I got “Cat” from an animal shelter, a real pit of a place that broke my heart. He was a big, black and magnificent “teenager” at the time. From day one, he and I bonded. And he didn’t dig my ex, not at all, enough to take a piss on his rugby togs just before we left him. Cat and I moved to a friend’s place for a couple of weeks, then to a shitty little apartment where they didn’t allow animals. He must’ve known this because he never made a sound and only ventured out in the dead of night. Four months later, we rented a tiny subterranean jury-rigged room from a young couple in Laguna Beach who sold pot. Our last move was to the house my second husband and I bought in the same town, where I still live.
Cat and I used to play a game somewhat like the one in Peter Sellers’s movie Shot in the Dark, where his character, Inspector Clouseau instructs his manservant, Kato, to attack him unexpectedly to keep Clouseau vigilant and his combat skills sharp. Cat would hide on the staircase then pounce on me as I passed by. I’d shriek with laughter and we’d fall into a nearby chair and roll around. He never scratched or bit me. It’s been twenty-five years since he died of leukemia. I still miss him.