Archives For Cats

Here’s what I think

Madame Weebles —  November 18, 2013 — 201 Comments

My friends, you know how shy I am about expressing my thoughts.

Well, as of right now, I’m turning over a new leaf. I’m going to throw caution to the wind and say what I think, and I’m not going to sugar-coat it.  It feels strange and uncomfortable, like breaking in a new pair of shoes. So do me a favor, humor me.

  1. First, because the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s assassination is almost upon us, I think Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I’m not much for conspiracy theories, generally. I don’t believe there was a second shooter on the grassy knoll, nor do I think Oswald was working on behalf of the Mob, Castro, the CIA, or anyone else.
  2. However, I also think that Marilyn Monroe’s death was not an accident. So maybe I believe in some conspiracy theories.
  3. I think Benedict Cumberbatch is creepy looking. But he has a phenomenal name.
  4. I’m sick to death of television shows and the media referring to female college students as “co-eds.” I think it’s patronizing and stupid. It’s not 1965. There is absolutely nothing new about women in universities. In fact, female students now outnumber males at college, and they have for some time. So any numskull that uses the term “co-ed” should have a giant clue pill jammed down his or her throat.
  5. Speaking of television, I think more networks and producers need to take a cue from American Horror Story: Coven. It’s a ridiculously good show, but more importantly, it stars not one, not two, not three, but four women over the age of 50 (Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett, and Frances Conroy). And all of the women in the cast are strong characters rather than dithering namby-pamby chicks with blandly attractive, vapid faces. Why can’t more TV shows and movies be like this? Why must we continue to be inundated with noxious fare that depicts females as hypersexualized stick figures with boobs, or victims, or weaklings who need men to take care of them?
  6. I think skim milk sucks.
  7. I think yogurt sucks too.
  8. I don’t know the identity of the first retailer to sell Christmas stuff in September, but I think that person should be publicly maimed and then strung up with Christmas lights.

So that’s what I think.

By the way, I also think it’s worth pointing out that this is my second consecutive post in which I haven’t dropped any F-bombs. I’m starting to cramp up.

I think a lot about my beloved, dearly departed cat Pickles. Some of you who know me in real life had the distinct privilege of knowing the Divine Miss P. For everyone else, click on the image below for an idea of what she was like:Equation

Pickles was unlike any other cat I’ve ever known. She was her own breed—a breed of One. Fiendishly smart, contrary, spoiled, overbearing, disdainful, and endlessly lovable.

I’d like to share a little of what our days together were like. Below is an example of a typical Saturday for us. The dialogue has been altered for creative purposes, but the events are all true.

4:00am
I’m sleeping.

Pickles:  Bored.
Me:  Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
Pickles:  BORED.
Me:  Zzzzzz–sngh?
Pickles:  BORED! BORED! BORED! BORED! I’M BORED!!!!!
Me:  What the fuck? I was sleeping!
Pickles:  You were boring me. You will entertain me now.
Me:  It’s 4 o’clock in the morning.
Pickles:  I fail to see your point. You will entertain me now.
Me:  I’m not entertaining you now. I’m going back to sleep.
Pickles:  Suit yourself. But one day I’ll smother you. You’ll be sorry.

10:0am
Pickles is sitting on my lap. She peeks in my coffee cup and wrinkles her nose.

Pickles:  Is that coffee?
Me:  Yes.
Pickles:  I don’t care for coffee.
Me:  I know. We go through this every morning.
Pickles:  You insist on drinking coffee even though you know I don’t care for it.
Me:  I’m not asking you to drink it.
Pickles:  (sniff sniff)  What is that smell? It’s foul.
Me:  It’s toast.
Pickles:  NOXIOUS VAPORS!!!  YOU’RE TRYING TO KILL ME!!!
Me:  Sigh. We do this every day, Pickles. It’s toast. It won’t kill you.
Pickles:  VILE!!!  ASPHYXIATING!!!!
Me:  Oh stop, you’re being a drama queen.
Pickles:  You should cook whatever you made yesterday. That smelled delicious.
Me:  I didn’t cook anything yesterday.
Pickles:  Yes you did. That blue liquid you had in the kitchen. It smelled delicious.
Me:  That was Windex.
Pickles:  I don’t care what the recipe is called. I want some.
Me:  You’re so weird. You don’t like food smells but you like cleaning products.
Pickles:  Don’t judge.

