June 05, 2021

Hemingway had a house full of cats. Both Bill Burroughs and Charles Bukowski have books dedicated to the very subject of cats. Hunter S. Thompson had cat named Jones, and famed artist and close friend of the Great Gonzo journalist, Ralph Steadman, wrote a cute little book about him.

I had an insane cat living with me, my ex-wife and, at the time, our new born son.

His name was Church. He died when my son was three years old. (I think Church was six or seven when he passed; he was not very old.) Anyway, I don’t know what he died from. R@#$, my wife at the time, and me were walking around the house in the morning. When we came to the end of the driveway, in front of the old barn, we saw Church laying. But it was not the kind of laying associated with sleep. Especially not the sleep of a our notorious cat. And, yes, he was notorious.

I won’t get into detail at how upset my ex-wife was. All I will write is I never heard her scream the way she did once she realized he was not sleeping.

The feline has caught the attention of human being going back to the time of the Egyptians. Each cat having its own personality, and their personalities expressed through movement and sound and touch, The Cat is a most impressive thing of Nature.

There are cats, like Church, that will talk to you. Cats that will ignore you. There are the feisty cats that will attack your feet when they are dangling over the edge of the bed.

Most importantly, especially right now in my life, a cat can be understanding, comforting, and in need to be comforted (an important trait to someone like me that has not even so much as cared for himself in the past five years.)

Feeding and caring for the house cat, Mr. Wallace, has been a form of therapy. I think this is my third time writing about him (and cats in general,) but no feline will ever etch the mark on my heart as Church did.

Yes. We, my wife and I, named the little kitten-cat after the brought-back-to-life cat character from Stephen King’s 1983 novel, Pet Sematary. We bought him as a birthday present for my former betrothed. Her birthday is close to Halloween. So why not name the new member of our home after a character in the scariest book I have ever read?

I don’t know why, and I don’t know how to describe it, but the name fit. Church was not like the cat from the novel, or Mary Lambert’s 1989 film adaptation of the book… he was just a CHURCH!

His coat was white and grey. He had Siamese-shaped eyes, and talked the Siamese speak. They meow – he meowed – to announce his presence. Church meowed when he was hungry. He meowed when he walked; he meowed, I think to listen to himself meow.

Our House Cat, Mr. Wallace, meows with Church, now. And he only meowed when he saw I was feeling low-down. Mr. Wallace was run over by a car about a month ago. We had to put him down. There is a marker for him by the house where we buried him.

(AUTHOR”S NOTE: I will be including the other “Cat Sketches” in the future.)


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