I got mauled by a cat when I was a small child. When we found Fats in our yard, I was thirteen, and I hated him and all cats. But when I tried to torture him, he just rubbed all over me. When the dog tried to chase him, Fats just rubbed all over the dog. Fats loved everybody. After Fats won me over to the cat side, we became fast friends. Fats and I developed a level of communication beyond normal people-to-animal communication. In fact, in some ways, I think Fats and I developed better communication then most people have with each other. Sure, Fats' vocabulary was limited. But the things he could say:
"Wanna vege out?" "You look tired. You really should go to bed." "I don't understand why you are laughing so much. This show really isn't that funny." " Hey, dude, feed me." "Dude, I'm about to pee on myself. Let me out." "You know, Nicholas, it's kind of hard for me to sprawl out here with your crap everywhere." "No, I don't want those eggs. Give me some bacon."
He could actually say all those things and many more with his eyes and body movement, and he seemed to understand and sense my moods. He sat in the chair next to me at almost every meal. Even if he hated what I was eating, he would still sit straight up. If he liked it, I would pass him some, and he would grab it with his paw, and pull it too his mouth. He always sat in his chair, and kept his elbows off the table. Fats went on walks with me, in the woods. How many people walk their cat? I don't mean on a leash. I mean that we would run into each other in the land around my house, and we would walk together. Sometimes, he would get tired, and make me carry him. He would do this by diving at my feet, and refusing to move. Then, when I'd pick him up, he'd hug me.
Ask anyone who knew him. Fats gave hugs. He would wiggle his fat little arms until you brought him close to your neck, and then he would wrap his arms around you, and start purring. Fats liked to use me as a human pillow and vice versa. His favorite days were the ones I didn't do anything. Fats went out all night, and slept all day. Fats was the greatest creature I have ever known. He transcended the words "cat", "pet", or "animal." He became his own species: Fats.
On the simplest level, Fats kept me company. I am going to miss him.
Between losing him, and my old dog this summer (who died at fourteen), my home life just got a lot lonlier.
To Wink and to Fats:
Anyone else ready for this year to be over with?