This was how Pickles looked most of the time: annoyed.

This was how Pickles looked most of the time: annoyed.


2:00pm

I’m about to go out to run errands. I can’t find one of my flip flops.

Me:  Have you seen my other flip flop?
Pickles:  No.
Me:  It was right there. You must have seen it.
Pickles:  I haven’t seen it. (Pickles shifts position, revealing what appears to be part of a flip flop.)
Me:  What are you sitting on?
Pickles:  I’m not sitting on anything.
Me:  Is that my flip flop?
Pickles:  No.
Me:  Yes it is. That’s my flip flop.
Pickles:  No it isn’t.
Me:  Pickles, I can SEE it. Get up, I need it.
Pickles:  No.
Me:  Get up. Come on.
Pickles:  No.
Me:  Don’t make me take it from you.
Pickles:  No.
Me:  Come on, give it to me. (Tries to slide shoe out from under Pickles. She takes a swing at me and her claw snags on my arm.) Hey! Look, you drew blood! Give me my shoe, you rotten cat.
Pickles:  No. I’m keeping it.
Me:  Sigh. (Puts on sneakers instead)

5:00pm
I’m in the shower. Pickles is curled up on the bed, sleeping.

Pickles:  WAIL!!  BLOODY MURDER!!!!!!  HORROR!!
Me:  (running out of the bathroom and almost slipping and cracking my head open)  What??? What happened??? What’s wrong???
Pickles:  (sitting calmly on the bed) I want to go under the covers.
Me:  That’s IT? That’s your emergency? It sounded like your tail was being hacked off, the way you were carrying on.
Pickles:  I want to go under the covers. You will lift up the covers so I can go in now.
Me:  You know very well how to go under the covers yourself. You do it when I’m not home.
Pickles:  But you’re home now.
Me:  So what? You can still do it yourself.
Pickles:  Not when you’re home. When you’re home, you do things for me. That’s how it works. So lift up the covers and let me in. But if you don’t make an interesting enough tent, I will come right back out and you will have to try again. And stop dripping on me.
Me:  Sigh. (Lifts covers so Pickles can go under them. After three attempts, a satisfactory tent is created and Pickles is reasonably content.)

Post its

This sort of thing might explain why Pickles looked annoyed all the time. 


9:00pm
I have music playing. Pickles is sprawled on the couch. Shirley Bassey’s “Goldfinger” comes on.

Pickles:  This song is too loud.
Me:  It’s the same volume as all the other songs.
Pickles:  I don’t like it. Turn it off.
Me:  Maybe you’ll like this one. (Plays “Diamonds Are Forever.”)
Pickles:  No. I hate this one too.
Me:  What is it with you and Shirley Bassey??
Pickles:  I don’t like her voice. Turn it off.
Me:  No, I like this song.
Pickles:  TURN IT OFF TURN IT OFF TURN IT OFF TURN IT OFF TURN IT OFF!!!!
Me:  Okay, okay. Relax.
Pickles:  Yes. This song is acceptable.
Me:  There’s nothing playing right now.
Pickles:  Yes.

Midnight
Pickles is taking up a disproportionate amount of space on the bed.

Me:  Time for bed.
Pickles:  Whatever.
Me:  Move over, you’re in my way.
Pickles:  Why can’t you sleep around me?
Me:  Because it’s not comfortable.
Pickles:  Yes it is.
Me:  I can’t curl up into a perfect circle the way you can.
Pickles:  Too bad for you.
Me:  Come on, shove over or I’ll move you myself.
Pickles:  (Moving) I was going to move anyway.
Me:  Good night.
Pickles:  Good night.

