These six notecards turned up in the gift shop of The Mount, Edith Wharton’s home in the Berkshires.  They’re all from The New Yorker, which means they have nothing to do with Wharton, or The Mount, or its gardens, or my trip to the Berkshires — except that I bought them in The Mount’s shop.

So why were they there? Because Wharton advocated finding happiness in small ways? (See previous post for details.) That would be a very good reason, although it probably isn’t the reason. I’m sure a baker’s dozen of these small pleasures were in the shop because they sell.

They sure got me. When I saw them, I couldn’t not smile. (Of course I also thought, almost at once, “Blog!” Which opened the purse strings even if I’d had more self control.)   My apologies to dog people.  What can I say?  I have cats?  But you know that already.








  1. Judith

    Cats have great comedic skill, don’t you think, Nina? And self esteem! Up the wazoo. I’m sure you noticed that two of your six notecards were Leo Collum’s cartoons and three Mick Stevens’s. You and I share a certain comedic sensibility, I’d say. I also share your love of cats, having lived since early childhood with at least a dozen, each one dear and funny in his or her own way. For your pleasure, here’s Roz Chast’s tribute to Leo Cullum in The New Yorker: (Roz’s graphic novel “Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?” helped get my sister and me through the early agonies of settling our parents into assisted living, a terribly unsettling experience we could use every bit of help with.) And Mick Stevens’s cat cartoons were featured in a few New Yorker Animated Cartoons:,, I hope these links convey. I hope my interest in your blog and your ongoing adventures also conveys, Nina.

    Sent from my iPad

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Judith. The link to Roz Chast’s tribute to Collum did work, after a long pause, and thank you for providing it. I already know Chast’s work, and have the graphic novel you mention, although it appeared after both of my parents had died so it didn’t provide personal help although it certainly gave a great deal of pleasure. The Hulu links require commitment to try a subscription, a thing I’m not eager to further clutter up my digital life with, so I’m holding off on those. But thank you for them anyway. There may be some blog readers who are already Hulu subscribers and will be able freely to click on them. And thank you so much, always, for your interest. Calling my post-Bill life an “ongoing adventure” cheers me up enormously.


  2. I am a sucker for cat cartoons and these are so good and on the money. People are always joking about how they are slaves to their cats but- really we do these things to ourselves. That is a cat’s nature to be finicky about food. When they grow old or are sick they are finicky eaters and of course we are going to make sure that our cat/s eat. After all every thing that lives must have food.

    I think that I commented on one of your posts last year or maybe months ago. Life has been coming at me fast and furious and the person who has had to bear it alone – seeing about my sis and dealing with Medicare and then Medicaid and all her MDs appointments and so on.

    But I have cats that have helped me cope and to keep me on my feet. Some cats are old and one has cancer that I have managed first with a chemo med and then had to stop the chemo for it was ruining his kidneys. He has been on hemp oil for the past 8 months or so but before that I gave him hemp oil to help control the nausea from the chemo.

    Have you seen the Simon cartoons on You Tube? If not, check them out. Simon the cat is pretty funny and cute.


    • Cats do help us through the hard parts of life. I hope your sick cat is not in pain. Think of it this way: He’s lucky to have such a caring and loving person as you in his life, just as you’ve been lucky to have him to care for and love. Not having a living creature to love is truly lonely..

      Liked by 2 people

      • No, he’s not in pain. He has lymphoma and he gets hemp oil and a 2.5mg of Prednisolone every other day. He purrs and grooms himself and I’m fortunate that he is still with me. The chemo helped for some time but I had to stop giving it to him since his kidneys were beginning to fail.


  3. Rita Stewart

    Oh what we cat lovers will do for our beloveds–I am now catless, and the tug towards getting one rears its ugly head
    periodically. Having nursed my last cat (who made it to 23!) through diabetes, giving her insulin shots every day, checking her urine, and occasionally resuscitating her from a diabetic coma with a eyedropper of honey—that gives me paws…but the cartoons were great…do you remember the Kliban cats?

