by Guy Belleranti
I have only been owned by one cat in my life, but what a cat he is! Harold, you see, is a Siamese. Handsome as a prince, his beautiful eyes glow blue one moment and red the next --just like the lights of a police car. And his meow.... No doubt about it - that meow of his would put any siren to shame! Indeed, when I think of Harold I think up all sorts of possible titles for books. How about THE CAT OF THE BASKERVILLES? Or maybe THE CALL OF THE SIAMESE?
Harold's voice is never in finer form than at his mealtime. For when he isn't planted in somebody's lap, purring (he's a very loving cat, and is even friends with our collie), he's waiting.... Waiting for dinner.
Canned cat food is his favorite, but he won't turn the dry, bagged variety away. Indeed, Harold talks up a storm when he believes it's time to eat, his vocals doing Garfield and other famous felines proud. And if the vocals don't work.... Well, Harold has other, more nefarious, means. Just ask my sister. One week she played sitter to Harold while my wife and I went out of town. On the first night she was awakened by a strange scraping sound. When it kept repeating she decided to investigate. She crept out to the kitchen, flipped on the light and caught Harold hot-pawed -- opening the door to the cabinet holding his food.
Then there's the time my wife and I decided Harold needed a diet. Being a chronologically superior Siamese, Harold's activity level was beginning to slow, causing him to grow quite portly. Oh, he was carrying his paunch with pride, but we had fears that if he became much heavier we'd soon be carrying him. So we cut back a bit on his food. My wife even made the bold suggestion that perhaps he ought to take kitty aerobics, but Harold had no use for nonsense such as this. So a diet it was to be.
After a time Harold slimmed down, cutting something of a svelte figure again. However, one day we came home from the grocery store and rushed out again on another errand. Silly us, we also left his new bag of cat food on the kitchen floor. When we returned a couple hours later, an impressive scene awaited. The bag lay ripped open with surgeon-like precision. Sprawled beside it, his stomach bulging, Harold purred a blue streak. The expression on his face reflected the purest contentment I've ever witnessed, maybe even surpassing the grin of Alice in Wonderland's Cheshire Cat.
We haven't attempted a repeat weight reduction program for Harold since that day. Cats may have nine lives, but their agenda has only room for one diet. And if Harold's happy being portly, who are we to tell him differently.