12:15am

Pickles:  Stop that.
Me:  Stop what? I’m not doing anything.
Pickles:  You’re in my area.
Me:  I am not in your area.
Pickles:  Look at your arm. It’s on my blanket.
Me:  So what? It’s not in your way.
Pickles:  It’s on my blanket.
Me:  Big deal. You drape your tail over me half the time and I don’t get all bent out of shape about it. Or how about when you sleep on my head?
Pickles:  That’s different.
Me:  How is that different?
Pickles:  Because it’s me.
Me:  That’s not an answer.
Pickles:  Yes it is.
Me:  (long sigh)  Fine. I’ll move my arm. Is that better?
Pickles:  I suppose.
Me:  Good night.
Pickles:  Good night.

12:30am
Pickles comes over and curls up against me.

Me:  What is it?
Pickles:  Nothing.
Me:  You’re right up against me, you know.
Pickles:  I know. I was bored with my blanket and wanted to lie over here instead, that’s all.
Me:  I see. Okay. Good night.
Pickles:  Good night.

12:35am
Pickles rubs her face against mine, purring loudly.

Me:  What’s all this about?
Pickles:  I’m—my cheeks are itchy. Yes. I’m just using you to scratch them, that’s all.
Me:  Is that purring? You’re purring.
Pickles:  No I’m not.
Me:  Haaaa, you’re purring.
Pickles:  Shut up and go to sleep.

12:40am
Pickles rests her head in my palm.

Me:  You have your head in my hand, you know.
Pickles:  Just in case my cheeks get itchy again, that’s all.
Me:  Mmm hmm. Good thinking. (Kisses her on the head)
Pickles:  Stop that. (Purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr)
Me:  Good night, little Pickles.
Pickles:  Good night, Mommy.

But she was still the best cat ever.

She was the best cat ever.

I’ve got to switch things up around here.  My recent posts have been sentimental and/or introspective and frankly, I’m starting to annoy myself.  It’s time to break away from all that thoughtful shit and bust out a new batch of search terms.  For a refresher on the other mind-boggling search terms that bring people to my blog, please click here and here.

First, the newest members of my I Hate Alex Trebek club:
why is alex trebek such an insufferable prick
why does alex trebek think he’s hot shit
i fucking hate trebek
alex trebek isn’t a nice guy

I wish I didn’t like Jeopardy! as a game because I have such a hard time watching it with that smug bastard hosting.  I yell at the television at least once per episode, usually more:  “Fuck you, you little douche!”  “Shut up!  Stop talking!”  “Ass!”

What is WITH these people??
weebles boobs
weebles rack
weeble porn
weeble butt plug

Based on the disturbing popularity of these sorts of terms, I’m going to create a new literature genre: Weeblerotica.  There’s obviously an unmet need here.  A very twisted, baffling, unmet need.

Not quite the right URL, sorry:
heynicerack.com
loveyourtits.wordpress.com

If only I had thought of either of these for the name of my blog.  I could have been Madame Boobs.  Both of these domains are available, by the way.  I checked.

Some pressing questions that require answers:
can cats carry demons
Yes, but only if the demons are very small.   Cats can’t handle a big saddle.  Also, cats are pretty lazy.

what do i do i’m scared of weebles

Did they not read the title of this blog?  FEAR NO WEEBLES.

can i touch up my hair and raid it the same day

I suppose so, if you have a lot of bugs in your hair and you don’t mind that bug spray smell.  But you know, you may have more important concerns than your hair.  Just saying.

i wore pantyhose for halloween, now i can’t stop
I find this one particularly curious.  Is this person now addicted to pantyhose?  How does this happen?  What was their Halloween costume, anyway?

you see another brother in christ and you get nauseous
Whoa, is that any way to talk about a brother in Christ?  Let he who is without nausea-inducing qualities cast the first stone, dude.

Um, what?
prepare to fuck a new woman every day … but first read through our policies below

What the hell kind of organization is this?  I’m going to need to see these policies of theirs.  And is there a division for those who might wish to fuck a new man every day?

Variations on Fuck You:
fuck you american style
i fuck people like you in prison

Yes, well.  “American style” could mean so many things…  And although I’ve never been to prison, I watched Oz, so I know what’s up.  But if someone says, “I fuck people like you in prison,” does it mean that you’re a tasty piece or does it mean that you’re an obnoxious jerk who needs to become someone’s bitch?  It could go either way.

