This is Meepo.
Meepo the killer . . .
Meepo, who sleeps in the sink, licks his privates in public (much to the dismay of my youngest daughter . . . “Meepo! Lick your balls someplace else!”), eats Shadow the Pug’s Kibbles & Bits, and stares down Annie and Judy the gerbils with a mischievous, chop-lickin’ kitty grin.
Being a writer-wannabe, I believe it absolutely mandatory to own a cat . . .
T.S. Eliot loved cats.
William Butler Yeats loved cats.
Christina Rossetti loved cats.
John Keats loved cats.
J. R. R. Tolkien loved cats.
Mark Twain loved cats.
Christopher Smart loved cats.
Marianne Moore loved cats.
Ernest Hemingway loved cats.
Oscar Wilde loved cats.
Doris Lessing, Rita Mae Brown, Carolyn Chute, Nuala O’Faolain . . .
Isn’t it time you got a cat?
So I got a cat. My precious little fur ball came to live with us two years ago this Father’s Day and he immediately wrapped his furtive little tail around my tentative heart. Two little peas in the proverbial pod we are; we both like our space, crave an unfair amount of R&R and pretty much keep to ourselves.
One thing I’m not is a killer. I no doubt share a bit of my ancestors’ hunter-gatherer instincts, but I discharge my altruistic inheritance via weekly visits to the local Kroger. On my first hunting trip with my dad, where it was expected that I would bag a squirrel or two, I instead used the rifle as a walking stick, jamming mud an inch deep into the barrel. I get moody when I flatten one of nature’s creatures with my Prelude. Send me back in time a few hundred years to some untamed patch of land and I’d likely starve to death.
The other morning I’m sitting in my writing chair, chewing on some Kant, enjoying my morning coffee and half-heartedly hearing my wife’s palaver concerning the onions in her garden. And here comes Meepo around the corner of the house clutching a baby cottontail in his maw. After a lot of “Ewww!“-ing on the part of my wife, and some not-so-clean verbal coaxing, he drops it at my feet.
It’s still alive. Its ear is gnashed through and its back legs are bleeding and useless. But its eyes are working frantically as Meepo starts circling it. The hunter in my sweet little kitty is alive and quite well.
I probably should have put it out of its misery. I consider this for about half a second and then realize I have neither the requisite knowledge nor the fortitude of heart for such a task. So I grab a shovel, gently scoop the little guy off my driveway and place it deep in the lilac bushes where it can either heal up and live to hop another day or die in peaceful rabbity, end-of-life contemplation.
Meepo the killer. Doing what his nature demands of him. And I think perhaps, just maybe, I’m the one that’s too domesticated . . .