up with Nunspeak. We worked with whatever we could, whatever had slipped through the Vat’s radar, in order to communicate with one another and defy the Vat’s authority. Nunspeak was was born of difficult circumstances, but the nuns have made it work.

Take one little scat sound– ‘Lo’, for instance. ‘Lo’ can mean many things in scat. A simple pairing of one consonant and one vowel to an average linguist means little to nothing, but to a nun there is a world of possibility contained in the meeting of the “L” and the “O” on the tongue.

The Nunspeak Scat Method of (Meowsic) Reading and Communicating relies on a deep ability to sense sound and to visualize it. The nuns start out with a pairing like “Lo” that they hear and can repeat. Then they study every reference to the syllable “Lo” that they can gets their nun paws on and that crosses their cognitive path. They begin the active practice of “spotting Los” by seeing every “Lo” syllable where they had not seen it before. They do this because they have decided mutually upon a significance and meaning for the term in advance. And then, over time, they develop a long list of appropriated meanings for the scat syllable “Lo” that are dependent on pitch, tone, volume, and speed. If they clip a hushed “Lo” with their tongues or scream a high pitched “Lo” on repeat, for instance, they do so for potentially very different reasons but they always do so with LO-ve. A mute “Lo” might be the baseline. But when given meaning, via nun intentions, variations in sound are created. Not everyone can hear it, but the nuns can. In fact, the nuns can see it. And taste it. And touch it. That’s how the nuns play. Their senses are all interchangeable. They hear taste. They see touch. They taste sound. This allows them to work around a lot of normative barriers (celibacy, for instance– would you believe me if I told you a nun can taste an orgasm in her foot and give another nun an orgasm using only her eyebrow?!).

But back to “Lo”. The nuns came to “Lo” via Nabokov, but I am saving that story for another day. There are at least two thousand forms of “Lo” and all are connected by their (c)literary origin beneath the surface. On the surface, however, the sky’s the limit. They can mean anything. And they do. The nuns read slowly. The nuns hear slowly. The nuns speak slowly. The nuns sing slowly. They are conveying meaning. S-LO-W-LY.

The nuns developed their method by listening carefully to Ella. And then they applied it to scat sounds that they themselves devised. And so now you know: Jazz is the livelihood of the nuns. Without jazz, the nuns would be back in the dark ages, unable to speak to one another. They will never go back again.

And now, Readrrr, we arrive at the cat portion of the scat rant. The moment you’ve been waiting on paws and furry knees for. The big nun-pussy reveal.

I hope I won’t disappoint you but I can only tell you a little bit about that right now. I had planned to tell you the whole thing but as I was about to tell you about my pussy cat nuns, F. Danno burst into my room wearing my white lace panties and shaking his scaly ass to a ramped up, sassy version of Adele’s “Hello”. He knows the nuns hate the damn song but he’s obsessed with trying to turn Adele songs into disco classics, so what can ya do. I’m so sorry, Readrrr, I am just too distracted now. I’ll never get the horrific sight of those crusty hairs sticking through my lace high school panties out of my mind. And the stench. The stench. That sight will produce a terrible olfactory memory for years to come. I’ve told him to shove off and he’s in some other unfortunate nun’s room right now repeating his broken record.

Though I cannot show you the depths of the nun-cat relationship tonight, because F. Danno stuck his nose into our business, literally, I will at least give you a glimpse into the relationship.

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Here’s your glimpse into the relationship.
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Here’s your other glimpse into the relationship.

Quickly, and I promise to dish out more later:

When the nuns began scatting with Ella, stray cats from all over came to the abbey and the nuns soon realized that they, too, could speak scat. You see, nuns and cats speak the same language. When the nuns discovered this, they went into what one might call a “pussy riot” and the abbey turned into PussyCat Central. If you’ve heard of “crazy cat ladies,” they are nothing compared to “crazy cat nuns.” The nuns recognize that they are part-pussycat and that the feline in them is to be honored. And the cats recognize that the nuns have their backs (sometimes the nuns realize that the cats have their backs, too, but that’s between the sheets, the nuns, the cats, and the sacks!).

Soon after ‘the 1956 Great Onslaught of Pussy’ at the abbey, there was a great tragic turn of events: the nuns discovered that they were nearly all allergic to cats (except for Sistrrr Springer — yeah; her brother is the Jerry of whom you’re thinking!). When all of the nuns swelled up like whoopee cushions and stopped breathing while fondling their purring pussycats, something drastic had to be done. A barrier had to be erected between the nuns and the cats. This was too much for the nuns. They were sick for years over it. Finally, they resolved to love their little pussies from afar, and so they created a glass sanctuary for their pussies across the yard, where they could always see them, admire them, and scat to and with them, night and day. They placed Sistrrr Brunhilde Springer in charge of The ‘Our Lavender Lady of the Pussy’ Shelter, and so now she lives there, tending the needs of the cats, twenty-five hours a day, speaking only in scat, purrforming her holy duty.

