A Little Cat Butter In Your Eye

…was often heard around my house by my grandmother upon waking up.

She spoke in smooth riddles, and expected many of us visitors to decipher and encode her meanings, word connections, and  concocted at any given notice. She even walked with a twist and a thump that made you want to follow her around every bend, dancing in between her shadows and asking permission to see more.

She was a dancer in a former life, and a laymaker in this present one. She doubts all but carefully gives new meaning to the words I am when the mood find her.

It’s the nature of who she is that carries the world in its orbital place. It’s also a guessing game she plays with life that makes us question her place.

“You got a little cat butter in your eye boy…”, she would say as I pulled at the past night’s tug to lure me back to sleep.

She always knew the ins and outs of what could bother you, and when you stepped too far off the ledge, she whispered you back with a true quickness.

It was in these moments that I found clarity in knowing my time on this Earth will be worthwhile, feeling, and in tune with the pace of every other person around me.

M.C. Davis

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2 thoughts on “A Little Cat Butter In Your Eye

  1. Where was your grandmother from, my brother? I’m a 77-year-old native of Marshall, Texas, and my grandparents and my parents all used “cat butter” and so do I. It was only about five years ago that I found out that, when white folk say, “I wiped the sleep from my eyes,” what they’re really trying to say is,”I wiped the cat butter from my eyes.” But you write as though you don’t use “cat butter,” yourself. What do you say, instead? “Sleep,” like white folk?

    • Thank you so much for your response! My apologies for just responding, but yes, my grandmother was from South Carolina. So, not quite like Texas, but definitely southern roots. Both my grandmother and grandfather spoke of cat butter, especially early in the morning. All of us cousins took to that name and laughed at the sound of that phrase each time my grandparents used it. So, yes…I use cat butter all the time because honestly, whenever I decide to have children, I would want them to laugh at me the same way my cousins and I laughed with my grandparents.

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