I went into the local agricultural supplies store to buy cat food and the guy looked up and said “¿pienso?”.
I’ll admit I was sorely tempted to reply, “lo dudo” as he’s not the brightest crayon in the box: he’s more the sort who “just sits” without much in the way of thinking going on. (That was meant as a reference to “sometimes I sits and thinks, and then again I just sits.”, but now I’ve added a photo, I find that “I have a Gumbie Cat in mind”. Hmm. Tangents are fun things.)
Anyway, he really meant pienso as a noun – alimento para el ganado. Well, I’d never thought of our semi-ferals as livestock, but there’s certainly a small herd of them. (And, as the guy in the EDS advert says, “Herding cats? don’t let anybody tell you it’s easy.”)
Incidentally, I thought of labelling the picture as gato pardo (‘pardo’ being delightfully defined by the RAE as ‘Del color de la tierra, o de la piel del oso común, intermedio entre blanco y negro, con tinte rojo amarillento, y más oscuro que el gris.’ and translated by Google rather more prosaically as ‘brown’) but didn’t want to get it confused with a gatopardo which would be rather larger than the feline in the photo.
My original intention when I started this was to write about thoughts, not cats, but, as I said, tangents are fun. Still, it was the guy saying pienso that triggered the post.
I studied French for five years in school, so was able to rely on a small store of vocabularly when I started to learn Spanish as an adult. It wasn’t difficult, then, to realise that pensar was penser: ‘to think’. Later though, when I discovered that the Spanish know pansies as pensamientos, I experienced a happy moment of linguistic discovery when things suddenly fell into place: a pansy is a pensée, presumably, – “there is pansies, that’s for thoughts”, as Ophelia says.
If only I’d had a photo of a pansy, I might not have been so distracted writing this. Still, it is the internet, and cats are probably more popular than thoughts.
As for me, I’m a poet: I think, therefore Iambic.