I forgot to mention this but October 29th was National Cat Day. I hope you took the time to hug your cat and tell it how much you tolerate it. I wanted to hug my Cat so I went over to its expensive cat bed to grab it while it was asleep and snog the crap out of it but it saw me coming and ran under the desk. I almost nabbed it but it bolted out of the room at the last second and I hit my head on the bottom of the desk trying to stand up, which is something that gets harder and harder each day. I caught up with it under the dining room table, but it took me on a wild goose chase in between the legs of each chair so that I could wrench my back. I grabbed a cat treat out of the cat treat bag and pretended I was eating it. “MMMM! Here, Cat! I bet you want one of these don’t you?” It absolutely did not once it saw the face I was making when I got a good whiff of it, so I put it on the floor, and when the Cat came over to see what all the fuss was about I grabbed it by its tail and picked it up as it was scratching my hand and hissing at me. It saw that I had ruined my back, bonked my head and sustained several small lacerations, so it started purring quite loudly in my arms, and National Cat Day was officially under way.

The love/hate relationship I have with cats has been going on ever since I realized that cats love to hate me. We once had a Cat that had no tail to grab. I think it was part Sphynx and part Manx, so it was probably a Spanx, which was appropriate because it could fit into a catsuit even at an age when most females would have given it up. It was as sweet and adorable as a cat could be, until it was just me and her alone in the dark room together. Then it would get out an emery board and sharpen its claws, looking at me and smiling. I would ask, “Whatcha doing?” And it wouldn’t answer, but just sit there and shake its head. “You planning to use those claws on ME? I control your food source, you know.” Still no answer, but it would rear onto its haunches with its claws up and hiss at me, and then snicker and shake its head some more when I flinched and hid behind the bed. It knew very well that my wife controlled the food source, and my wife LOVED the Cat. “I’m not afraid of you, I eat cats like you for lunch,” I’d say, but the Cat knew I was terrified of it, and it also knew that I’m so picky about food that I would never eat it for lunch unless it was on the Kids’ Menu. So I would resort to verbally taunting it, thinking I could win a war of words but not absolutely positive about that, even though it never spoke when I was around. “You don’t even have a tail so I bet you have no balance. HA!” But the Cat actually had better balance, because it could sit up brandish its claws at me while resting on that little stub with no tail to get in the way.

It had such good balance that once my wife cooked this fabulous Indian meal for her parents, to get them to take their mind off the fact that she was probably going to marry me. There were all these plates of food on the table, and the Cat jumped up onto it and ran the entire length straight at my face as fast as it could, hurdling all the plates of food like an obstacle course and narrowly missing my face as I ducked at the last moment. Her parents were absolutely shocked, not at the Cat but at the fact that my wife was probably going to marry me, and once again the Cat got off Scot free.

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The Cats we have now are from the veterinarian’s office, where somebody had abandoned them, and I’m surprised that this doesn’t happen more often. You drop your cat off at the vet for a worm shot or something, and come back the next day and the bill is $1400 dollars. Wow, $1400 bucks for some worms? I should have taken the worms in to have the cat removed, and I bet it would have been cheaper. “Yes, when you remove the cat just save it in a paper bag, and don’t let the cat out of the bag.” Most people get the cat for free at the ASPCA, so when you find that it’s worth $1400 dollars to repair it’s a shock. “My cat is ready? Oh, okay, great, I’ll be right back with the money,” and then you change your phone number and mailing address. I finally had a heart-to-heart talk with the Cat telling it that it was adopted, in case it wanted to go and find its birth mother, but it’s still here.
One of the Cats still chases its tail at the cat-age equivalent of, say, 55 years-old. That’s like me still only eating foods that you would order off of a Kids’ Menu. It’s no use trying to reason with it. “That’s kind of embarrassing at your age. And anyway, you shouldn’t chase things that come out of your butt. Furthermore, where are you going to keep that tail if you ever catch it?” I’m not concerned about that because the Cat never catches ANYTHING. In the olden days the main reason you would get a cat is to control the mice population, but cats have evolved to the point where they can’t really be bothered, and are content to just sit on the crossword puzzle that you’re trying to do and knock your pen off the edge of the table.

The Cat is still purring loudly as it celebrates National Cat Day, even though I’m forcing it to sit on my lap against its will, and that’s part of the paradox of being a cat. It leads a life of leisure that few other creatures enjoy, and never lets us forget how lucky the rest of us are that it does. If my dog ignored me anywhere near as much as the Cat does it would be out the door in five minutes, but for some reason the smallest morsel of affection from the Cat seems to make all the other objectionable behavior worthwhile. An expensive new cat bed just arrived from Amazon in a cardboard box and the Cat absolutely LOVED it. Not the bed but the cardboard box. We can’t even return it and get our money back because the Cat won’t leave the box that it came in. 

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