Editor’s note: Cindy Hval is on vacation this week. Her intern, Thor, the junior cat in the Hval household is filling in for this week’s column. Cindy will return next week because she’s out of vacation days – and cats.
I’m happy to have this chance to correct the lies that have been printed about me. If I had money I’d get a lawyer and sue but I don’t, so I’ll set things straight in this column.
First: I’m not fat. That rumor started when I was taken to a horrible place called “The Vet.” They did unspeakable things to me and then the lady told Mama, “He needs to lose weight.”
I guess the car still smells like my reaction.
You’d vomit, too, if you were poked, prodded and insulted. As to my other reaction, well cars should come with litter boxes for heaven’s sake! I didn’t know if I’d get out there alive and stress makes my bowels overactive.
Food is important to me, I admit it. I love the food that gets put in my bowl! And the food that’s in Milo’s bowl, and the food that’s in the kitchen, and the food that’s in the dining room, and the food that lurks outside. That kind of food you have to catch and I’m not allowed outside. More on that later.
Before The Vet said I was fat, Mama used to give me treats. Milo says cats aren’t supposed to sit up and beg. He says it’s “conduct unbecoming to felines.” What does he know? Milo only eats the food in his bowl and popcorn. That’s it. Milo is weird and has no taste buds.
All I know is, I used to just sit at the treat cupboard and look at Mama. Then she would say, “Does Thor want a treat? Is Thor a good boy?” Those aren’t even hard questions! And I was like, “DUDE! Yes, I want a treat. Of course, I’m a good boy!” And I’d stand up and take the treat from her fingers.
It was a good life till that nasty vet ruined it. I wish they’d put me in HER car.
Milo is also embarrassed that I roll over for Alex. I’m like, come on, it’s not that hard. Alex says, “Roll over Thor! Roll over!” in this cute high-pitched voice and I roll over. I mean, I’m already lying down. What’s the harm? Milo says I should have my cat card revoked. I don’t even think there is such a thing.
Sometimes, if no one’s looking, Mama still gives me treats. She’s my favorite person because when I was a baby she saw me in a cage with my brothers and she reached in and picked me up.
We’d been abandoned – all of us. So, I know there are bad humans out there – worse than those who say you’re fat. There are people who would leave a litter of kittens beside the road. But Mama picked me up and held me under her chin and I was so happy I purred as loud as I could, so she took me home.
I’m still a little confused about my name, though. Most people call me Thor, but Zack calls me Thorla the Hutt, Stevener, Stinky and Dopey. Mama calls me Baby Kitty Boy, so I’m pretty sure that’s my real name.
Contrary to what’s been reported, I have other interests besides food – water for one. Every morning after breakfast I sit by Mama’s bed and wait for her to get up. She lets me drink out of the bathroom sink. It’s the best water in the world!
Then she turns on the shower. I used to sit on the edge of the tub to make sure she didn’t drown, but once I lost my balance and fell in. That wasn’t fun. Mama screamed and I jumped out and ran into the bathroom door. I had water in my eyes and didn’t know it was closed.
Now, I just wait on her towel and keep it warm. It’s my job. My other job is to sit on her shoes so she can’t go anywhere. She’s always going places and I worry she won’t come back, so I sit on her shoes. It’s hard work. She’s got a lot of shoes and I’m never sure which ones she’ll wear.
My current hobbies include napping, bird-watching and squirrel surveillance – which leads me to my true passion – the great outdoors! I want to go outside more than anything. I know I’m not fat because I can be out the back door before anyone notices I’m gone. I’m stealthy and I’m fast.
I want to eat grass and the bugs in the grass. I want to snack on some birds or squirrels, but I’m never allowed. You want to know why? It’s because of The Vet, that’s why. She says, “Indoor cats are healthier and live longer than outdoor cats.” And my family believed her!
Once when I was little no one noticed I got out, and it snowed. I got scared and hid under Dad’s old car. It was stinky and I got oil on my fur. When they finally found me I was too scared to come out, so Dad got a broom and pushed me out. Then he gave me a bath in the kitchen sink. It was awful! I like water but not all over me.
When I sneak outside I ignore everyone when they call me – except Dad. When he yells my name I run as fast as I can inside. I remember the broom. I remember the bath. Trust me you don’t mess with a guy who’s not afraid to give a cat a bath. Plus he growls. I didn’t even know humans could growl.
So, that’s my story. I was abandoned but I got rescued. I’m not fat, I’m just fluffy. And aside from The Vet trying to ruin my life, I’m one contented cat.
This Front Porch column originally appeared in The Spokesman Review July 3, 2014.