Sunday, December 16, 2007

An Ode to Bud

I used to have a cat named Bud. His given name was Budweiser but Bud was his real identity. He was the coolest cat ever.

I got him when I was in sixth or seventh grade. Bud was a pound cat. He was a brown tabby with a white stomach and big, white paws. Bud had a singular talent of walking on his hind legs and asking not-very-politely for his food.

Bud had an attitude. Bud was independent. Bud was a bit ornery. Bud was like one of the cool kids in high school. The ones who impressed you just by knowing your name, even though you otherwise had little in common. Bud was a rock star of a cat. Remember those fat cat cartoons with the sunglasses? Bud could’ve been the inspiration for those.

Tragically, he was struck and killed by a car on the busy street where we lived. It was summer. I think I was 17 or so. My brother had to give me the bad news. I’ve always wondered if that was difficult for him. He did it rather businesslike. I was in the shower. He came in, told me through the steam and water, said that Bud was in the garage and then he left for work.

I didn’t cry. I think I always figured that Bud would go out that way. He had been hit in full stride. He had what you could only categorize as a smile on his face. Eyes open. The only sign of trauma was a small trickle of blood from his mouth. I can still see his image in my mind’s eye. I’d like to think that he died instantly and didn’t suffer. It certainly looked that way.

Bud was the last cat that I have called my own. Turns out I am allergic to the beasts.

I was reminded of Bud last night when I was at my friends, Lucas and Audrey’s for dinner. They have two cats of personality: Mudshark and Sputnik. Sputnik is a wonderful spaz of a cat. Mudshark may be the reincarnation of Bud himself. I had fun playing with them between a few too many swigs of port and episodes of Buffy The Vampire Slayer.

And with that I realized that I am a cat person. Not an active cat person but a cat person nonetheless. Allergies aside, if there’s a cat that I meet in my strolls I always try to engage it. Jangle some keys. Call to it. See if it will do that sort of feline Salsa dance between my ankles.

Yep. Cat person.

Take care crossing the street.



Lucas said...
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Lucas said...

I also had a big mean tomcat when I was a kid. A big mean cat who only allowed me and my Mom near him. I loved that cat.

Then I went to college where I had no cat and developed allergies to cats. When I'd go home for visits I couldn't sit in the room with Brunswick for more than a few minutes before I was puffy-eyed and sneezy, etc.

But then 3 years ago I moved in with Audrey, who at that time had Frances, and after a while I noticed something: my allergies were getting less severe with prolonged proximity to the cat.

When Frances passed on last year we almost immediately went to the Humane Society and got Sputnik and Mudshark. Now the only time my allergies really manifest is if I directly touch my eyeball after touching the cats (puffy eyes), or if one of them scratches me (swells like a red ant bite).

In closing - and may the ghost of Brunswick forgive me for saying this - Mudshark is the best cat ever. Ever.