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Dandy DiNozzo

A "proper" cat's story

By Jen SullivanPublished 2 years ago 7 min read
A picture of me, taken by Jen Sullivan

My name is DiNozzo and I am a black cat, or, as some would say, a “mini panther.” My family adopted me in February of 2013 when I was about seven months old. I was one of many black cats available, but I was the lucky one, chosen because of my name and some show called “NCIS.”

I was taken in by a rescue group called PAWS and was placed in a cage inside a PetSmart store with many other cats. People would look at us as they shopped, with some trying to get our attention in various ways. We would get moved around from cage to cage, sometimes being in a small cage alone, sometimes in a larger cage with other cats, and other times, though rare, going home with a volunteer.

I was scared when they took me out of my cage and handed me to a stranger, but she smelled nice and seemed friendly, so I gave her a little headbutt. She petted me and scratched my chin, then I was put back in my cage. Several days later I went home with that same woman and her mother, and though I didn’t like being stuffed in yet another cage and taken somewhere else, it was worth it in the end.

My new home had another cat, a large dog, and two humans in the beginning: one named Jen and one named Mom. I made sure right away that the dog knew she was beneath me. I was impressed with the other cat: a seven-year-old male named Loki with feral genetics. We bonded almost immediately, and eventually, with Loki’s help, I accepted that the humans were there to take care of me and not to hurt me or put me in another cage. I was free to roam the entire house, and I loved it. In 2019, another cat joined our family—a cat that I do not like one bit.

Me with Loki, photo by Jen Sullivan

Here's the thing about cats: most of them do not follow the proper cat code of conduct, or at least not the ones in my household. We are supposed to be neat and clean, not sloppy and dirty. We are graceful, not clumsy like a dog. We sleep during the day and are active when the sun comes up and again when it goes down. And, most importantly, humans are there for our entertainment and to serve our needs, not the other way around!

Don’t get me wrong—I love my humans very much. I’ve spent 3493 days in this household, so it’s hard to not get attached after a few years. I even grew to like the dog, which she made easy after she realized that I was to be respected and needed space. She gets scared during fireworks, so I like to try to calm her down. She really isn’t too bad…for a dog.

Sometime in 2014, another human joined the family and we moved to the house next door in April 2015, which had a little more space. In 2017, that human left after yet another human joined the family a few months earlier, making it a little too many humans for my taste. I can deal with two humans, and maybe three if they are housetrained, but four humans? That’s too many!

The newest human, named Jordan, became my favorite because he would always pet me and did not run around like he was always in a hurry. That’s why I never cared for Mom—she was (and still is) always in a hurry, and it stressed me out. Up until then, Jen was my favorite, but she worked a lot and the dog was often with her when she was home, so I liked to hang out with Jordan.

Another photo of me, taken by Jen Sullivan

Jen and Jordan had some sort of party where Jen wore a big white dress and people gave them a bunch of money and presents. I only knew about it because of all the planning Jen and Mom were doing and because Loki was told more than once to get off the fancy dress. Loki tends to do things like that. He has no manners.

When the new cat joined the family in 2019, I was certainly not happy. They called her “Sadie” and I felt that she was rude, arrogant, and obnoxious. She would lay on the floor like a dog and she would get into dirty things, like cobwebs in the basement. Sometimes I do that too, but I always clean myself after. Sadie even has to get a bath now and then, usually when she stinks so bad that you can smell her a couple of feet away.

Sadie and I do not get along at all. Her very existence offends me. She had lived with us for maybe a month when she went into heat, acting like some sort of lewd animal and constantly talking. Jen said she was a stray and now they knew the answer as to whether or not she was spayed. The humans made an appointment with the vet after Sadie was done with her heat cycle. I had hoped that they would leave her at the vet, but I was disappointed.

The worst part was she tried to take Jordan from me! I would go into Jordan’s den to sit with him and Sadie would already be there, laying on his chest (back when she was still little). I started to bond more with Jen after this and realized that she is definitely my favorite human. Even if she was the reason we had to take Sadie in, she takes care of us and makes sure that we are happy. Plus she always gives us new toys—Jordan says we have plenty, but Jen makes sure we get new ones at Christmas and gets me a new catnip banana from Chewy when mine starts looking pretty beat up.

I have gotten into trouble a few times for bullying Sadie, the same way I bullied the dog in the beginning. Except Sadie does not bow to my will like the dog. Instead, she started to fight back, and we have both gotten into trouble for fighting. Nothing major—I could take that fat cat if I wanted, we just are not supposed to fight. Loki used to get involved to break it up, but his health is not what it once was, so he lets Jen handle it.

This is not the first time I have been aggressive. I do not like when anything disrupts my household and I get upset easily. One time Mom was playing with the dog and the dog started growling. I was confused and thought they were fighting, so I went after Mom, trying to get her to stop hurting the dog. I have since learned that this is just what dogs do when they play and that I do not need to worry about it.

One time Mom accidentally stepped on Loki’s tail and he let out a loud meow. I went after Mom that time too. However, I do not like it when any of the pets talk back to Jen, including Loki. If Loki or Sadie hisses at Jen, I will go after them. Jen says I’m an overprotective guard cat, but I just want to make sure the hierarchy in the household is respected. Maybe I am a little too aggressive at times, like when Loki came home from the vet and was groggy from having a few teeth pulled and I hissed at him. I don’t like vet smells and they make me scared and defensive.

I have no problem with other cats, or even dogs, as long as they conduct themselves with manners and respect the hierarchy. Jen often says that I am a “proper” cat or a “dandy,” and I agree. There is nothing wrong with being neat, clean, and fit. I make sure to exercise every day to keep my trim figure. That is what the stairs were designed for, right? Stair sprints to keep in shape? I am the only one who does this—Loki is 17 now and sleeps a lot, and Sadie is just lazy.

Hanging out with Jen, photo by Jen Sullivan

I ask you, is there something wrong with being a dandy? A cat with manners and style? I do not need a human to groom me, and when Jen does decide to brush me, she rarely finds any loose hair. My humans are there for me when I need them or when I want their attention. The other cats will just jump on the humans if they want pets or head scratches. I think that is downright rude. I prefer to tap them on the arm until they acknowledge me. Just because I’m a cat does not mean I should forego manners, and the humans use their hands in similar ways to get each other’s attention, so I mimic what I see in an attempt to follow human manners.

Some people actually think I’m bad luck because I am a black cat. My humans never seemed to care. I think it makes me stylish, giving me a much more handsome appearance than any other cat I’ve ever seen. My fur is silky smooth, and my coat shines like velvet, making my green eyes stand out more.

I do not deny that I am a dandy cat—a distinguished gentleman—acknowledging and accepting my sense of style and my superior feline etiquette. I am proud to be a proper cat.


About the Creator

Jen Sullivan

I am a gamer, a geek, a writer, an entrepreneur, and a gardener, among many things. I have a lot of knowledge and opinions to share with the world, along with creations from my chaotic mind.

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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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Comments (3)

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  • Mariann Carroll2 years ago

    Dear Dandy DiNozzo , love story . You are a rebel cat for sure ❤️

  • I truly enjoyed reading this!

  • Cathy holmes2 years ago

    Very special kitty Dinozzo. This is great. Love it!

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