Whats Up With That? - Katy Byrne


Memo from Caesar the cat

It’s hard going through old papers and picture albums. The dust and memories are tough, sometimes. I miss my mother every day. But, when I read her wonderful musings I smile. So, I thought, in advance of Mother’s Day, I’d pass along some of my mom’s Irish humor and love of animals.

Years ago when my brother moved to Hawaii he insisted that my parents take his cat, “Caesar.” Although they didn’t like cats much they took him in and before you knew it, mom was cooking him fresh liver every day. So, she wrote this for him:

I’m a cat and my name is Caesar. Caesar was a great guy centuries ago. (Not that I think I’m great and if I did, I wouldn’t say so in public.) Today I decided to let people know how I think and feel.

My first two years of life were spent with a middle-aged bachelor I really loved.  He picked me out of a whole litter of kittens and said, “This is the one I want.”  He even said I was beautiful. “You’re the most sweet, soft furry little thing I’ve ever seen,” and I believed him.

Then he had to travel abroad and what with all the dumb quarantine laws, he couldn’t take me. He couldn’t bear to think of me being shut in a cage for 90 days and I had to agree with him. It almost broke my heart when he said good-bye and left me with his parents. I thought I’d never stop being lonesome for him, but as humans say, time heals all things.

At first I didn’t think much of them. But I’ve been living with them for three years now and they’re great. Funny, too! They’ll tie a ball to a string and shake it in front of me. When I jump at it they laugh. I can see it makes them bend over chuckling. Then they’ll throw a paper sack on the floor and I’ll slide into it. That makes them roar.

At night the old lady and I have our own bed. The old man sleeps in a twin bed right next to us.  He gets up two or three times during the night and is too restless for my taste. I like to sleep undisturbed. With the old lady I’ll purr for a while and she’ll pat me. I like that. You only live once.

I’ve grown to love this old couple. I think they’d do anything for me.  They even hate to go on vacation and leave me. Of course, I’m glad. I hate it at the vet. Strange dogs and cats all over the place. It makes me nervous. Last time I was there I lost three pounds in a week. Maybe this year they won’t go on vacation. They’re always so glad to get home I don’t see why they go anyway.

All cats are smart. We have to be to get along in the world so don’t try to deceive us. Through the ages we’ve had a lot of tricks pulled on us like getting our tails pulled. Cats know a lot of things people don’t know. We have a sixth sense.

I’ve heard people say cats are selfish and lazy. We sleep a lot but nothing gets past us. I like to relax. Hey, people go on meditation retreats to get as peaceful as us! I love to cat nap and stretch, but I have no desire to work. I wouldn’t fetch if you paid me. I don’t see why we should go running around all the time like people do. Life is too short.

The bachelor had me fixed so I can’t have a girlfriend. Maybe he was right. I don’t want to get into trouble. Besides, female cats are fickle and I doubt I’d find a lasting relationship, just one night stands. Who needs that?

I think the reason I get along with people is because I don’t usually talk and they know they can confide in me. I don’t have hairballs much, but here I am rambling on and maybe I’ve already said too much.

Katy Byrne, MA, MFT is a Psychotherapist in Sonoma.

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