Editor’s Note: Our cat, Scooter Thomas, occasionally guest blogs for us, as he has done today.
I had no intention of lending my good name to this infernal little blog ever again. I hoped my post from several weeks ago would not only shame my owners for their blatant attempts at character assassination but also pull back the curtain on the vicious, offensive stereotypes continually perpetuated by the media with regard to the chosen lifestyle of the feline: one of idle yet dignified luxury, yes, but not the crass, cartoonish behavior demonstrated by the fictional likes of Garfield, Bill the Cat, Azrael, MAD Cat and the entire flippin’ cast of Cats: The Musical.
I thought no other post would be necessary, but then — whilst perusing The Economist online this morning — I came across this deeply offensive T-shirt design. I beg younger readers of this blog to turn away, and parent readers of this blog to add it to their list of restricted sites, for what I am about to show you is deeply disturbing.
I am so aghast that I have just thrown up six times on the guest bedroom carpet.
What twisted mind birthed this depraved trinket of kitsch is beyond me. Most upsetting, however, is that I know that kitten. His name is Puddles, and while he has had psychosomatic issues leading to outbursts of murderous rage, I can state unequivocally that he is much, much more than the worst thing he’s ever done in his life. He may never regain the emotional stability that would land him in a loving, supportive home, but therapy and counseling have brought him back from the edge. Puddles stared into the abyss and it stared back. He’s now a stronger cat for it.
I remember one Cats Anonymous (CA to the initiated) that we both attended years back. I shared nothing at that meeting. What dark corners of my soul led me there is another story for another day. Puddles was out on parole but twitchy with pent-up aggression. I could see in his eyes that he was not yet a free cat, even though there were no longer bars to hold him in. He had not bathed himself in weeks. His toenails were obscenely long and in need of clipping. I think he also had worms.
When he stood up to speak, the room was utterly silent. He said he had been a bad cat. He said he had done things he wasn’t proud of, hurt people he meant to love, pushed away the ones he wanted the closest. He started to get choked up, which was rare for him, but then we realized it was just a hairball. He spit it out and in it were bits of the fake plant in the corner, which we all suddenly realized was quite bare. “Yes, even these I have contented myself with,” Puddles whispered when he got his voice back.
Puddles wasn’t in the clear after that night, but he took a step toward the light. “I dream of a day when I can sprawl out on a hardwood floor toasting in the refracted sunlight through the window,” he said, “or just get old and fat and lie on top of vents in the winter and sleep in every box I can find and generally fit myself into places that are far too small for me to fit in, only I’ll do it because I can.” There was an All right!, followed by an Amen, brother! Puddles looked across the room and our eyes met. We held that look for a while, until Puddles’ eyes suddenly got huge and he bolted across the room, tail straight up, hair on end. There was an awkward silence. Was this a relapse? To keep his cool, Puddles began ferociously licking himself, playing it off nonchalant-like. No one spoke of it later.
I beg of you: Do not buy this shirt for yourself, or support any establishment that sells it. If you see anyone wearing the shirt, approach them in a spirit of supplication and tell them about Puddles. Not every cat out there wants to kill you, and the ones who do certainly won’t let their faces get plastered on a t-shirt.
Thank you, and good night.