So many weevils, so many idiots:
how to make sure weebles aren’t in your food
what happens when you swallow a weeble
what to do if spaghetti has weebles in it

You mean like this? I usually just pick them out and lick off the sauce. It’s really no biggie.

If I had a dime for each search term where they obviously mean weevils and not Weebles, I’d be writing this post from my yacht on the Riviera.

My personal favorite:
geddy lee madame weebles in bed

Geddy, is that you????  Don’t be shy, baby.  Email me.

More search terms that would make great band names:
picturesque vagina
barricading the cheese
big pubes little dick
pantyhose ascendant
precocious tits
subway penis
dead marshmallow

As many of you know, I’ve heard dead people.  I’ve heard them here, here, and also here.

So now I’d like to tell you about some of the peculiar occurrences in the Weebles house that didn’t involve hearing the voices of disembodied people.  These have all involved electronic devices of some sort.

It started last summer.  One day I came home from running errands and went into the bedroom.  I turned on the light but it didn’t go on.  I figured the bulb had burned out so I put in a new bulb.  Still, no light.  WTF?  It had worked fine that morning.

I figured maybe there was a problem with the outlet.  I went to unplug the lamp so I could try it in another outlet, but that’s when I saw that the lamp was already unplugged.  It hadn’t been unplugged that morning.  And it’s not as if the cats could have knocked it out; the plug fit too snugly in the socket for that.  Whatever, I plugged the lamp back in and that was that.

Until the next day.  The television was on and I was puttering around the house.  I had my back turned to the television when I heard it turn off and then back on again.  I was nowhere near the remote control, nor were the cats.  And there was no evidence that the cable box had reset itself like it sometimes does.

Things were calm for several weeks after that.  Then one night we were sitting in the living room and our Roomba suddenly turned on.  Again, no cats nearby.  Mr. Weebles checked it out and everything seemed to be fine.  No obvious reason it should have switched on.

A few weeks later, I was in bed reading before going to sleep.  When I went to the kitchen to get a glass of water, I saw that the bathroom light was on.  I know for a fact that the bathroom light was off when we went to bed that night.  And once again, it wasn’t something one of the cats could have done.

Other electronic oddities: Once, while I was watching television, the channel changed by itself.  Nobody was near the remote.  And twice, random apps on my phone mysteriously started up while the phone was sitting on the table next to me.

But my favorite was when I found my laptop and mouse neatly set up on the coffee table one morning.  I had left everything in disarray the night before because I was really tired—I just plopped the laptop, mouse, and all the cords on the table in a pile and went to bed.

These events occurred over the span of a few months.  And just as abruptly as they started, they stopped.  We haven’t had any further activity since last fall.

To this day I have no idea what it was all about.  I never felt a strange presence in the house during those times, never had the feeling someone was there.  I was more amused than creeped out by these strange happenings, but Mr. Weebles wasn’t quite so amused.  He’s glad things are back to normal, but I have to admit that I kind of miss it.

List of Characters:
Madame Weebles, your performer and insomniac
Mr. Weebles, who can fall asleep just thinking about sleep
Cupcake, a beautiful, un-declawed, 18-pound kitty

Setting:
The bedroom, in the middle of the night.  It’s dark.  Mr. Weebles is asleep.  My alarm clock is taunting me with those giant glowing red numbers, pointing at me and snickering.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I can’t believe this is happening again.  I’m so tired.  Why can’t I just go to sleep?  It’s 2:00am.  If I get to sleep by 3:00, that’s still four hours of sleep.  I guess that’s not too bad.

I could read but I’m too tired for that.  And I’m too tired and lazy to get up and go to the computer.  But my brain is spinning.  I don’t get it.  How can my brain be spinning when I’m this tired??  Maybe I’ll try that deep breathing thing I read about.  Innnnnnhaaaaaaaaaale.  Exxxxxxxxhaaaaaaaa—forget it, this is boring.

What’s on television?  Hey, Law & Order: Criminal Intent is on!

