Pericles The Great

I used to hate cats. Well, hate is too strong a word. I’ve always disliked cats. I mistrusted them. They made me very uncomfortable, their skittish nature. Plus, I’m allergic. About ninety-five percent of them fuzzballs make my eyes water and my throat constrict. Kittens are so damn cute, I’ve weathered reactions just to hold them. But full-grown cats? No way.

This one time I went to my in-laws. Michelle and I were supposed to meet up with high school friends at a bar later on. I sat at the dinner table and ate a grand dinner of whatever, awesome dish, her mom whipped up. I touched my face just like that CONTAGION movie says, suggesting we touch it at least five times at minute or something. There, I’ve just done it, rubbing at my mustache (if you have a mustache or beard you have to stroke it ;-)).

Anyhow, my eyes swelled up and itched the hell out of me from the inside out. I wanted to turn my eyeballs around and rinse them in lukewarm water. Then my throat starts to squeeeze. And I am swallowing back dry, cracky swallows! Turns out that the seat cushion  I was sitting on, the one that I’ve touched (sometimes I sit on my hands), is covered in cat hair! I was sitting in one of the cat’s nesting areas! Yuck!

Worst night of my life!

No cats. Keep them away please. But my wife and kid love cats and kittens are cute beyond their allergic response. Sometimes I’m a softy and we end up with a cat.

Our first boy was Vader. Other suitable names would have been Hell, or Fire, or Demon or something. He was as badass as his name suggested. He was an orange tabby. In his youth, he’d race around the room at one hundred miles an hour jumping on everything. He landed on me, claws out, many, many, many times.

I really didn’t like that cat. The moment we agreed to make him an outdoor cat, I was a happy man. His hair wouldn’t affect me. Once he was outdoorsy, we saw him when he came home to eat and say hello. I liked him a little better. He was a jungle warrior. I learned to appreciate his grace and cunning. Dogs look physically handicapped in comparison. This little mutha stalked the grounds of Horsethief Canyon (a community we used to live in) like a bobcat on the loose. He’d mess up people’s yards and kill birds and just go all Honey Badger crazy.

Any excuse…

We think the coyotes got him. He never came home and that was that, – bye, bye cat.

I wasn’t too broken up.

Then there was Pericles. Pericles is the kind of cat you’d want to have a funeral for. He was a near-perfect being (I could do without the licking and cleaning. Sometimes that got gross). And his personality was tremendous. Pericles was a delightful creature. He was the friendliest, most docile animal I’ve ever encountered. He liked people and greeted them. He loved red wine but hated everything else (food wasn’t his thing – he refused to eat any people food). You couldn’t train him with treats.

(Getting down at Christmas.)


But then, you didn’t need to. When you picked him up he purred until you put him back down. I’m not in to animal cuddling. Pets are little animals that really take showers. Their hygiene isn’t up to snuff. I usually just wave at them. If it’s really cute, I’ll pet its head or something.

Pericles was so chill. He slept probably about eighteen hours a day, waking up every few hours to eat or do his business or jump in the windowsills and perch there and guard our castle like the true loved-one he was.

Well, it’s off to Vegas. Stay tuned, my next three blogs are going to be coming at you live from the Stratosphere.


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