The Best Cat In The World


Every cat that you ever have is the best cat in the world.

Beezler Boy, found creeping matted and starved out of a sewer drain seventeen years ago, is probably about eighteen this year. His arthritis flared up so badly in late ’07 that I thought we were going to have to let him go, but I crossed paths with an acupuncturist who made a very reasonable arrangement to come around and stick him full of needles at intervals, and he is back to jumping up in the easy chair, though he lets himself down more gingerly, because he’s just about completely blind.

Getting down involves an intermediate step to a small cat condo, you know the things, carpet covered cylinders too small for a big old Mainie like Beez. If his forepaw doesn’t detect the top of the cylinder when he wants to debark from the chair, he feels around, and if I see that happening I move it where he can find it.

He’s stiff and he can’t see, but he seeks out his sunbeam with perfect delight, and sits patiently by his dish when humans have been too busy to notice its emptiness. His grooming is haphazard, and he tolerates my trimming of the occasional belly dreadlock pretty well.You can sometimes see his pupils contracting in bright midday light, but mostly, he progresses around the house with a stately measured gait, so that when he walks head-on into something — it only happens occasionally — he doesn’t do it too hard. When he collides with a table leg or chair corner that he hasn’t calculated for, he just shakes his head and corrects course, uncomplaining.

And we humans raise such a fuss and stew when our newspaper is in the bushes, for instance, or the traffic light is slow to change!

I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and self-contained,
I stand and look at them long and long.
They do not sweat and whine about their condition,
They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins,
They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God,
Not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania of owning things,
Not one kneels to another, nor to his kind that lived thousands of years ago,
Not one is respectable or unhappy over the whole earth.

–Walt Whitman, 1819-1892

17 thoughts on “The Best Cat In The World

  1. I love Beezler Boy. He’s my favorite of the trio. Looking at at how regal and majestic he comes across now, it’s hard to believe his humble beginnings as a sewer cat. You have “Higgins-ized” him very well with the exception that he will always need you!

    BTW, lovely picture. I’m almost jealous I didn’t take it!

  2. He really is gorgeous. I also love the one of him sleeping in the window that you sent me. You know, you could put up a fotki album with a password so that only the “chosen few” could access it. Just a thought … would love to see more pix. Of course email is just fine too and then I can make my own personal album, like I did with Foley & Murphy (though they have recently “gone public”).

    Sunny is going to be 16 in August and Azar just turned 14 in April. You can tell that Sunny is getting older and he also has some obvious hip discomfort from time to time, which I assume is arthritis (his mother Lua had it quite bad towards the end).

    But Azar (aka Scamper Cat) doesn’t act his age at all. He seldom walks when he can run, which I think is partly because he “flies” when he runs but has a rather clunky walking gait due to his broken “hockey stick” left front leg. He never ceases to crack me up, like when he gets into one of his “rolling around on the bed” frenzies and then ends up rolling right off the edge. There’s this priceless “uh oh!” look in his eyes as he realises he’s going down and he always lands with a very loud CLUNK as he’s a bit clumsy landing on three legs. Of course two seconds later he springs back onto the bed and commences his rolling around frenzy as if nothing had happened.

    Have always wanted to get one of those cat condos. I did get this rather kitsch cat bed a couple of years ago. In that pic you see the one time Azar ever sat on it. After that it becames Sunny’s and only Sunny’s. There’s a pic of him enjoying it
    here (gotta scroll down a bit).

    I’m a great believer in taking “cat days”, though I am never able to reach their level of sublime slothery, nor get nearly enough snibbles.

  3. My cat lived to be about 20, didn’t have arthritis problems but it was her kidneys that got her (they had been failing her for about three years). Never went blind but she did go deaf, but we’re not sure when because it’s hard to tell if a cat can’t hear you or if it’s just ignoring you.

  4. Not only is every cat you ever have the best cat in the world, but somebody oughtta call NASA because there are clearly multiple centres of the universe. I have two on my bed with me right now.

    • “God is a circle whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere,” I think that’s St. Bernard of Clairvaux but I have to look it up to be sure. Damn near tat tvam asi, he must have lived in Albigensian territory. Or had some cats.

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