“Killing the cat the first night” – a story.


“… on the night of our marriage, when my wife and I were alone at last in our room, a cat happened to jump into our room through the window, whereupon I became very angry, unsheathed my sword and cut off his head for daring to intrude into the privacy of our bedroom. This had a very salutary effect on my wife. She evidently felt that if a poor cat could be dealt with in so harsh a manner just for an unwelcome appearance, she too would meet with a similar fate if she crossed me in anything. That incident burned itself so firmly into her memory that from that day onward she has become a model wife”. The elder brother-in-law now felt that he had fully understood the secret of taming a shrew, and therefore immediately hit upon the following plan.
That very night he caused a cat to be thrown into their bedroom, and when the unfortunate creature began to run around in considerable confusion, he unsheathed his sword and raised it in front of the frightened animal. But before he could strike the fatal blow his wife snatched the sword from his hands, scolded him roundly for his insane behavior, and threatened to have him locked up in the mad house.
The poor man was more distraught and confused than ever, and the next morning he rushed to his brother-in-law in secret and unfolded the events of the previous night. “How come, dear brother-in-law, the trick worked in your case, but the termagant in my house remains impervious to it?” The worthy gave him a sympathetic look and replied, “My dear man, you must kill the cat on the first night.” In effect, he was saying that it is not enough to wear the mask of a man, you have to be one.
………………………………………………………………
… “la noche de nuestra boda, cuando por fin mi esposa y yo nos quedamos solos en la habitación, un gato entró repentinamente por la ventana; me puse tan furioso que desenvainé mi espada y corté su cabeza por haber osado disturbar la privacidad de nuestra habitación. Esto tuvo un efecto muy saludable en mi esposa. Evidentemente ella pensó que si un pobre gato puede ser tratado de ese modo solamente por aparecer inesperadamente, ella misma podría toparse con algo similar si llegara a contradecirme en algo. Ese incidente se grabó tan indeleblemente en su memoria que desde aquel día ha sido una esposa modelo.” El cuñado de más edad pensó entonces que había entendido el secreto de cómo domar a una (shrew) “fierecilla”, e inmediatamente tramó un plan.
Esa misma noche hizo que arrojaran un gato en su dormitorio, y cuando el desafortunado animal empezó a correr por la estancia totalmente confuso y espantado, él desenfundó su espada y la alzó delante del aterrorizado animal. Pero antes de que pudiera asestar el golpe fatal, su esposa arrebató la espada de sus manos, le dio una sonada bronca por su comportamiento insensato, y amenazó con llevarle para que le encerraran en un manicomio.
El pobre hombre quedó más confuso y afligido que nunca, y a la mañana siguiente se presentó en secreto en casa de su cuñado y le relató lo que había ocurrido la noche anterior. “¿Cómo es posible, querido cuñado, que el truco de que me hablaste funcionó en tu caso, mientras que la fiera que tengo en casa permanece impermeable a todo?” El susodicho le miró compasivamente y respondió: “Pero hombre, es que tienes que matar al gato la primera noche.” Es como si le hubiera dicho que no es suficiente asumir la pose de un hombre, sino serlo en verdad. (El título del cuento: ‘Matar al gato la primera noche’, pero pensé que… )

About amartingarcia

General surgeon (retired). Studied Western philosophy at U of Toronto. Afterwards interest turned to advaita vedanta and non-duality for past 20 yrs, plus a long interlude in Sufism coinciding with that period. Now contributing in ’Advaita Vision’ with regular posts and discussions.
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