The nuns are jazz cats but Sistrrr B. Springer is probably the jazziest of all (just ask her to show you ‘jazz paws’).

(Sistrrr Springer and I sing this song across the yard to each other every Spring!)

You might be interested in knowing how I, the little probationary nun, fit into this jazz cat nunnery scene. Well, when I came to the convent, not so long ago, the nuns told me of their tragic love story with the cats. I felt for them, deeply, and wanted to cheer them up. So one night, I surprised them by using my eyeliner pencils to turn myself into a little tiger cat. I did the whole thing in front of them; they watched me apply the liner and were amazed. They said, “Look at that fierce little tiger. Oooo! Scary!” Yep, I showed them how scary I could be. Rawr! Then, when they called to me, “Come here you little pussy-cat! You terrrrrifying little tiger, you!”, I crawled to them on all fours and let them pet and tame me while I made a lot of different kitty sounds. Readrrr, do you know what they did? They began to scat again! After all those years of sadness and silence!

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I serve as Ferocious Night Guard, keeping F. Danno out of the nuns’ rooms!

And that is how I became The Abbey Cat: the one and only cat to the nuns. Each nun has her own pet name for me, and I answer to all of them, but as far as breed is concerned: I am what is (nun)known as a ‘hex kitten’. In order to nunderstand what that means you need to understand ‘hex’ but the kitten part is simple enough– it comes from my probational side of the family. Though I sag and stretch and wrinkle like any professional hag, there is still something kitten-like about me that only happens when the nuns scat to and feed me. The fishmonger nuns love feeding their hex kitten– all the best fresh catches around, all day and night, all season long. They all like to stroke me, too, and scat to me in different ways, and I appreciate all of them. And they all love it when I come and spend the night in their rooms. Because then they can play with me, and be touchy-feely without anyone seeing, and watch me play with their toys, and feed me in their nun beds. They are so affectionate with me. They love me too much sometimes. In fact, they often fight over me.

Just last week, Sistrrr Hunny had dibs on me but Sistrrr Panthur decided she had to have me, and being the big time PRANK-STIR she is, she stole me out of Hunny’s room and hid me under her soft pink cloak. Hunny was bestial when she learned that someone had stolen her “Little Beauty” from her room. She had been planning to let me play with all my favorite toys on her brand new water bed (the only reason she was allowed this is because she is the 24/hour on-call abbey nurse) and she was not gonna have some spry Sistrrr coming in and taking what was hers for the night! Me(ow)! So she burst into Sistrrr Panthur’s cell growling and showing off all her sharp pearly whites like a beatific bear. Panthur pounced on me and buried me beneath her to hide me. I let out a kitty cry from underneath her terroirtorial thigh, where my mouth happened to find itself caught. Before the two of them could tear each other to nun shreds, I had them both pinned down on the bed, giggling. I assured them that there is plenty of me(ow) to go around. I gave Panthur a loving kitty wink and a nod (she knew just what I meant), and then I put Hunny on her leash and took her back to my new water bed. Oh, just teasing, Readrrr! I would never put leashes on a nun; the nuns put leashes on me(…ow!… just part of being a hex kitten). The nuns do have very different preferences in felinery. Some like a silver-gray kitty, some like a golden-orange kitty: however, I take care of feline preferences in the nuns. I accommodate all of the nuns’ cat wishes and come in catstume accordingly.

It’s not a job I ever expected to have at the abbey, but I like it. A lot. It’s nice being the only pussy-cat around this place. I’m in high demand. And you know who demands me the most? Head MoFo.

F. Danno doesn’t know about my job as the abbey pussy-cat; the nuns keep it on the down-Lo. I didn’t go into it with spying at the front of my mind, but I mean it when I tell you: I have learned more than I ever did in college by playing a satin doll pussy for the nuns.

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Don’t be scared, Readrrr; despite my big rawr, I’m generally a congenial little tiger kitty.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. andrewjsacks says:

    I would comment–but the cat got my tongue.

    Like

  2. John H Curry says:

    A flower is a lovesome thing. How beautiful. Billy Strayhorn. His was a strange and tragic life. There’s always more. I fact there’s never enough.

    Like

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