Of course I know that should be “Kati and I,” but now that I have slowly been deprived of my previous “middle class” status I think “me and Kati” is a more appropriate language. Since my lovely wife died, terribly and unjustly prematurely, and since virtually all of my previous friends have also died, my closest companion has been, and is, Kati. It is true that I have a few good friends but I see them only sporadically. Kati is with me 24 hours a day. Well, almost 24 hours a day, she does take some time out to wander around outside capturing and killing as is her wont. She is, after all, a cat, and as such she can be loving and fun when she is not being the carnivore she is. One thing about her, she doesn’t discriminate, she kills anything that moves (if it is small enough): birds, mice, bats, lizards, snakes, and squirrels. I hate that side of her but she is fundamentally a cat, and that is what cats do. I had to stop feeding the birds long ago as feeding them was really just feeding the cats. Anyway, Kati is in most respects a wonderful companion.
I talk, she listens, and she never interrupts or asks embarrassing questions. She just sits there attentively and cocks her beautiful little gray head to one side or the other and seems to be considering whatever it is I am complaining about at the moment. I think she may be a kind of philosopher cat as she sometimes will sit quietly for long periods of time as if lost in thought. I wonder what it is she thinks about, and what it is she thinks about what she thinks about. I confide in her, knowing she will not breech a confidence or give me away no matter what. She is loyal, although why I am not certain, probably because I feed her so well. Anyway, she knows I detest Republicans, or at least I believe she understands that much. I tell her, “Kati, you won’t believe what that moron, Louie Gohmert, said today,” or Inhofe said, or Palin said, or Santorum said, and on ad infinitum. She jumps up on my lap and purrs contentedly as she doesn’t have to deal with any other moron but me.
Sometimes I try to explain to her the evils of unregulated capitalism and why it is her food suddenly costs so much, and I rant about how disgusting it is we have to shop at Walmart (as where we live there is virtually nowhere else to buy anything you need anymore). Of course we also have Home Depot and Big R, but they are much the same when it comes to big box stores. We used to have at least three or four truly fine small hardware stores but they all went out of business (of course). I have to explain to her why I must drive thirty miles and back just to find most of the necessities of life, like dishware, sheets, pillow cases, stuff like that. I’d like to take her with me but she doesn’t like riding in the car, and I know she would hate Walmart, the gigantic warehouse full of poor customers like me, even poorer clerks, and all of us ,“losers.”
Kati loves me, at least I believe she does. She sleeps with me almost every night and greets me warmly every morning. I think she has some kind of internal clock that wakes her at the same time I wake as whether she is still on the bed or not she shows up precisely on time every morning. And she knows the routine, I get up, visit the bathroom (she respects my privacy there and waits patiently outside the door), she watches intently as I dress and put on my shoes, follows me dutifully into the study where I turn on the computer, and then hurdles up the stairs in front of me for her breakfast. I wonder what will happen to her when I am gone. Kati has a beautiful face and is a very attractive cat, especially given the fact she is all gray. She is so gray that sometimes when she comes to the door at night I cannot see her because she blends in so perfectly with the night. If I don’t see her she announces her arrival with a few well placed scratches on the side of the glass door. In the sunlight outside she is a gorgeous kind of blue. She “helps” me in the garden so enthusiastically it usually takes twice as long to accomplish anything. In the house she follows me, constantly underfoot, knowing I will make any ridiculous move so as not to step on her. I know that someday I will trip and fall. When she wants attention she will hold up her right paw as if she wants to shake hands, but I have been unable to teach her to actually shake hands (she is a cat, after all, and very independent when it comes to such things). I have two other cats, both fixed males, both larger than Kati, but both unable to bully her. She fears nothing as near as I can tell. I love her. Actually, I inherited these animals from my wife, my conscience will not allow me to dispose of them, not that I would ever give up my love/irritation with Kati.
Katie, my elegant cat
I love you
sitting regally there
on your throne
of warm laundry