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GOOGLING NOODLE
February 18, 2006
 
Let's see how famous you are, I said to Noodle, who was curled up in the armchair in my office. I typed in "Noodle Crafton."

Wow, I said, you've got 998 listings. Noodle stared into the middle distance and did not respond. I chose to take this as a sign of great interest, and scrolled through the listings to see what, exactly, Noodle is famous for. But the results were disappointing; only a few of them were about our Noodle. The rest were recipes.

Well, I consoled, I know many cats who have no listings at all. But perhaps I was talking more to myself than to Noodle, whose indifference knew no bounds. So I Googled What's-Her-Name and got a page of listings, almost all of them hers. I realized immediately that the paucity of overall listings was because there are no casseroles calling for What's-Her-Name as an ingredient.

So Noodle's raw numbers are better, but What's-Her-Name has better percentages. I looked around for her to share the good news; she was outside, sitting on the hood of the car. The cats don't seem to care how they're doing on the Internet.

Or anywhere else, for that matter. What's up with Noodle? Trapper asked last night at dinner. She usually comes to sit in my lap, but I haven't seen her for weeks. True: she always comes down to see who's visiting and to say hello, but lately she's been ignoring the doorbell, choosing instead to remain curled up on the bed in the India Room. And she's always been the first one downstairs in the morning for breakfast. Not anymore: she comes down late, and only finishes half her breakfast before asking to go outside. Noodle's psychic energy is directed inward these days, it seems. She needs space to think her own thoughts. Noodle is becoming more contemplative.

I've always wanted to meet you! I gushed to Thomas Keating the first time we met.

And I've always wanted to meet you, he said kindly. Thomas Keating didn't know me from Adam. His Google listings must go on for miles, and I doubt that any of them are recipes. But then, I don't think he cares how he's doing, either.

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