Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Cats are not my favorite people. I have seriously tried to understand this. Perhaps it stems from the fact that as a small child I had the most beautiful pure white cat which I named "Condibell." The day before my fifth birthday the family relocated to another state and the cat was left on a farm in the bleak environs from which we fled.

Cats are among the most beautiful of creatures in the animal kingdom, and vain about it, too. They are natural predators, and as such they are armed with savage weapons and exceeding guile. They are untrustworthy.

I hold no animosity toward those who harbor cats. Several of my dearly loved family members do. And with the exception of Mickey, it is almost inevitable that if I visit in the home of one of these siblings, progeny, niece or auntie, and if I am seated for a sufficiently long period of time, the family feline will wind up on my lap. This is both perception and perversity. The cat has a keen sense of my distaste for its presence; it has the perversity of nature to choose me as its roost. Does it hope to ingratiate itself to me, change my way of thinking? Nay. It is done in spite.

I have had the unfortunate experience of having such a creature curled on my lap, and soft and silky as he was, I found myself anon stroking the luxurious fur. The cat began to purr. Its eyes closed, the purring grew more rhythmic, more pronounced. Both Tom and I were in the zone, so to speak, when suddenly and with no warning, the son of a puss twisted, quickly, quickly, and bit my thumb, drawing blood.

And though no human, man or woman, child or octogenarian, has ever "owned" a cat; yet there are millions of misguided people who keep them, coddle them, and allow themselves to be ruled by them. We won't even talk about the canned food and the litter box.

Also, trust me. If your cat behaves as did Tom, it too shall be flung precipitously across your living room.

[I did harbor a stray cat in recent years, outdoors and in the basement, you understand, but I did take care of him. And just when I was starting to grow fond of the thing, he crawled into the engine compartment of the car and the rest is gory history. Stupid cat.]

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