Saturday, May 9, 2009


James is not a cat. James is, as his name intimates, a very sophisticated butler embodied in a velvety furry suit. He is not the groveling butler that scrapes and bows and gets you what you wish at a moment's notice... He is that OTHER butler... The one that mumbles under his breath and walks out of the room you are in and doesn't return. He is snotty and finicky and all the cattitude that anti-cat folk despise.

If he deigns to grace you with his presence there are rules. They are simple rules encompassed by one overriding regulation - It will be his way, or no way at all! He is not dramatic about his requirements, just very determined not to bend. There will be no head petting - unless he decides he wants his head petted, at which point he will put his head in your hand. That is the signal people! If you don't have a cat head in your hand, it is not head-petting time! He will often just desire to sit in your lap. Upon his approach you are to make your lap ready... that means feet on the floor, lap gap closed and an eye to eye acknowledgement that you are ready for his fatness to launch into your lap! Miss one step in the sequence and James will stalk off, in search of your favorite dark sweater to lay on. If, upon seating himself in your lap, the master desires your hands to caress him, you must start just behind his neck and stroke to the tip of his tail. Have no fear, the most piercing look will follow if you have not done it correctly! And any unsolicited head petting at this point will result in the rotund Fat-Master launching off your lap with rear claws deployed to make sure you got his point!

Of the four furry kids we have, James is a mystery. He is a cat that we got completely by accident. A woman who was hauling horses for a friend of hers stopped by to offload and James somehow escaped. As I understand it, he escaped the rather crowded cab of a crew-cab truck stuffed to the gills with 4 children, 2 large dogs and I think another cat. Given his disposition, I am amazed he hadn't just catapulted out of the moving vehicle long before he did. He is resilient and wonderful. And I love his bad attitude! It gives me great joy to sometimes ruffle his feathers, but for the most part, we coexist peacefully. I enjoy the way he harumphs around the house and he forgives me when I cannot resist petting his round, ultra-soft head!

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