We have a cat. I have had cats since I was wee – my grandmother left food out for the neighbourhood cats because they kept the mice and snakes away from her house. Once, she booted a cat in the head when it scratched me. That cat was much nicer after that. I do not advocate cat booting; it was a different time, when vicious cats were dealt with swiftly by a Very Angry Irishwoman.
We had to put my big black loveybug (also known as the big black bastard) down because he had diabetes and went into renal failure, and for a time, we had just one cat; that being Fat Tau. Fat Tau was a lovely, stupid girl who was a great mouser and…well, okay, she was pretty dumb. She used to get lost when she went from one room to the next. She’d flatten herself out (as much as a 20 pound cat can flatten itself out) in the hallway and she would cry and cry and cry because she didn’t know where everyone had gone. Of course, we hadn’t gone anywhere; she had. Ah, poor Tau. She died last April at the respectable old age of 17.
The feline pictured above is Lord Aloicious Q Pibblebrook the Fourth. He is Lord of Stinky Realm and the Lower Marches, and protector of the Nip. He has been victorious in battle against bird, rodent, and toddler. (Yes, he is dictating this to Yours Truly.) His familiar name is Poe. His song is ‘Bad Cat’, sung to the tune of Bob Marley’s “Bad Boys” (you can listen to that tune here).
“That’s great, cenobyte,” you’re thinking, “but why are you bournalling about your gorram cat, and what has it to do with me?”
It hasn’t anything to do with you, really. But here’s the interesting thing about His Poopship (this time I mean the cat, not His Nibs): he REALLY likes going for Outsides. But. There is a Ritual involved. One cannot just open the door and let the little bugger out. One must stand at the door and announce: “Would his Lordship/Highness (he prefers the latter) care to take the air in the out-of-doors?”
At which point, His Highness darts outside with his tail held high. God only knows what he gets up to out there. When one wishes for the cat to come in, one must open the door before him (he will not come in the house after a dirty human) and announce: “The King! The King! His Highness approaches the keep!” or “Would his Royal Highness care to sojourn in the coolness of the palace?”
Then he barfs on the floor.
I never understood the monarchy better than when Lord Pibblebrook granted us permission to live at his castle.