I Have a Cat

I have a cat.
This is more than a claim, more than a fact.
I have a cat.
This is a boast.
He is gray with a quarter-sized chunk of fur missing on his left shoulder. He is on the small side. No matter— he can decimate upholstery a hundred times his size, and on two occasions asserted his territory with a toxicity rivaling Chernobyl’s.
He survived dark and hunger, he survived exhaust fumes, perilous screeching radials and bad tippers. He was a parking garage refugee and I took him in.

Charity is unknown in catland. Cats understand charity like humans understand crop circles or Pynchon. I expected no thanks and got none. An eighteen month d├ętente with one castrating trip to the vet culminated in our present circumstances.
He asks for food whether he has some or not. Louder, if not.
He is suspicious of anything new— persons, places, and particularly aromas.
He disappears. Every discovered hiding place in my apartment results in his re-discovery of a new one. I have stopped looking, fearing the discovery of a dimensional portal better left alone.
He will bide time in my lap, but prefers the radiator.
Occasional soliloquies escape him in vowel complexities suggesting dire, extravagant warnings, and my imitative replies are returned with condescending looks. I suspect he is a great liar.
The sum of our disparate worldview is respectful coexistence. We get along.
He often sleeps beside me.
His purr is Brahms.

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