A Laudation of my Pangur Bán

Dear Cat,

From the moment I found you wandering around my apartment dumpster I knew I would be stuck with you for life. I resented the canny sparkle in your wild blue eyes because I knew those eyes would stare up at me every day for the rest of your life. I tried to part with you; I tried to find you a better human. I wanted you to have a human who had ample space for you to run, and perhaps feline friends with which you could dance like delicate devils. But here we are almost 2 years later, the same hot summer blazing in full force outside as we tolerate existence in my cluttered, climate controlled apartment.

I’m getting pretty used to explaining your name to others. I have yet to meet anyone who responds with, “Oh; Pangur Bán. The scribe’s cat.” If I ever do I might propose marriage on the spot. Even though you are no longer that tiny, white kitten I brought into my home that summer, you are still my Pangur Bán. As I sit typing this I realize how lucky I am that you have grown into such beautiful beast. My life would be empty without your perfectly pink nose poking around the corner every time I open a door. Sacrificing my security deposit for your wanton destruction of property will be worth every penny.


Cat, you came into my life at the perfect time. If you hadn’t been there for me when I fell victim to my own darkness I would have been lost. Your consistent 5 am whining reminded me that, incommodiously, I was not alone.

Thank you Pangur Bán, my friend, my eternal companion, for continuing to bring me joy, malice, astonishment, virulence, and love intermittently. And unexpectedly. I don’t know how I would ever get any writing done without you to distract and remind me that there is a world outside my head.

Pangur Bán and I at work,
Adepts, equals, cat and clerk.
You, cat, are my equal and my confidant. I love you, and I hate what you do to my furniture. I have gotten through these past two years living in this apartment with you by my side and I look forward to many more.
-Your Clerk.


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Quote from Seamus Heaney’s translation of “Pangur Bán.”






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