Nearly a year ago my sister and I were at the drive-through of a Burger King that is just down the street from our house. The family had a hankering for milkshakes and like the good daughters we are, we went to pick some up. (Be mindful of the fact that girls cannot go anywhere alone.) As we were perusing our options, we heard a mewl from the bushes beneath the menu. At first, both of us thought that we were hearing things and ignored the sound. However, it continued.
“Do you hear that?” my sister asked and I nodded.
“I think it’s a kitten.”
While she ordered the milkshakes, I climbed out of the car and searched the bushes; I found a little ball of striped fluff. It fought as I picked it up and of course its unbelievable cuteness immediately won me over.
Then, it hijacked my brain and forced me to speak in a baby voice for its own amusement.
The little furball had found his first victim.
I brought him back to the car and my sister and I cooed over him. (He hijacked her brain, too.) We showed him off to the cashier at the drive-through and then carted him home.
(You’re AWWing right now, aren’t you? It’s the magical kitty POWERS, I tell you. THE POWERS!)
Of course my mother, who is incredibly allergic to cats, immediately said no when she saw him. We hadn’t said a word but mothers know these things – she had to stop the cat’s hostile take over of our household before it was too late.
(I can’t write anything but: AWW! HOW CUTE!)
By the next morning, he had a name. By that afternoon, he’d had his first shots. By that night, he controlled four people with his telepathic kitty powers, excluding my father. He held out the longest.
I recount this quaint little tale because finding this kitten (i.e. being lured by its mewling tractor beam) has changed my life. My cat Timmy has done what every other domestic cat before him has managed to do – he has made willing pets out of sentient beings. (My father, predictably, succumbed to the Cute two days after furball’s arrival.)
A cat can make any human stop what she is doing in order to get a delicious scratch behind the ears, a short run with a favorite toy or enjoy the wicked pleasure of getting chased after creating some sort of mischief. When Lord Feline suddenly changes his mind, the human is allowed to return to her task.
One day I will discover the source of a cat’s powers. Until then, I will love and dote upon this very adorable, manipulative and fickle feline while I plot my revenge. (Just as he planned it, I imagine.)
(Learning about humans via osmosis.)
Now, the kitty may rule the roost, but he also finds time to protect and entertain me. Cats have all sorts of crazy antics intended for human entertainment. My Timmy’s are no different. (See that possessive pronoun? I tried to delete it but my brain is still hijacked.) There is a reason Youtube is flooded with cat videos. Cats have studied the best ways to keep their pet humans content and laughing. We simply can’t help ourselves.
Here are two of Timmy’s more useful and entertaining idiosyncrasies. If I were to add anymore, I would sound like an obsessive cat owner – er – an even more obsessive cat owner – er – cat pet.
The first idiosyncrasy is a behavior that is quite bizarre to a human such as myself: an obsession with creepy crawlies. I suppose this makes sense because he has chosen Miami the subtropical as the city of his take over. Therefore, he must first rid it of all unwanted life forms – primarily, the cockroach.
Roaches scare the crap out of me. They’re gross and they crawl all over you and they play peek-a-boo from any place they can squeeze their disgusting bodies into (which is everywhere.)
(No need to thank me. Please, no autographs.)
This is why Timmy is a godsend. (Or, maybe he sent himself.) Ever since he entered the house, live roaches have become a nonentity. Dead ones, however, have increased in population. Perhaps they are a gift to we insignificant plebeians.
What I don’t understand is how he finds torturing the things amusing. Maybe he’s questioning them for information about his enemies. In any case, he saved me one night. Seriously, all that was missing were the blue tights and red underwear. (I don’t think he could find any in his size.)
(We have used a live lizard in place of a cockroach in this photo because I have a weak constitution.)
That night, I was lying in bed, trying to fall asleep, when I felt a roach run across my stomach. I screamed like a five-year-old and ran out of my room. My startled sister demanded to know what happened.
“A roach crawled all over me!”
“EWW! Get the cat!”
“What?” (I was struck stupid by disgust and horror.)
“The cat. He catches roaches.”
I found Timmy, picked him up and threw him on my bed. (Yes, I threw him. I was not getting anywhere NEAR that bed. Besides, who ever heard of a superhero who doesn’t fly?) He glanced at me with indignation and confusion. I pointed to the corner of my bed and was immediately forgiven. Timmy zeroed in on the roach and froze, prepared to do his worst.
(Give me praise!)
I knew that soon, all would be right with the world. Moments later, Timmy coolly strutted over to the shower (his designated torture chamber) and laid his writhing prize on the tiled floor. He glanced up at us, waiting for our praise, which we gratefully lavished upon him.
“You’re the best!”
Timmy gloated. We fawned. He tortured. We watched. Timmy feasted with a sickening crunch. I fearfully stayed up another hour.
The next idiosyncrasy I would like to address is this strange preoccupation with water. During his stay with us, Timmy seems to be treating us with unparalleled benevolence. Apparently, without our knowledge, the water in Miami is not fit for consumption. It must be constantly tested and retested to ensure the lives of human pets. Timmy has taken it upon himself to do this.
Here is how I know:
After careful observation of my behavior and finding me a predictable sort of creature, Timmy knows that when I walk into the bathroom, I will eventually turn on the water. So now the little perv follows me into the bathroom, patiently watches me do my business and then lithely hops onto the sink when I stand up to wash my hands. He shoves his head under the faucet to make sure that he gets to the water first, fiercely protecting his most loyal pet human.
I turn on the faucet and this adorable, self-sacrificing creature bravely endures, soaking his head in order to test the safety of the water. Then, as soon as he’s discerned that the chemical levels are safe for human consumption, he takes a long, long, long, long, long drink as a reward for his efforts. Only after his worry – and thirst – has been quenched may I wash my hands.
His generosity does not end there. OH NO. Each time he spies a water glass on a counter or table, he immediately does what any self-respecting human owner would do: he shoves his head in it to block any potential victims from eminent death. If his tongue cannot reach the water for testing, he knocks over the cup to ensure that no one but he can drink the potentially hazardous liquid. Thank the Timmy we are safe!
(Basking in the glow of the heavens.)
All of this has convinced me that Timmy loves and adores me despite his plans for a hostile take over of the world. Although he doesn’t like to show too much affection, he will allow me to shower him with it and always acknowledges it with a deep purr and a short grooming of my fingers. I like to think that when he’s sitting on his throne, he will keep me by his side.
Until that moment comes, Timmy often has time to entertain. He has several gut-busters such as crashing into sliding glass doors, jumping from the sofa to the dining room table (and missing), pawing at rear ends from the inside of the sofa, and scaring himself by kicking his water bowl. I think he learned his comedy from the Three Stooges.
For the laughter and for the protection and yes, even for the smidgeon of love he has shown me, I am forever grateful for Timmy’s presence in my life. He has made me his daily companion and times are never lonely with him.
HOWEVER, the next time you hear mewling from the bushes, BEWARE.
Dogs come when they’re called. Cats take a message and get back to you.– Mary Bly
End Rant 5.This post has been marked and approved by Sir Timmy of Miami. Editors: baby b, KD