The Year of the Cat

(What follows is a re-run of one of the eight most popular cat-related columns published in 2015 in The Gad About Town.)

The stories about Angel’s supreme being-ness are too many to recount and they bore her anyway. Our entire Planet Earth, all four rooms of it—and, really, that’s three rooms too many for anyone, but space is needed for all seven billion humans upon it—are here because she willed it through complete indifference.

Without trying, but after a really deep stare at nothingness, there was tuna, and even better, salmon treats, but there was no one to bring these savories to her. She developed opposable thumbs but was bored with the effect and thus willed opposable thumbs onto someone who could use them to bring her platters of tuna, and even better, salmon treats.

She has an opinion about everything, from developments in art to innovations in technology, but she will not share them with us. Yet. Of course, they are not opinions so much as completely correct knowledge.

She goes by many names, but they are each the same to her: A sound made by someone with opposable thumbs while they are doing one of the only two things those with opposable thumbs can do: A. Carrying food to one of her several specific spots and not one millimeter off from any of those several specific spots, or B. Not carrying food to one of her approved spots, thus proving once again that she was wrong to award humans with those eminently useful opposable thumbs. Thumbs are for bringing food, Commandment One reads, she remembers inwardly. She would sigh if sighing was something that she cared enough about non-food-related things to do. That B. option offends her, though, deeply. Morally.

She is “Kitty” or “Angel” to the woman who she calls Owner, which she knows is a word that humans misconstrue entirely. They seem to think it means the opposite of what she knows it means: that she owns them, each one of the seven billion she encounters every day in her travels through the three superfluous rooms. “There really are too many people here,” she thinks-slash-knows. “There is the woman I call owner, her mother, and her brother, and that is seven billion people. Too many.”

That is a wary eye she is giving me in the photo at top. She allows me to call her “Ángel, el gato de amor,” and to photograph her sometimes, even though she knows that I know that she can not be seen when she is not seen. Such as when she is sunning herself in her wicker basket-slash-throne.

But she bestows a little head-bump on my forehead when she sees me, knowing that it convinces me (incorrectly, of course) that she acknowledges my existence, as someone who every once in a while brings the population of the planet to seven billion and one. After I had an eye operation, she spent the night at my feet to make sure I was available the next day to bring her food and treats. When she was convinced that my covered eye did not affect my opposable thumbs and my ability to carry treats, she told the others.

It is her planet and she finds it odd and a little bit insulting that more time is not spent actively giving her her space and ever more treats. She would sigh at us, at our many follies, if sighing was something that she she cared enough to do over witnessing the portions of our lives spent not idolizing her, the 60-minute-long years of our lives spent chasing after non-Kitty-related trivia, like money and the affections of others who are not her. She gave us too much when she gave us opposable thumbs, and she knows that she knows too well the meaning of the human expression, “With great power comes great responsibility.” She would tell us if she cared to tell us, but she does not, so she does not.

The WordPress Daily Prompt for October 1 asks, “Your personal sculptor is carving a person, thing or event from the last year of your life. What’s the statue of and what makes it so significant?”

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  1. Leigh W. Smith · October 1, 2015

    How did I miss those lovely feline postings? Ugh, drat my bad luck (as only 1 life have I!). Awesomely funny, Mark. You should submit something to those Cup of Comfort/Chicken Soup for cat-lovers books . . . a little padding for the wallet, the better to buy empty boxes and paper bags for the cats in our lives or, conversely, something for your girlfriend that I’m sure would be more directly appreciated! ; )

    Liked by 2 people

  2. LRose · October 1, 2015

    Get ready to post them again! I’ve got several TBP prompts queued up that are all about animals

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mark Aldrich · October 1, 2015



      • LRose · October 1, 2015

        BTW…gonna be sort-of in your neck ‘o da woods next week. Can’t wait! Long overdue time away.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Mark Aldrich · October 5, 2015

          My neck of the woods? Whereabouts?


        • LRose · October 5, 2015

          Manhattan & Brooklyn. Mostly Manhattan. Since I’m coming fr west coast I think of it as your neck o da woods 😉

          Liked by 1 person

  3. loisajay · October 2, 2015

    I love this. Yes…the misconstrued head bump. When will I learn that it is not a sign of acceptance?**heavy sigh**

    Liked by 1 person

  4. TEG Diez · October 8, 2015

    Utterly delightful

    Liked by 1 person

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