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Monday, September 6, 2004
By Paul Ford
A closer look at the creature.
If I were suddenly reduced to the size of a cockroach, my cat TK would chase me, and catch me. He would toss me around savagely. What a muffin! Then, with his surgically sharp clawsy-wawsies, he would disembowel me, and plunge his pink little nosey-wosey directly into my exposed and glistening intestines, until his teethy-weethies were soaked in my blood, and the room was filled with both my pitiful miniature screams and his little mewls of pleasure.
Were TK, my cat, to overcome his fear of water, and learn to use keys, he could put on a waistcoat, exit the apartment, and jaunt the half-block to the Gowanus Canal, whistling a song about rivers and streams. Coming to the canal's edge, he might dip a paw into the Gowanus' odious blue-green waters, to test the temperature, or (more like him) he might hastily dunk his orange head all the way under, and, smiling, greet the fishes—and then, slash.
His forebears, with their forepaws, crept through history without writing down a word. This is what I know about him: he grew up as a street hustler, and is missing a part of his left ear. His mother and father are out there, if they survived, along with his enemies, and his ladies, and maybe some of his children mill the streets—a tribe of lost kittens, sans-mittens. He has a tattoo across his stomach that says “thug life,” but he's gotten fat, so now you'd pronounce it “thuuuug liiifffee.”
I hate administering his medicine. He hisses and scratches and writhes. He's fighting the whole way, figures this is it. When I'm done smearing the ointment into his eye I release my grip, and he slides out of my arms as if I had been holding air, and he heads for the deeps beneath the bed.
He is full of life, if life is sleep—a lump on the floor curled next to a towel, belying his status as killer, whisperer, leaper, whiner, reaper, and reminder.