Making life purrfect
Hey there, folks. I’d love for us to have a proper introduction, but the largely furless giant who sprung me from my cell down at the Newton jail last week still hasn’t given me a name. So, I guess you’ll just have to call me what he does: cat.
It’s not like I haven’t named him. I call him “Meow,” and I’ve found he’s pretty well-trained — even though they say you can’t train humans all that well.
Whenever I say his name, particularly if I’m standing over an empty bowl around lunch time, he tends to come running. He’ll even come when I want to play — particularly if I say his name while batting around something he likes to play with on a tabletop. Pens and paperclips he might not always come for until after I relocate them to the floor. But cans that still have pop in them? If I speak his name while batting one of them around, he’ll come pick me up as fast as can be.
I kind of miss some of the other inmates from my old jail. Actually, it wasn’t such a bad place. Yes, they kept us behind bars most of the day, but they also would let us out into a room that doubled as an exercise yard, especially when other mainly furless giants would come by and one-by-one bail us out of prison.
I particularly liked playing with a cute little girl who’s all black, not a black mackerel tabby boy like me. She’s a wild lady. I enjoyed romping with her, though not in the hay, if you get my drift. Before they would let us out of prison, largely furless giants in white coats took care of us ever having thoughts of settling down and having our own family.
I’m learning a lot about the largely furless giant I now live with. He loves to make a sound something like this — “No!” — whenever I gnaw on any of those long plastic-covered strings that plug into the wall and various lights and other magic boxes he has around his house.
I’ve learned that, like me, he occasionally likes to play with mice — though what he calls a mouse, sitting in front of one of his magic windows, doesn’t really look or smell like one. He’s also not much for sharing. If I grab onto his hand while he’s playing with his poor plastic imitation of the real thing, he seems to get upset. He also doesn’t like it when I pounce on any of the several dozen little boxes mounted on a board next to his mouse. He tends to say words I’d rather not repeat in polite company when something seems to happen on the magic window that sits in front of board-of-boxes after I attempt to improve upon whatever he’s doing with a couple of pounces.
I’ve also learned he kind of thinks it’s cute when I shinney up his leg — but only when he’s wearing those thick blue pants he tends to put on for the weekend. With dress slacks and especially when he’s wearing pajamas that don’t cover most of his long, largely furless legs, he seems considerably less impressed.
I didn’t have much time with my own parents, but I did learn one important lesson from them. Whenever any giant tries to sound sweet and says “kitty, kitty, kitty,” go to them — sometimes — but most of the time just stare at them to prove your inscrutability.
I’ve also learned that, whenever you grab a giant’s hand and bite a finger, doing a lot of licking afterward is a pretty good idea. Otherwise, you tend to be carried off to some location distant from him, as if I can’t cover any distance and scale any height a lot faster than he could ever hope to relocate me.
He does do one really annoying thing. A loud noise goes off and he begins speaking into a little box. This morning, he did that when he learned some other largely furless giant had decided to quit his job as something he called “city administrator,” whatever that means.
My giant seemed surprised by this and worried that other largely furless giants would start pointing fingers at whoever might be responsible. Me, I tend to bite any finger that points at me, but my largely furless giant seems to think there are too many catfights going on among others who live in big cages up and down the streets surrounding the one where he and I live.
The question, apparently, is the same one he and I face — how to move forward from here. Personally, I favor gentle stroking of fur along my chin as a way to calm down, but he seems to insist that it’s more important to establish clear expectations and learn to always follow the rules than it is to reward misbehavior with gentle stroking.
We’ll see. Meanwhile, I have to go. I’m late for an important appointment, standing on the bed watching a leaf blow by a window in another room.
— STILL NAMELESS IN MARION
Last modified Nov. 15, 2023