When the millennials arrived to live in the basement last year for a few months, before their residencies started, they brought with them their red tabby cat.
Quickly he earned many nicknames in the household: Mars, Marzipan, Marsupiel, Marzirino, MarMar. Can you guess his real name?
He’s no shy kitty-cat, that’s for certain. He marches around as if he owns the place, swinging his hefty weight this way and that, tail high like a periscope.
I’ve known many cats, but I’ve never known one that can regulate the sound of its footfalls to be demanding.
He’s “boss,” as the millennials say. Very quickly we all realized he runs the household.
He greets every new visitor and sizes them up, then disappears for a bit to log them into some kind of secret cat computer.
When the millennials forget to stock his beloved canned food, he stomps angrily. If I could capture the sound and post it, I would.
He identified me as the weak link in the chain right away. If he runs out of cat food, he knows he can manipulate me into some butter, or half and half. Yesterday, tuna.
His constant bowl full of dry food is for sissies.
I’m the only one in the household up at the crack of dawn with him. It’s he and me greeting the day.
For the first months, I assumed he was up because he knew I would feed him. Then I had a mindset shift last week.
Maybe he’s up to get some loving.
Or maybe he’s convinced me of that.
He knows it’s good for me also, given everything going on in the household with the caretaking of my husband.
It’s as if he decided he’d caretake me a bit.
Only in the wee hours, not any other time, he lets me hoist up all 16 pounds of his red fur and whale blubber into my arms, and he purrs like an overgrown kitten.
I bury my face in his soft fur and talk to him. When I put him down, he tangos around my legs, swiping my ankles seductively with his tail. This guy is an operator.
Early in the morning, he convinces me to open the door to the garage, so he can explore and catalog any changes in the garbage can in there, packages left on the floor, and whatever else.
He smells all four tires of the car in the garage as if he is checking up on me. No tracking device is needed by this guy. He is the tracking device.
Once I brought into the house boots I had worn at my friends' horse farm, and he had me take them back out to the garage for storage.
Wish I was joking.
He’s observant, the way felines are. He knows when my husband needs something. He usually comes to find me in the house and stares me down until I grok it. Cat telepathy.
None of us get to lounge around and watch streamers without him included. Not an option.
Sometimes this involves changing our own seats so that he can choose his. More cat telepathy.
He likes to perch between the millennials, monitoring their conversations and movements as we all watch the screen. He will stare them down if they're talking during the movie. A long blink-less staredown from The Boss.
If only all of us had such good self-esteem in life. He apologizes for nothing. He knows his contributions to the household and expects to be fairly compensated.
He maintains his boundaries.
Thanks, Mario. You showed up at exactly the right time.
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