My cat, Plato, is 19 years old. That is VERY old for a cat. He’s still a looker, and he can jump up to all the places I would rather he not go: counters, desks, anywhere stuff can be wrecked by the presence of filthy cat paws or sharp cat claws. The “skills” he has refined most as he gets older are perhaps useful somewhere, but not so much in my house. For example, the other day he barfed so copiously on my sofa cushion (only on one, unusually for him) that the entire house stank of wet food mixed with stomach acid. I put the cushion outside, and about an hour later all of Madison stank of wet food mixed with stomach acid. Nutro Max Cat, in case you were wondering (local readers: did you smell it?). The NSA has made inquiries – they are interested in Plato as a secret weapon in Afghanistan.
Plato just moved, as did we (his family). This is his 7th abode, which is a lot. For us, too. I am quite sure it will be his last house, and I hope not to be moving again either, though I hope to live here longer than Plato, who can’t go on forever (I think). Yesterday, the mud room of our new house stank, and it was clear that Plato was again “thinking outside the box.” He had hidden a horrible smelling piece of poop so well that, while we smelled it instantly and pungently, it took two adults 15 minutes of coordinated grid search to find the offending fecal solid. My wife, who found it, used the word “oily” in her description, which sent me to a place I’d rather not go.
Plato’s name suggests a philosophical nature, but names can be deceiving. Plato’s worlds are the physical one we live in (and he shits in) and his own constructed narrative of anxiety. Now, when we pick him up (which usually follows some 15 minutes of begging on his part), he purrs hard for about 5 seconds, then insists on jumping down so that he can resume begging to be picked up. This may be the perfect metaphor for life.
I am not the first person to note that cat food smells awful. But perhaps I am the first person to notice that the fantastically expensive all-natural unionized clumping grain-based kitty litter billed as “The World’s Best,” when seasoned with cat urine, bears an uncomfortable olfactory resemblance to Wheatena.
There’s nothing left to say. The end.