Credit Where It’s Due

It’s not even my cat. I have no idea why it seems to find me so compelling, but it apparently does. It’s a black cat –one of the ones they call a tuxedo cat because it has a white diamond on its chest and looks like it’s wearing a tuxedo. Formal cat attire. It started its life feral, my wife finding it as she was driving around looking for the address of a friend in neighboring Liberty Lake. The people of Liberty Lake are middle class, a small bastion of the quickly disappearing American status. They have to work hard to be there because the property prices and taxes require a midle class income. Of course, this eats up almost all of the money these people take in so they don’t have the spending habits of middle class America. More like peon class America. You know, the majority.

The cat peered from some bushes at my wife. She was driving slowly and cusring the residents for not putting house numbers in some visible spot. Actually, most of the residents couldn’t afford to put numbers on their homes, visible or not. Anyway, the cat stared at my wife and so my wife stopped the car and got out. The cat wandered over to her, and purring, rubbed against her shin. My wife picked the cat up and told it that it was a magnificent specimen, which, of course, the cat already knew. All cats consider themselves to be excellent specimens. Anyway, she put the cat down and climbed back in the car and drove off. Over the next couple of weeks though, she would return and there would be the cat. It had n collar and it appeared as though it could use a pretty good cleaning as well as some nutrition, so she decided to bring the cat home and care for it. She made a little sign and stuck it to a pole. It described the cat and explained the circumstances and provided a number to call in case she had accidentally stolen someone’s pet. A few days later her phone rang, It was a lady from the cat neighborhood that told my wife she was glad someone had picked the cat up. It was making a nuissance of itself, knocking over garbage cans and looking for food. The cat was as annoying as a racoon, the lady told my wife, and also suggested that my wife keep the cat.

My wife was thrilled, took the cat to a vet and had it neutered and given shots, and then brought it back to the house to live with the rest of her rescued cats. At one time there were five, but she was down to only two now and a third would be just fine. Except the cat took little interest in my wife, instead it seemed to prefer me. It happily took up residence on my bed, coating the coverlet with a layer of luxurious shedded black hair. “You gotta stop doing that.” I told it one day. “You’re running me out of those sticky roller things my wife buys to pick up cat hair from clothes and furniture.”

“Pffft.” said the cat. “You’re damn lucky to have that hair. It’s genuine cat hair you know.” I had to admit that this was true, and so I quit talking about it. However, I didn’t quit talking to the cat because my conversations with it seemed to hold more erudite content and intersting tidbits than my discussions with more advanced species. Humans, for instance. For the last few years now the cat has been a fairly constant companion, having done a very good job training me to tend to its whims and wishes. I have, as far as it’s concerned, no problem being awakened at four in the morning by it loudly meowing at my window next to the bed, calling on me to let it in the door. The cat has a cat door not ten feet away, but the cat will not lower itself to use a portal exclusive to cats. No, that’s for the other cats of the house. The ones with no status and who haven’t come close to the record she set for bringing dead rodents and birds in to place on my bed as proof of skilled huntsmanship. 

The cat is the only one in the house who accepts me as I am, never asking me to change. Okay, that’s not entirely true. It did present me one day with what appeared to be a long list of character flaws I was to address immediately, but the page was written in cat and while I have tried desperately to do so, I have not yet learned to speak feline. I will ocasionally try a sentence or two on the cat, who listens appreciately and then tries to correct my pronounciation and diction. I never quite get it though and eventually the cat will snort in frustration and go off to spread cat hair in the kitchen where it will waft into my next ten meals. I know that in spite of my studious inspection of food for cat hairs that I have no doubt eaten at least forty pounds of it, and assume that someday I will perish of asphyxiation as I try to hack up the resulting hairball. 

The cat is able to teleport. I know this is true because it can appear and disappear quite suddenly. It’s not that it fades in or out, it simply appears or disappears. I will be reading and look down, and there it is. I will momentarily deflect my attention and in the blink of an eye will discover the cat gone. I’m not sure how it does this, I have never witnessed another cat so capable. There was a time I was certain that the cat was an hallucination, mostly because it speaks in very plain and understandable english with no trait of accent at all. In my highest moments the cat has appeared to share in the joy, and in my lowest moments appeared to do all in its power to make me feel worse. It’s a loyal little beast. Just the other day I was feeling good about flying a new quadcopter drone and the cat popped in to remind me that I should take my pleasures while I could, after all, it said, “you’re going to kick the bucket soon.” That cat. Whatta guy.

I’m writing today because the cat has approached me complaining that I don’t give it sufficient credit for my work here on Deludia. He claims that it is he, and not I, who came up with the better of the posts made here and claims that I have, in those instances, plagarized his own text. The lousier posts, according to him, are mine alone. What a bastard. I do everything in my power to assure this cat, one that isn’t even mine, a warm home and a willing servant to its late-night whims, and this is what I get. Certainly, the cat HAS provided a few ideas for Deludia articles, but to claim all of the good ones? I mean, really. Come on. I’m not stupid. As a matter of fact, now that I think of it, a lot of the articles I wrote that just plain sucked were the cat’s idea. In fact, I now that I think of it, ALL of the lousy articles here are the result of feline thinking. Otherwise, why should some be bad while others are so eloquent and well crafted that even the likes of John D. MacDonald bow in awe to my writing accumen. Okay, maybe not John D., but I’m sure that some authors out there would agree that I have written some very entertaining material. Nick Pirog, author of a number of well regarded books, once said “You aren’t senile …yet.” That’s some pretty lofty praise. Did he say that about the cat? Hah! I should say NOT!

Well, it’s true that no two friends ever see eye to eye on all subjects and I will grant that at times the cat can be a very good friend. After all, it was the cat that pointed out that I should be highly suspect of any emails suggesting that I could get rich quickly were probably some sort of scam. While I’d like to think that I might have figured that one out on my own, it hadn’t occurred to me as a foreground thought until the cat brought it up as we shared a few drinks one dark and lonely night. I was depressed and sort of crying in my Shasta Blackberry soda as the cat knocked back a few tonguefulls of water when it looked up at me and said “You should use caution when it comes to email from Nigeria.” I looked at her and realized, by god, that cat is really something!

At any rate, I guess I’ll go ahead and give credit where it’s due, and the next time one of my articles here is the result of some bit of cat wisdom, I’ll be sure to let y’all know. I mean, what are friends for?