I’ve been fond of a great many cats over the years, but I think Moe, who was a really nifty puffball orange kitten who used to wake me up by licking my eyelids, and ran away when I was eight, was probably my favourite.
It is reassuring to me, therefore, to find that his progeny populate the city widely to this day – much like that doppelgänger face you see from your youth that stops you dead and totally stuns you, until you realize – no wait, they’d be decades older by now too, silly!
Storefront shill (top photo)
I’m very much in favour of the idea of cat cafes – for a guy who loves cats but is also too allergic to keep one, it’s cool to have a spot where you can visit and get your needs met for a purr-fix on a low day. Also, food prices doing what they are, I’m more and more in favour of poor kids eating first. Innovating new kinds of pet sharing seems like a cool way for city people to contribute to that.
This particular Moe-heritor really made me want to go in and pet him – despite the rather surly looks I was getting from a patchwork calico toughie, over in the corner. Next time I have some time, I’m giving this spot a try (the wee lad is clearly in desperate need of some noogies and psychic communion, no?)
Did you wish an audience?
That being said – Calvito yet rules all he surveys – seriously – this Moe-istic small lion will not be denied his due – nor will he accept your unexplained presence in his sun-warmed lounging terrain, without proper obeisance first being paid to his highness. I mentioned before that you can tell whether he’s out or not from a couple of blocks away, because every kid being pushed along by every nanny simply requires of her that she stop the stroller awhile at his spot, so they can visit with puss-puss (imperious toddlers, you know some too). ;o)
Likewise – hipsters, retirees, and even earbud-powered athletic preppies from the local rich-kids academy, all nod their respect and pause to bend down for a head pat and an ear-scratch, and in so doing accept his regal toleration – for a time.
One day Catherine was trying to get a picture of a flower, a half a block down the road – and who comes along and head-butts her camera-hand? Calvito!
Then another time I was kneeling down and taking his picture (which he either glories-in like a prima dona or else disdains completely with magnificent hauteur) when a very friendly lady came walking down Calvito’s alley, straight in my direction.
“Calvito here? He’s the very best cat in the entire city,” I enthused to her, to explain my own presence (as feline-charmed, that is, rather than lurky-creepy).
“I know,” she said, with obvious – and yet also well-exercised pride, “he’s mine.”
Some cats have really got it worked out.
Too beautiful and he knows it
And here, for those who may have missed it – is an earlier Calvitian appreciation entitled: I’m good now
If you asked me, I would tell you that I absolutely never lie to my wife – but technically, I would be lying, just – but I swear I never do about anything important – I don’t need to, because thankfully, we remain on the same side! But the technical exception is worth noting, because it turns out I was very right to do it. A few weeks ago I was walking down a nearby street and stopped at the spot where my current favourite cat in the universe likes to bask in both sun, and a never-ending series of worshipful courtiers, who pay tribute.
I consider the re-emergence of Calvito to be the best possible local sign that springtime is here again (which can be a big deal after a Canadian winter). Anyhow, I was looking at the new flowers, in the garden near his spot, when a grumbling old coot appeared and sat down on the front porch to light-up (no doubt because the children he’s living-with won’t let him smoke his stinky pipe in their house with their kids).
I looked up and smiled at him. “I’m waiting for Calvito to reappear,” I said. “Love that cat.”
He grumbled then cleared his throat and said. “Cat was killed.”
Not like he was in any way sorry about it, either. I was stunned, badly-deflated and slunk away resolving not to breathe a word of this shattering news to Catherine, who adores him just as much as I do. (His charisma is excessive – everyone stops – tiny little kids even make their nannies stop their prams for him – I kid you not).
The whole neighbourhood was suddenly greyer and more depressing. Then, today, strolling down the street, who do I see, in just about the best basking spot ever created for a spoiled feline?
Calvito! He’s absolutely fine! That mischievous old bugger was lying to me!
I’m good now. Catherine too. So, technically-true again. No lies! (Phew)