    Liked by 1 person

    • 23 years is a good long run, Rita. Even if your last years with your last cat give you “paws” (I hope that was intentional) — just think: When the urge for another arises, will you really live out her (or his) 23 years? [I can ask this with confidence as I know how old you are.]. Yield to any such urges! In the flesh, a cat is such a comfort in one’s, um, declining years. And your son or daughter will lovingly wield the honey, give the shots, or whatever afterwards, thinking of all the pleasure the cat offered their darling mom.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ruth Resnikoff

    This is a wonderful and comforting blog, Nina – and even if I did not know you personally, I would enjoy, and be moved by it.
    When I visited cousins in Australia, I told them I missed my cat move than my adult daughters. They do not curl up next to me in bed, or purr on my lap. Cousins did not understand. I know you will. R


    • And yours is a wonderful and comforting comment, Ruth. I am always cheered when someone I really know, non-virtually, reads something I posted here and actually likes it. Of course I understand about missing the cat on one’s travels more than the long-gone-from-the-home grown-up children. Ah, that deep rumbling purr of pleasure. There’s nothing quite like it.


  5. Loved the cards… and it was just the push I needed to read something of Wharton, and author I had missed in my enthusiasm for American writing, years ago. As for cats and old age, I have to admit that I often mutter ‘never again’ when I am worried about my dear companion… but I don’t really know. I take life day by day… sometimes hour by hour.


    • Which Wharton book did you choose to read, Shimon? And did you like it? As for your dear companion, I often have the same thoughts, although I have two and they are (probably) younger than yours. My guess is that if I became bereft of both, I would find another, probably not a kitten but not a very old cat, either. One of my children or grandchildren would take care of it after I go. Dealing with life day by day is not a bad idea…..


      • The two others which are most renowned are “The House of Mirth” and (the one we all had to read in high school) “Ethan Frome.” However, I think you began with the best of them. In any event, I’m not a big Wharton fan. She does write well (which is why she is sometimes linked with Henry James, although in my view he is the far superior writer and analyst of the human heart). But I have little sympathy for the struggles of her characters against the constrictions of their class and era, neither of which ever applied to me. (I am somewhat self-serving in my reading, as you can see.). However, follow up where you will. It would be hard for me to predict through your eyes what you might like. 🙂


      • I appreciate your comment, Nina. I too am self serving in my reading, especially when I’m reading fiction. I’ve learned much of other cultures and other peoples in my travels, and in reading, both fiction and non fiction. I’m convinced that not so long ago, there were great differences between societies. Often I encountered the view that life is like a dream… or that our awareness of life can be the examination of a bubble within a bubble. I can understand that this book could easily be considered a story of the limitations that organized society inflicts on the individual, but I also saw it as a tale of human folly; our capacity to lead ourselves and others astray. What most fascinated me was the description of extreme human emotions. Where there was no free love, longing itself seemed to be a vital activity. I’ll read more.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Florence Gellman

    You do have considerable wit and writing talent for this blogging stuff, as well as for more literary achievement. I also do admire what entertainment you picked up in that bookstore while I rested my old bones waiting for you in the sunshine. It was a pleasure sharing the Berkshire experience with you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, it was a pleasure, perhaps even more for me than for you — as you were the one who drove us up there and then back again. So welcome to “The Getting Old Blog,” Florence; I hope you will discover it is often something more than “this blogging stuff.” (Although I admit cat cartoons might lead you to think that.) It’s true many of the more recent posts do begin lightly enough, but they seem to have touched on significantly deeper “stuff” by the time you’re done reading them — so that they become almost what you might term “literary achievement.” (At least I hope so.) Anyway, I’m glad you signed on for the reading experience. I hope you continue to enjoy it.


  7. I love the tiger poem quote! Our tabby Ziggy thinks he is a tiger, I swear! I love cats – we have three (as well as two bunnies) and they keep us permanently entertained! I have a poetry blog here on WordPress in case you have time to look? Have an energising afternoon! Sam 🙂


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