So, back in July of 2000, we were all over at Dart’s place—just hanging out. Dart heard something scratching at her window; I tried to dismiss it as one of the guys messing with us. But, Dart went outside and had a little striped kitten follow her around the apartment building to the front. She came in triumphantly. “I was right; it was a kitten!”

I went out side to see this creature (after suggesting Dart get some of her cat’s food and soak it in water). Indeed, it was a little stripy-cat no bigger than my hand. It was terribly thin and looked like it had been out on its own for a while.

Dart came back with the water-soaked-food and we put it down in front of the bag-o’-bones. The kitten started to eat—ravenously—which gave me an opportunity to grab the wee beastie and let everyone know it was a young tom. The kitten didn’t seem to mind being picked up like that. I suspect he was just tired from being in the heat and hungry.

I went back inside to wash my hands and finish my drink.

The next thing I knew, Dart had scooped the kitten up and put him in her cat’s carrying case. Now, Dart’s cat is a mean, un-spayed bitch. There’s no other way to put it. I have never liked that cat and I don’t think she’s too fond of me.

What Dart’s cat is really not fond of is strange little kittens being brought into her house. This hell cat started to throw herself up against the cat-carrying-case and the kitten inside was so scared he was doing the “I’m just going to shut down” blinking eyes “I want to sleep” routine.

And then Phil decided I needed a kitten.

Let me just say, I grew up with cats. There were cats in the house when I was born and there were cats there when I left. There are still cats in my parents’ house. I like cats well enough, but I didn’t think it was fair to keep a cat indoors. As long as I was living in an apartment, my cat would have to be an indoor cat and I thought that wasn’t fair to the cat. It also wasn’t fair to me because I’d have to clean the little bastard’s litter box. I hate cleaning litter boxes. I hate it. I hate the smell. I hate the little granules of little that get tracked through the house. An indoor cat just seemed wrong.

But, Phil thought I needed a cat. “We can’t leave him with Dart, Kasha (the evil cat) will kill him. You saw how she threw herself at that cage.”

So, on the way home from Dart’s, we picked up some kitten food, some kitty litter, a scoop, and a pan. Phil named the cat Sasha on the trip home.

Once we got home and opened the cage, little Sasha went running for the smallest thing he could squeeze himself into. Phil spent an hour-and-a-half coaxing Sasha out with a can of tuna. He managed to get the cat into the middle of the living room when I must have moved too quickly, because the little punk ran right back into whatever it was. I don’t have Phil’s patience; I just walked over and pulled the kitten out.

We set Sasha up in the downstairs bathroom. He had his box, his blanket, and his can of tuna. The animal purred so loudly he shook the cabinet he was in.

Phil and I went to bed feeling like good parents.

The next night, Kris and Donovan came over. Kris mentioned that Sasha didn’t really look like a cat, but more like someone wearing a little cat suit. And this was when Sasha became Edgar (Edgar-suit—get it?). Edgar was a better name anyway. He has short fur. Sasha is a dignified long-hair cat name. Even when he was sleeping on his little bean-bag (with the Edgar-groove—similar to a butt-groove on a couch) Edgar was nothing close to dignified

Edgar likes to watch television. He likes documentaries with nifty sounds, anything with John Cleese, interviews with Democrats (they move their hands around a lot), and futbol (soccer). Edgar loves watching futbol. He tries to catch the ball and gets very excites whenever the announcer yells “Gooooooooaaaaaaaallllll!” I remember once, Edgar was batting at the TV and accidentally turned it off. It was one of the few times I have heard him meow.

Edgar does not meow. He trills. He also doesn’t really know how to relate to other cats. I don’t think he understands that he really is a cat because if one hisses at him, he’ll hiss back, but he won’t drop his ears.

Growing up, Edgar really had to grow into his ears. Each one was a big at his face.

After a while, I decided to toilet train the cat. I knew it could be done and figured it would save me a lot of trouble further down the road. Luckily, we have two bathrooms, so this wasn’t any great inconvenience. I got an aluminum turkey pan, removed the support bars, and molded it to fit the toilet bowl. Then I filled it with litter and showed Edgar his new pan.

He ran into the living room and started trilling. I walked around the corner just in time to watch him pee on his bean-bag. After a far bit of shouting, I put the bean-bag out on the patio. Edgar looked longingly at it through the window and started to whine. “No, no. You peed on that. It’s gone. It’s all your fault. You made that go away.”  He has never peed on anything since.

After a while, I started to open a hole in the bottom of the pan, larger and larger, until eventually Edgar was working without the pan. I was so proud. I had a toilet trained cat who watched TV.

Another thing we trained Edgar to do was walk on a leash. This is not that difficult, but it takes a lot of patience and half-an-hour a day. You put the cat on the leash, go outside, and drag him around until he starts walking with you. You’re probably supposed to give them little treats every time they do it right, but the dragging method prevents getting a fat, whiny cat. And before you even start, I was using a harness, not a collar. And I wasn’t really dragging him as much as I was lifting the harness up under his arms.