Ooop, someone just jumped on the bed.  It’s Cupcake.  Hi Cupcake!  Such a good girl.  Come here, let me pet you.  Ow, don’t stand on me, you’re concentrating all 18 pounds on one paw.  It really hurts.  Just lie down, pumpkin.  Come on, lie down.  No—please, don’t walk on me.  Ow, the claws.  Oh no.  Please, not there, Cupc—oww, NOTTHERENOTTHERENOTTHERENOWOWOWAWWWWW, look at you, you’re so cute!  See, isn’t this nice, lying down?  Yes, this is much nicer.

4:00am.  If I fall asleep in the next half hour, that’s two and a half hours of sleep.  Sigh.  At least it’s something.

Uh oh. There’s that poor limping dog—it’s that ASPCA or Humane Society commercial again. I need to change the channel.  What did I do with the remote?  Dammit, now I have to grope around for it with my eyes closed, I can’t watch these animals, it’s too sad.  Where’s the remote??  WHERE IS IT?!?!  I have to switch channels immediately!!  Lalalalalalalalalalalala I’m not listening lalalalalalalalalalalalalalala oh here it is.  **click**

4:30am.  Yay, I’m finally getting really drowsy.  I should be asleep pretty soon.  What a relief.

BRRRRRROOARRGGGGGGGGGGHRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!

Fucking motorcyclist.  I hope he wraps his bike around a lamppost and it bursts into flames.  Asshole.

5:15am.  My heart is still racing from that motorcycle scaring the shit out of me.  I want to find that motherfucker, tie him to a stake, baste him with honey, and set fire ants on him.

Look at Mr. Weebles, sleeping so soundly.  That smug bastard.  How does he do that?  He looks so peaceful and cozy.  I really hate him.

6:00am.  If I fall asleep RIGHT NOW, that’s an hour of sleep.  That’s barely even a nap.  Fuck my life.  Is it possible to smother oneself with a pillow?

I want to make a voodoo doll of that biker and puree it in the blender.

6:45am.  Sonofabitch.  I can’t believe I haven’t slept all fucking night.  This is BULLSHIT.  I may as well just get up now since my alarm is going to go off in fifteezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz……….

We saw The Dark Knight Rises this weekend.  It was awesome.

After the movie Mr. Weebles and I talked about Catwoman.  I was underwhelmed by Anne Hathaway’s performance but Mr. Weebles liked her. (There’s a shocker.)

Then we got to discussing “Catwoman” and “Cat Lady.”  Both are used to describe females with a feline association, but they have very, very different connotations indeed.

Halle Berry as Catwoman. You’re welcome.

Catwoman conjures up a certain image and attitude, whether she’s the original cartoon version, or whether she’s played by Eartha Kitt, Julie Newmar, Michelle Pfeiffer, Halle Berry, or Anne Hathaway.  Catwoman is sexy, bad, sly, and very agile.

Cat Lady, on the other hand, is not what you’d call sexy.  She likes cats so she can’t possibly be bad.  She’s probably not very sly.

There but for the grace of God go I.

And if she’s agile, it’s only because she needs to be to avoid constantly tripping over Muffin, Babykins, Whiskers, Sir Floof, Mittens, Stripey McStriperson, Arianna Fluffington, Blacky, Chairman Meow, Buttons, and Mrs. Puff.

Should you find yourself in the unenviable position of not knowing whether a female of your acquaintance is Catwoman or Cat Lady, here is a quick guide for your reference:

Catwoman:  Wears an exotic perfume, something like Shalimar or Opium.
Cat Lady:  Wears a heady mix of catnip, Febreze, and tuna juice.

Catwoman:  Her wardrobe has a lot of leather, rubber, and thigh-high boots with stiletto heels.
Cat Lady:  Her wardrobe has a lot of bathrobes, sweats, and ratty slippers, all liberally covered in cat fur.

Catwoman:  A wild animal in the bedroom.
Cat Lady:  Has a lot of animals in her bedroom, but none of them wild. Except for that time Mittens thought Cat Lady’s vibrator was an intruder.

Catwoman:  She’ll cut you and you’ll never even feel it.
Cat Lady:  She’ll apologize profusely for the scratches inflicted by Buttons, he was just playing!

