My cat Stinky owns me. He’s the devil in angel’s fur.
Stinky arrived in my life along with his brother Phatty in the late nineties. My roommate at the time obtained them against my wishes from her cousin and then left them behind when she decided to hike the Appalachian Trail with her boyfriend. She generously took the all the rent money, my new vacation clothes and left all her crap behind including the two - 2 year old male blue point Siamese cats. She was a real gem.
Being the soft hearted gal I am I became their new senior staff member. Stinky and Phatty, originally named Joey and Calvin, were brothers and inseparable. They never answered to their original names and earned their new names over time. Stinky because clearly he was the trouble maker and Phatty because he could eat and eat he would. If you are doing the math in your head you are coming to the conclusion that these cats are around 16 years old. Well Stinky is. We lost Phatty in 2007 to cancer.
When Phatty, his primary companion and best friend, died I believe Stinky died in a way too. Siamese cats are known for their vocalization and Stinky began to meow. Relentlessly and constantly. There was no stopping him. In addition to the excessive meowing he started pulling most of his fur out on a regular basis and stopped eating. One of the most frequently used sentences in my house was and still is, “shut up Stinky!”
The year Phatty died I lived next door to a very lovely German couple. One day while exchanging pleasantries Frida askes me in her very think German accent, “vat is your boyfriend’s name?” And my initial thought was, oh my god, was he swearing in the driveway at the diesel truck or did he break something of theirs? My response was “why, what did he do?! “ Frida replies, “Oh, I just hear you yell, shut up Stinky!” And I said, “oh no… that’s my cat!” I’ve never laughed so hard and been so embarrassed in all my life. Even the neighbors weren’t immune. To either of us apparently.
A lot of veterinary visits, pheromone experiments, and finally a replacement companion, New Buddy, and we find ourselves years later. And guess what, he still meows. Primarily in the wee hours of the morning. You’re sleeping soundly and bam! The most awful screeching noise that makes your stomach turn into a nauseating knot will jolt you awake! Sometimes, just to keep you on your toes, he’ll choose to make this noise when you’re trying to make a phone call or need to concentrate on something. I feel terrible for overnight guests and friends who have had to endure this noise. I myself have not had a sound night of sleep in over 5 years! I’ve surrendered to the fact that yelling gets you absolutely nowhere. Now I try to practice patience thinking he’ll eventually come to his senses and be quiet. In addition to the meowing he pukes on my shoes, he’s the sheddiest creature known to god’s green earth, he won’t let you brush him, he won’t let you clip his claws, and he makes me leave the bathtub on constant drip so he can have fresh water. If you don’t do this you will suffer the consequences.
How can I still tolerate such an animal? Why have I not turned him out into the mean unforgiving streets or worse euthanized this poor creature? It’s simple. I love him unconditionally. He’s so cute. He looks like Brad Pitt if Brad Pitt was a cat. He’s got the funniest walk, the softest ear fur, and he is the best cuddler. I worry about him when I’m not home and shudder to think of the day he won’t be wrecking my life. This is either some kind of karmic spiritual test of will or an example of pure devotion. We’ve been together for so long. We’ve lived in at least 10 houses, shared several relationships, career changes, death, sickness, and happiness. He has been my oldest companion. Lord knows you’re thinking, this chick is just a crazy cat lady and that’s all. Well touché. But in my defense its worth knowing I am capable of such a commitment. The commitment of owning a cat. Oh excuse me, I mean the commitment of being owned by a cat.