The cat has a laser pointer he loves and we’ll run him around in circles, up and down the stairs. He also likes to wrestle, which is why I clip his claws (I will never de-claw him), and he likes to bite.

I've been giving him weekly baths and from what we can tell, Edgar doesn’t mind baths. He likes the water, just not the soap. We though it was odd that the cat liked water. He also walked on a leash and would fetch pieces of paper.

He was also growing at an alarming rate. Friends started to question just what kind of cat he was. He had tight stripes, dark ears with light spots on the back, and his fur was getting more russet in color. He also had the monstrous ears and gigantic paws.

Gavin and Monique came over and Gavin suggested Edgar was part Begal—a new breed known for its size and “dog-like attributes”. This was when Monique decided she wanted a kitty.

There had been a mother cat and kitten in our apartment complex. I had watched the mother cat teaching her kitten what a chain-link fence was and why the Pekinese on the other side was not a threat. Apparently, something else was a threat, because the mother cat disappeared shortly thereafter and the tiny kitten was on her own. I had shooed the neighborhood kids away when they chased the kitten and one day I decided to catch it.

Actually, I was walking from where I had parked my car and saw the kitten hiding in some bushes. I went upstairs and grabbed a coffee-filter full of kitten-food and gave that to the tiny kitten. It didn’t take much to grab the kitten. Hungry kittens are very easy to catch, I’ve found. They get so caught up in what they’re eating that they don’t want to pay attention to you.

I took the kitten inside and gave her a bath right away. I had to. She was crawling with fleas and was covered in dirt and motor oil. She had a bald spot on her head (I feared mange) and a scab on her tail where she had tussled with something. I’m guessing she had tussled with a squirrel or a rat. It looked pretty bad.

What really worried me was the kitten didn’t fight me during the bath and didn’t try to groom herself afterwards. Cat’s that don’t groom themselves are either too sick, tired, or close to death to care about their appearance. I was worried she was close to death. She had been on her own for about two weeks and the neighborhood kids had probably given her the works while I was away. The fleas had taken a lot out of her and whatever had chewed through her tail might have had rabies. I almost felt bad offering the kitten to Monique.

I called over to their place, “I have a kitten here for you.”

“Really?” She sounded very excited.

“Dude. It’s a sad looking little cat. It looks worse than second-hand shoes.”

I took the kitten over to Gavin and Monique’s place. We set her up in a carrying case with food and water and left her be.

The next day Gavin called.

“So…did it die?” I asked.

“No,” he sort of laughed. “She’s doing fine actually. She’s playing.”

So little Eartha Kitten—the Original Cat Woman, came into everyone’s life. Including Edgar’s.

Actually, we had a bet going with Gavin and Monique that our cat could kick their cat’s ass. Gavin said it was bullshit and the date was set. When both cats lost their baby teeth, they would meet and throw down.

Eartha lost her baby teeth a month before Edgar did. Edgar weighed eight pounds when he lost his. Eartha weighed two.

Edgar and Eartha seem to get along well enough. He will go visit her every so often. We put him in his harness and go for a ride in the car to visit. They like to place chase and tag, but they can’t wrestle much because Eartha is one-third Edgar’s size.

Once I had to take Edgar to the vet’s for a problem with parasites and “inappropriate elimination”. Neither of these had been a problem until I had him fixed at the Eastlake Veterinary Hospital. I don’t know what they did to him, but the cat hasn’t been right since. And it’s not just that he was neutered, I mean, I think someone hit my cat while he was there. He’s always been a rambunctious animal but he was really head-shy for a month after we got him back.

Anyway, Edgar came back from the “bad” vet crawling with crap. I had already been using ear-mite medication on him, plus the weekly baths for fleas, but now he had tape worm and that was just giving me the heebie-jeebies. Plus, there was the “inappropriate elimination” problem that had started. Basically, the cat was shitting next to the toilet. Not in it, but next to it. Our roommate Dave suggested it was Edgar’s own form of rebellion: “I will not shit in your robot pond.”  Personally, I think the cat got splashed.

Anyway, I took him over to the Skillman Street Cat Hospital (right next door to the Skillman Wok Chinese restaurant) to have the problem fixed. The vet had an injection for tapeworm which was administered to the inner thigh. Edgar let the needle go in fine, but when the vet withdrew, Edgar clamped down on the fleshy spot between the thumb and forefinger. He broke the skin, but he wouldn’t let go.

“He’s had his shots?” asked the vet.


“You have his papers?” the vet grimaced.

“I have them right here,” and I showed all the receipts from Edgar’s rabies shots and boosters.

“Good…” And with that, the vet grabbed a hold of Edgar’s scruff and slowly started to roll the flesh over his fist. Edgar decided he didn’t have enough skin for that and a closed mouth and released his grip.

The vet left to dress the wound and when he cam back said, “Your cat is angry. Find out what is making him angry and remove it.”

Anyway. It’s a cat. I won’t go on anymore because I know that gets annoying.

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