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Men and beasts

19 August 2007

It always comes as a nice surprise when I get along with guys who fall into such categories as macho or blue-collar or sportsmen or sports men. Although a life-long heterosexual, and as far as I know never labeled effeminate, the testosterone-heavy crowd’s interests are rarely mine. More like Frasier and Niles Crane than their father, I prefer the arts to athletics, thinking to fighting, a quiet meal and a good book to a rowdy bar and jokes about bodily functions. And for me, cats have it all over dogs.

My cat, Juniper, walked up to me outside my house seven years ago, and we adopted each other. She is the silkiest cat I have ever had, and probably has the prettiest face. And of the seven cats who have ever shared my homes, she has meant the most to me.

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Juniper has been less happy since two more cats joined us, which sometimes brings me great sadness. She has often been a true source of joy and comfort, and I want her to be perfectly content. If only she could see the other cats as playmates, not threats. It’s like a political or religious conflict on a local and furry level.

When my girlfriend moved in, she brought her two wonderful kitties along. She won’t admit it, but they are my cats now, too. Vespa is a magical white cat who makes little chicken noises. The most princess-like of our cats, she is both the smallest and softest. And the bane of anyone trying to wear black.

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Finally, Linnel was adopted as a tiny, abandoned, worried-looking handful of orange fluff. He is now practically a Bengal tiger, but still the clown of the house. From chirping in the bathroom sink when he wants to drink from the faucet, to hiding under blankets, to licking anything adhesive, he is both magnificently handsome and utterly silly. I think he’s on the dumb side, but without a malicious bone in his jungle cat body.

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One grey, one white, one orange. Three very distinct personalities. All madly loved.

So have fun with your NASCAR and boxing matches; your bloodthirsty video games and torture movies; your Marlboros and macho posturing. I prefer cats, and I’ve got three that lighten my soul.

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