When you open the door of your apartment to find your boxer-clad husband standing awkwardly with a kitten in one hand and a jar of some unknown substance in the other, the last thing you want to hear him say is, “Hold on, I was just blocking a hole that the cat just came out of.”
I took Mildred for her first ever checkup the other day. Of course she went and tested positive for Feline Leukemia, the little bitch. Of course I immediately threw up in my mouth and spent three days trying to fall at least the tiniest bit out of love with her. Of course I couldn’t. Have you seen that frickin’ face?
So we ran the test again and the little diva came back negative. False alarm. Obviously Rocco has already managed to pass on his flair for the dramatic to the tiny gato. Next thing you know, they’ll be sharing tiaras and fighting over who gets top billing.
We had a few friends over the other night, and they demanded I prove that Mildred’s head fits in my mouth. Fortunately, I’d just wolfed down a piece of parmesan cheese. While I think stinky cheese makes my breath smell like I just blew a zombie, Mildred thinks it’s downright intoxicating. She was twirling around my feet in anticipation.
People always think there’s some sort of intense preparation for our trick. Really, it’s quite simple. 1 ) Pick up cat. 2 ) Open mouth. 3 ) Insert cat. 4 ) Pause for photos. 5 ) Remove cat. 6 ) Close mouth. 7 ) Pet cat. 8 ) Let the applause and admiration wash over you.
As I was signing autographs, one of the girls turned to Rocco and asked if he did it, too. He paused dramatically before answering. “I tried it once with Simone.”
“You did?” I asked incredulously. “I’ve never seen you do it.”
“Well,” he hesitated. “I tried it when no one was around.” He looked at the floor while the rest of us looked at each other with uncertainty.
“And?” someone finally asked.
“It was horrible,” Rocco whispered hoarsely. His pitch slowly rose as he described the carnage. “I took a deep breath then grabbed her with both hands and tried to work her head into my mouth. She wasn’t having it. Suddenly my head was surrounded by a mass of fur, teeth and claws.” His voice lowered both in pitch and volume. “I never tried it again.”
“Who’s a good kitty?” I thought to myself.
The similarities between the two cats are downright creepy. I swear, sometimes I think Mildred is Simone reincarnated. Not that I believe in reincarnation. Not that I DON’T believe in reincarnation. Wait, I can’t remember what I believe anymore. Regardless, this kitten has me wondering.
Simone was a gorgeous cat. Stunning. (Not that I’m biased.) Yet for some reason, I never painted nor sketched her over the course of her thirteen years. Not once. I took plenty of photos, but they were always disappointing. They never captured her fierce heart or beauty. If a photo couldn’t do it, how the hell were globs of paint going to?
But the other night, as I tried to stay distracted and ignore the very real possibility that I would have to put our newest mound of whiskered adorableness to sleep, look who showed up on my sketchpad:
Who’s a good kitty, indeed.