October 18, 2008

Tribosphere 4

We just heard some very sad news this morning that Shadow, one of the four cats in the tribe we cared for this past spring/summer, has been missing since Wednesday. We all want to help look for him and yet he is thousands of miles away. My daughter is still strongly attached to the tribe. Each night before bed, she includes them in her "sweet thoughts." She made a paper cell phone about one month ago and receives regular "cell phone" messages from all four of them - Pookie, Shadow, Sadie, and McKenzie.

About two weeks ago, she declared Election Day as "National Cat Day" - in honor of President Pookie. For Halloween this year, she decided she wants to be Pookie (so I am busy trying to convert an old grey Heffalump costume that her auntie made her into a cat costume). Although she was probably most attached to Sadie and Pookie, interestingly enough, Shadow "called" her most frequently on her "cell phone." In an odd way, I suppose they became part of our "family." We all hope Shadow has a safe return home. I, for one, have a special place in my heart for him. In short, it appears the Tribosphere is still very much a part of us - and we a part of it.

August 4, 2008

Long live D.W. Winnicott!

Thanks to object relations and the work of Winnicott (1951), we have all come to know a transitional object as occupying a “transitional space" between a mother and child – a replacement object (e.g. often a favorite blanket or cuddly) for the mother-child bond to soothe the child in “the transitional experience" of separation. Two days after the tribe departed, my daughter had the brilliant idea to buy a kitty “cuddly" to remember the tribe. So the next day, we went in search of our transitional object. At first, we found an orange and white tabby cat at our local flower shop. This cat was quickly rejected – as it didn’t remotely resemble any of the four cats in the tribe. But then thanks to our local power house chain, Barnes & Noble, we found several options that looked remarkably similar to the tribe. Two cats were initially purchased – one resembling Pookie and one resembling MacKenzie. But that evening, we all decided that we’d return to our local Barnes & Noble and bring Shadow and Sadie home as well.


Alas, the tribe has returned via transitional objects; long live D.W. Winnicott! While born out of modernist psychodynamic theory, even transitional objects can be postmodern in scope - as we all have multiple realities.

Who would even know the difference?


July 31, 2008


It appears I am not alone in the Tribosphere, as many others are in the tribosphere along with me. There is this vague feeling of being in a Tribosphere-arium – sort of like a planetarium, only there are cats in the sky, not stars. My dear and close friends (here is the website for one family member: have to put their cat, Morrison, to sleep on Monday morning after a long life of fourteen or fifteen years. Yesterday, when I went to the YMCA, there was a delay in getting checked in because the staff person was on the phone trying to handle some problems she was having with her cats. When she hung up, she smiled at me and said, “Problem with my cats." Then last night after a long day of work, we set out to start a Netflix movie; we had two choices: Beowulf, Director’s Cut or Take Care of My Cat – a Korean film by director, Jeong Jae-eun. Needless to say we chose the former.

How do you know when you're in a tribosphere-arium? Well a good clue might be when, instead of thinking of Pot O' Gold Bingo, you think of Pot O' Cats Bingo. Yeah, I would say that is probably a pretty good indicator ...