Some people characterize eras of their life by age, occupation, haircut or orthodontic headgear.
My memories of Gam are filed by cat.
She’s got an affinity for all things feline, and I can’t remember a time when she didn’t have some sort of meowing fur ball in tow.
Kitty Baloo (Named after a favorite movie)
Christmas (Limped around on three legs–even I couldn’t help but like this on)
Kitten (Creative, right)
JellyBean (Likes to eat tin foil and tip over water glasses for fun)
And this, my friends, is Joyful BadBoy.
The biggest feline phenomenon to paw his way across the state line. Slowly.
And by biggest, I mean biggest. If the Hindenburg was covered in hair and able to lick butter straight off your breakfast toast, that would be Joyful BadBoy.
JBB was more of small horse. Or the R.O.U.S. from the Princess Bride–only a lot lazier and more easily bribed with Meow Mix.
We called him Sphincter. Because you couldn’t do so much as sit down at the table without his rear end all up in your face.
I use the term “rear end” generously.
The words “vortex” and “dingleberry” keep coming up but I refuse to write about them.
I’m convinced that Joyful BadBoy wasn’t exactly a cat. He was the biggest “cat” I’ve ever seen in my life.
This thing had to have weighted 30 lbs, easy. (Actually it was 22 — which isn’t that far off. My cousin weighed him once.) He was a spoiled and lethargic son of a kitty biscuit whose stomach sagged so low to the ground I don’t know why the maid even bothered waxing the floors.
His favorite activity was dangling his front paw in your water glass and sprawling strategically across the table to deflect just the right amount of cat hair into your mashed potatoes when the wind hit just right. (Yes, he was allowed on the table. All Gam’s cats were. Are. Sigh.)
Anyway. One day, JBB got out.
Gam was a mess.
I wasn’t too worried when I heard about it. We’re talking about a 22 lb cat here. That’s like a small Mediterranean child on too many cannolis trying to blend into a place where hair is hard to come by. How hard could it be to track it down?
Apparently it was.
15 hours later, the entire place was in a tizzy. Neighbors. Nurses. Maintenance men. All armed with flash lights and cat treats and plenty of good liquor for later. All of Riddle Village on a late night mission to find the runaway cat and save Mrs. Wilson from having a coronary. (And hoping to be the lucky winner who scored a tin of Gam’s famous walnut brownies as a consolation prize.)
They finally found him–sound asleep in a drawer in Gam’s bedroom.
He must have jumped in while Gam was getting dressed without her noticing. It’s a wonder the furniture didn’t collapse.
Gam was relieved.
So were the neighbors. And for the next few weeks, her resident escape artist was the talk of the town.
JBB even made the front page of the Riddle newspaper. Which is quite a big deal, if you live place where that kind of real estate’s typically reserved for Wii bowling champions, trips to Trader Joes and great big welcomes to the handsome single bachelor in H227, who just happens to know Michael Savage.
Today, JBB enjoys life with my cousin Laura and her two tots, who undoubtedly give the old soul a run for his money. I don’t think he’s lost any weight. Then again, maybe its not so bad. Every kid wants a pony.