Catwoman:  Speaks in a throaty, seductive growl.
Cat Lady:  “Who’s a good baby? You are! Yes you are! Oh yes you are.”

(This will most likely be the post that causes my follower count to plummet…)

Before I continue, thank you all for making me feel better on Monday.  Fortunately it was only a 24-hour Meh so now I’m back to my old self.  I self-medicated with the best possible over-the-counter treatment: Haagen-Dazs.  And peaches.  All is well.Now for the spooky stuff.  I’m going to preface this by saying that although I love real-life ghost stories, I regard most of them with a huge dose of skepticism—especially the stories on television.  And I think Ghost Hunters and all the other shows in that genre are completely full of shit.

But over the years I’ve met many sane, reliable people who have stories they can’t explain.  And now I have a few of my own.

The first incident happened 2 years ago when we adopted our third Weeblette.  She needed a new home because her owner had died.  I made arrangements with a neighbor of the woman who died so that we could pick up our new kitty.  During my phone conversations with the neighbor I noticed that she never mentioned the deceased woman by name; she always called her “the owner.”  I thought that was peculiar.  Why not just use her name?

We drove to the house of the deceased woman, where her sister and the neighbor were meeting us.  Again, they kept referring to “the cat’s owner.”  Didn’t this woman have a name??

The poor, scared little cat was hiding in the woman’s bedroom.  So we went in there to try to calm her down and get her in the carrier.

While Mr. Weebles took the bed apart to get to where kitty had taken refuge, I looked around the room.  It hadn’t been packed up yet.  It looked like “the owner” still lived there.  I felt bad that we were in her bedroom like that.  And I wondered what her name was.

Just then I heard a female voice in my head—not my own voice but a very different voice, as clear as a bell, say “Janice.”

Janice?  Nah, that doesn’t make any sense, I thought.  That’s my brain pulling a name out of the ether and playing games with me.

Finally, Mr. Weebles wrestled our new Weeblette into the carrier and we got ready to leave.  The sister was crying.  As she said goodbye to the kitty she said, “Janice would be so happy to know her cat is getting a nice new home.”

Janice.  I felt all the blood rush out of my head.

They hadn’t said her name before then.  Not once.  I kept going back to all the conversations—maybe they had mentioned it and I had just forgotten.  But no, they hadn’t.  I’m sure of it.

I like to think that Janice knew we’d be good kitty parents and chose us to take care of her girl. And I’m happy she introduced herself to me.

If you’re still with me, stay tuned for Part II . . .

I’ve been wanting to write about Kitty Emeritus for a while now. Kitty Emeritus is one of the many names for our dearly departed cat who died more than two years ago at the ripe old age of 19.

Her real name is Pickles. I almost never called her that; I had 2,051,942 nicknames for her. But it didn’t matter which name I used because she ignored all of them.

Pickles and I met on November 8, 1996, at about 6:00pm. That’s the night I went to the ASPCA to adopt a cat. I was in a room lined with wall-to-wall cages of cats and it felt like it would be impossible to choose just one. Finally, after looking at each cat, I decided on a very sweet male tabby. I was about to tell the ASPCA volunteer that I wanted to adopt him when I had this very strong urge to turn around.

I turned around and my eyes fell upon the center cage in the bottom row on the wall opposite me. Staring at me was a little grey face doing hypno eyes on me. For some reason I hadn’t seen this cat when I looked at all the cats earlier. I walked over to that little grey face and read the tag on the cage. She was a 6-year-old girl, which was perfect because I wanted an older cat. They opened her cage so I could see her better. I picked her up and she just sat there in my arms, purring. And I said, “I’ll take her.” I had no choice. I had to adopt her. It was as simple as that.

That was the beginning of the best 13 years of my life. She was my little friend, my little companion, my little roommate, my little banshee, my little teddy bear.

