Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Curse of the Black Cat

Looks innocent enough...
It all started three and a half years ago when a black cat crossed my path.

Technically, he was a kitten and we drove 30 minutes north to adopt him. The curse part, though, remains accurate.

His name is Sushi and, as his name implies, he is full of vinegar.

He is sleek and shiny and perfectly black, with bright, glowing yellow eyes. His claws are extraordinarily long and sharp and his fangs protrude ever so slightly. Beneath his chin there is a small cluster of longer fur shaped like a pointed goatee, making his resemblance to a demon complete.

The first night he spent with us, he climbed out of the little bed we'd arranged for him and on to ours, snuggling himself down to sleep... on my husband's face. Since then, he's never missed an opportunity to remind us that he is the black cat at the center of the universe.

Whatever you are doing, Sushi is also doing.
Like all bad boys, he has a thing for leather. To date he has destroyed: three pairs of boots (two fashion, one motorcycle), two pairs of shoes, two bags, a jacket, three ottomans, and a sofa – all leather. That's in addition to two bedspreads, a pair of window blinds, four floor lamps, countless printed headshots, and my sanity. Yesterday I caught him trying to eat the dresser.

He can jump over six and a half feet vertically, closer to ten horizontally, and can climb straight up anything. His favorite places to play are: 1) the tangle of cords behind the easily broken TV, 2) the tangle of cords behind the easily broken synthesizer keyboards, 3) wherever you have momentarily set something breakable. He chatters at me nonstop while I'm trying to cook, gets underfoot every time I carry anything heavy up or down the stairs, filches things out of my purse, and has even been known to chase Jim around the apartment.

Sushi and Sashimi (aka Sasha)
I've tried various methods of exorcising his demonic tendencies: smothering him with punitive affection, distracting him from evildoing with toys, stuffing him so full of treats he can't move, and even getting a second cat – Sasha, a long haired female whom he adores. Still, this morning, I found him playing hallway hockey with three heirloom tomatoes he'd taken from my shopping bag. 

At this very moment, Sushi is in the kitchen, rooting through the cabinet in which I keep the cat accoutrement, helping himself to a new toy. He's learned to pry the door open with his claws. I've learned to give up.

Today's lesson: Beware of black cats crossing your path.

Next: The Cocktail Party Official 2012 Election Statement... or maybe I'll just have a cocktail...

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