Wednesday, January 28, 2009

All Things Feline

(Originally posted on MySpace on Sunday, May 04, 2008)

(This article refers to the ability to highlight "top friends" on your homepage.)

Let's talk about cats!

Anyone who has read my blog over the last year knows that it is no secret that I love all things feline. I've never lived a moment of my life without at least one cat attached to me. I've gone up to four at a time in the past. But now I've settled on two of them. That seems to be a perfect amount of cats, especially in a small house.

I never let them outside. Both the cats I have now, Chuck and Squeak, named after the infamous mass murderer and his girl, were found abandoned as kittens. Every cat I had, some eleven of them over my 54 years, has been adopted that way. I would never buy a cat from a breeder or a store when there are so many homeless ones out there. So, while each cat has come from the outside, these days I train them to be indoor cats. Despite the general consensus, this isn't hard to do. I used to let my cats run free. But they always showed up with fleas, broken bones and various diseases, so I finally decided to keep them in and now I seldom have any health issues, except for old age. A couple of decades ago, we moved into a contained apartment building and I had to start keeping them in. The cat we had at the time, Tak, adjusted to it in no time and once we moved away from that building, he showed no signs of wanting to go out again, even if he could.

Chuck and Squeak have become great cats over the last year since my beloved Frankie died, a death I'm still dealing with after all this time. Chuck has moved into the alpha-cat position and while both are still a bit skittish, especially around people they don't know, they have both settled down a lot over the last year and demand attention constantly, something they never did before. And like Frankie before him, Chuck has learned how to lay down, which I tell him to do when I don't want to be bothered by him, like when I'm sleeping, for example.

I love all animals and have had all sorts of them as pets through the years. I love dogs as well, but cats hold a special place. I love their independence. We can go away for a weekend trip and leave enough food, water and litter down and there's no problem. You can't do that with a dog. Even when we go on longer vacations, all it takes is a friend to drop over every third day or so to make sure all is right with their cat world. Dogs take daily attention. Sometimes even twice daily.

My friend Paula just got her first cat. It's freaking her out a bit, but she quickly become familiar with feline habits and now loves sharing her home with the little devil. When she announced that the cat had adopted her…yes, it was stray that just dropped by one day and now is a permanent fixture…that got me thinking about cats and how I can't live without them. And that developed into the idea to make my MySpace page a tribute to all things feline this month.

So, that's what you've got this month. You'll find MySpace pages for cartoon cats and a few real, but unusual cats. Mutts Comics might not have a perfect "cat" name, but the star of the daily strip is a cat called Mooch that I adore. I can't start my morning before I read that strip ( There are also a couple of commentary cats, "Happycat" and "Discouragement Kitten".

There is Soo Catwoman, who is one of the original and most striking of the punk rockers who came out of in the late 70s. You'll see Julie Newmar as television's Bat Villain, Cat Woman. Some cat art, like Buddacats, La Chat Noir, and the original Cheshire Cat from Lewis Carroll's "Alice In Wonderland" books, as well as the Disney version.

There are cat-named musical artists that I'm quite fond of, like Cat Power, Free Kitten, C-Cat Trance, Cat Stevens, Pussy Galore, Miss Kitten, Cat Hair Ensemble, and the Tiger Lillies. Check them all out. They're very good.

At the end, you'll notice the Cat's Cradle, a rock club in North Carolina that was one of my favorite places to play back in the touring days, thanks to Frank, one of the best promoters in the business. And Edgar Allan Poe is there because he wrote one of my favorite creepy short stories, "The Black Cat".

I picked the music from Carl Perkins to highlight this month's page because "Blue Suede Shoes" is a genius song and it also made the phrase, "Go Cat Go" world famous. Carl wrote it with inspiration from Johnny Cash, but Elvis Presley made it a hit.

So, there you have it. A month of felines. Enjoy looking through them. Try not to cough up any hairballs if you can. But have a hit of catnip on me.

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