In the beginning, there were the original twins, born of the original sin. Maggie’s cow-like black and white spots caught the green eye of a marauding black tom, who drug her away by the scruff into the bushes, where she apparently enjoyed the unspeakable.
With mixed feelings of heartache and elation, I was liberated. I intended to go catless for a while. But as often happens, cats arrive without invitation. At two months of age, Spek fell from Heaven into my juniper bush. Romeo was donated to me by someone who couldn’t stand his constant moanings throughout the night, which sounded like a skin flick soundtrack.
Romeo has always struggled, pawing his way through life. He first came from the Pound with a butchered street haircut that exposed his scrawny ribs. He was always picked last for basketball. Chased by bullies, he escaped by a whisker. His nickname was “Puss.”
Romeo’s ’fro eventually got of hand, too long, thick and matted to lick. Slimy hairballs were appearing everywhere this summer, just in time for barefoot season. The first hot days made it all too clear that it was time for Romeo’s annual buzz.
Romeo surprised me with this announcement: he wanted to donate his ample locks to a new charity, Sweaters for Sphynxes. They knit coats for those rat-looking hairless cats like Mr. Bigglesworth, who, thanks to the miracles of inbreeding, are born bald, a cross between a wingless bat and Yoda.
The mood was somber as we sheared Romeo like a lamb. He puckered sheepishly as the humming clippers razed around his delicates, peeling off thick sheets of pelt. We filled a garbage bag with enough fur to knit two cardigans, one coat of many colors, and a matching set of gray mittens, which for cats is two pair.
Romeo’s good karma is already apparent. Putz, the Patron Saint of The Scruffy, smiles down upon him. When it came time to choose sides for basketball, Romeo beamed as the skins team picked him first.