Character Specific Time

I remember it as if it were a meal ago.

I love the literary technique of describing a period of time in a character specific way. Unique to each individual object, Time is the fingerprint of physical existence. A fitting measure can show inner qualities of whatever that period of time refers to.

The speaker of the quote is a street cat. What better way is there to explain a cat’s idea of time than by when their last meal was? But the depth of information doesn’t end there. The quote is a twist of a common phrase that goes something like I remember it as if it were last week or yesterday. This is a take on an expression that is meant for a long ago memory that is easily remembered, casting it in the vivid spotlight of significance. The comparison of the memory with some event that has happened recently and happens frequently, here, reveals something about the cat that cannot be shown simply by explanation with representative words, not including the cat’s proper name.

So, this meal was recent. And any ally cat that eats recently and frequently, so much that they can refer to it offhandedly as a measure for other recent events, is a particularly slick stray cat. That is exactly what this cat is, and more…all understood by this one reference to meals.

I think this can even apply to certain people’s character. I know some who’s characters are shown very clearly by what makes them impatient.    


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