Thursday, August 27, 2009


Cats are amazing timepieces. The feline currently occupying our domicile, known as Mr. Cat, seems to note the hours of midnight, 3 a.m., and 5 a.m. with the accuracy of a Seiko Quartz. He generally shows up outside the bedroom window at midnight, wanting to come inside for the night. At 3 a.m. he indicates his desire to resume exploration of the great outdoors, and at 5 a.m. it's back inside in hopes of an early breakfast.

You may think I coddle the cat by acquiescing to his requests. In fact, I coddle the cat by not killing him when he yowls outside the window or scratches the woodwork in my bathroom, two of his favorite attention getting devices.

Mr. Cat came into our family via Sally's mother. In that life he was known as Casper. Casper was adopted by Sally's folks to be a companion to Sally's dad after he could no longer manage a dog. Considering that he is, in fact, a cat, Casper was a good companion to Joe, spending long hours curled up on Joe's lap in the old recliner. After Joe's death Casper accompanied Sally's mother to a studio apartment in an independent living facility. When Cleo struggled with a chronic sinus infection she decided that it was allergies, and that Casper would have to be returned to a shelter or put down.

Casper's impending demise did not seem reasonable or fair, and so Sally flew to Colorado in December of 2004 to visit her mom and to rescue the cat. The first challenge she faced was getting him on the plane. There was a 15 pound weight limit, and Casper's studio apartment lifestyle had resulted in his ballooning up to nearly 16 pounds. Sally called me from the airport asking my advice. I said she should cram him into the carrier and try not to grimace or grunt when carrying him. I'm so helpful.

Casper made the trip, though I think Sally has stories to tell about that. Renamed Taj Mahal because of his coloration and shape, he soon earned the moniker Mr. Cat as a result of his stately bearing.

Anyway, I was just telling Sally how uncanny I thought it was that Mr. Cat was so good at telling the time. Then, this morning, I was awakened at precisely 3 a.m. by Mister expelling a hairball on the bed. So THAT'S why people don't wear cats on their wrists, even if they are highly accurate.

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