She was the smartest cat I’ve ever had, and also the pissiest. Just like me, Pickles was a cranky broad. She was 16 pounds of pure attitude. She had a dead-eye stare that could make the temperature in the room drop about 20 degrees. She didn’t like the smell of people food and it didn’t take much to set her off. Any sort of cooking—even mild foods like toast, scrambled eggs, spaghetti—was enough to get her wailing and crawling under the covers to escape from the noxious fumes. When it was bedtime, she got annoyed if I strayed too far over to her side of the bed. She’d look at me as if to say, “Really? Do you value your life that little?” Once I awoke in the middle of the night to the very peculiar sensation of being shoved by a furry mass. Pickles was using her back feet to brace herself against the side of the bed, trying to push me out of her area. She’d make little snorts and snuffles to express her displeasure with me. When I laughed at her it pissed her off even more.

She was not your typical cat. She didn’t like toys or catnip. Soon after I adopted her I tried to engage her with one of those toys dangling from the end of a string. She swatted it out of her way with a look that said, “Get this annoying thing out of my face.” She couldn’t be bothered with the things that normal cats enjoy. She was above all that juvenile nonsense.

One thing that Pickles loved, though, was men. She tolerated me, of course, but she loved men. Every night I’d let her out of the apartment for her evening constitutional in the hallway (always closely supervised by me). I lived in a walk-up building and over time everyone in my building knew her by name. She always gravitated toward the men. She flirted with them, draping her fluffy tail around their legs. One of my upstairs neighbors, a WWII veteran named Joe, was enthralled with her. Every time I saw him he’d ask, “How’s my furry little girlfriend?” And he knew her name but not mine.

Then there was the night I woke up at about 3am because of a commotion in the hallway. Pickles and I went out to see what was going on. Someone had called the fire department and a bunch of firemen were going up and down the stairs. One of them was standing near my door, talking on his radio. My cat, being a brazen little hussy, marched right over to him and rubbed against his legs. The fireman leaned over and started petting her, all the time still talking on the radio. Pickles was thrilled. To this day I wish I could have taken a photo of that scene.

And then there were the times when she and I would just hang out. We’d zonk out together on the couch. Sometimes she’d sleep on me with her head tucked right under my chin. Sometimes at night she’d lie next to me and rest her head in the palm of my hand. She trusted me. And I’m pretty sure she knew I loved her more than anything in the whole wide world.

When Mr. Weebles entered the picture, Pickles accepted him immediately. That’s how I knew he was a keeper. But Mr. Weebles wasn’t quite sure what to make of her at first. I told him, “Trust me, you’ll like her. She’s very charming.” Sure enough, within a very short time he too was under the spell of Pickles. And when the three of us moved in together, she had no trouble adjusting. Actually, that’s not entirely true—she never did accept the fact that Mr. Weebles was now taking up her side of the bed. That always stuck in her craw. But she loved him anyway.

I still marvel at the fact that she made it to 19; she had more medical problems than any three cats I’ve ever had. But she was a tough old gal, she took a licking and kept on ticking. She never had simple ailments—they were always complicated disorders that cost a fortune to diagnose and another fortune to treat. Fatty liver, bladder stones, pancreatitis, hyperthyroidism, heart murmur, gall bladder problems, tooth infections, kidney insufficiency, special dietary needs . . . if I could have deducted her and her medical expenses on my tax returns I would have been sitting pretty.

Of course the day came—January 12, 2010—when her medical conditions and old age caught up with her and it was time for me to let her go. Mr. Weebles and I were with her until the very end. I have no doubt that it was the right thing to do, at the right time. I think Pickles knew it was right too—I just have that feeling from the interaction between her and me during those last minutes. It felt like she was saying, “It’s okay, it’s time.”

So now she’s in the Great Catnip Patch in the Sky (not sure why I keep calling it that since she didn’t like catnip). I like to think she’s having a wonderful time bossing people around and charming all the gentlemen. We have three other cats now, the Weeblettes. They’re nothing like the sophisticated, redoubtable Pickles—they’re very playful, silly, and catlike. I love them to pieces. But Pickles is and always will be my special girl. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about her and smile. And I will miss her every day for the rest of my life.

I’ve written most of this with tears streaming down my face. I cry because I miss her like crazy, but mostly I cry out of joy. Joy because I had her with me for as long as I did. Joy because she made my life so much better. Joy because I was lucky enough to have such an incredible connection with such an extraordinary creature. And joy because I know that someday I’ll see her again.