By Diane Batshaw Eisman, M.D. FAAP Doctor Eisman is in Family Practice in Aventura, Florida with her partner, Dr. Eugene Eisman, an internist/cardiologist
Renpet is one of my feline cousins. We are allowed to state that she is a retired CIA person. I say “person” because none of us in the Curmudgeon household has any idea of what she did at the agency. She says she is retired. However, there are times when she disappears, usually into dark cars and accompanied by men and women in dark suits.
We ask no questions.
It was a lovely morning, with the sun streaming into our kitchen. Such a pleasant way to begin our weekend, as we sipped coffee, chatted and watched Renpet’s two adorable nieces chase each other around the floor.
We enjoy having the youngsters in our home. They frequently spend time with us on weekends and school holidays. Their parents have to travel occasionally for work. And it presents us with opportunities to spend time with these bright kittens.
As with any youngsters, when their parents are away, they feel entitled to stay up as late as they want.
Renpet told us about their fascination with crocodiles and how she solved it last night as she successfully tucked them into bed.
I asked my cousin to be a guest columnist for today as the kittens’ bedtime story was intriguing.
Thank you so much, my biped cousin!
Being kittens, they often resist their bedtime. These energetic youngsters need regular hours and adequate sleep.
And in my entire career, I have never experienced more difficult times than dealing with cranky kittens with too little sleep.
Lately, the youngsters have become fixated on crocodiles. We have grave concerns that, living in Florida, they might attempt to search out these dangerous creatures.
In the hopes of satiating their desire to learn, I told them a story about a different kind of crocodile.
This crocodile tale was about Sobekneferu. She was one of the few female pharaohs in Ancient Egypt.
The kittens were happy to hear about her, because she was known as the Crocodile Queen.
It was customary for pharaohs to choose the name by which they would rule.
Sobekneferu was a strong, confident woman and she wanted a name that embodied those qualities.
And so she took Sobek as the first part of her name.
Sobek was an Egyptian god with the head of a crocodile and was recognized as the lord of crocodiles. This god was not only associated with fertility, but he was a divine being of great strength who had created order in the universe. He was not an evil deity as he protected Egyptians from crocodiles and had created the River Nile
Neferu means “beauty.”
And so her name meant beautiful crocodile. The kittens were happy to learn that crocodiles were considered to be very mysterious. But by discussing Sobek and the need for protection from crocodiles, they finally understood how dangerous they were.
She only ruled for a little under four years; but Sobekneferu was considered a very good leader.
I told my nieces that we know very little about her, but what evidence we have found refers to her as being a strong pharaoh. It is unfortunate that many records of her reign have not survived.
Sobekneferu is of great historical importance a she is the first female to be a ruler of Egypt, completely in her own right.
In her time, it was unusual as she took great pride in ruling as a woman. Previous female pharaohs felt the need to disguise themselves; and appeared in male garments.
Although there have been depictions of her wearing male clothing; Sobekneferu has also been portrayed wearing a combination of male and female garb and crowns, in order to appease Egyptians who found it difficult to be ruled by a woman.
There have been other accounts of women being the first pharaoh, but this enigmatic crocodile queen has been noted as a traditional pharaoh, who was an excellent leader and ruled without portraying herself as a man and using female pronouns to identify herself.
And as far as my rambunctiously beloved nieces were concerned, they have become bored with crocodiles and we await with baited breath their next obsession.
Dr. Curmudgeon suggests “Bitter Medicine”, Dr. Eugene Eisman’s story of his experiences–from the humorous to the intense—as a young army doctor serving in the Vietnam War.
Bitter Medicine by Eugene H. Eisman, M.D. –on Amazon
Doctor Curmudgeon® is Diane Batshaw Eisman, M.D., a physician-satirist. This column originally appeared on SERMO, the leading global social network for doctors.
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