And Now for Something Completely Different: Milton, the Pussy Cat

Milton Naps While I Read

Very recently, my husband-to-be (except I haven’t officially proposed yet, which is alright because neither has he, but we both agree on the eventual outcome) has moved into the house, and life here couldn’t be better. Well, since I not too long ago moved down here from the much smaller third floor apartment, there are still walls with pictures leaning against them and a few windows without drapes, but the important things are all here. My two youngest sons stayed over this Sunday and Monday (Jo had to start his semester on Monday, so couldn’t join us, except for Pizza Sunday evening), and it always feels more like home when the boys are here. And now Brian has settled in too, which means even more live music, video games, Indian food, zany and intelligent conversation, and well, just more love, really.

If you’ve been reading my blog for very long, you’ve probably been introduced to the cast of characters, Brian, my partner and favorite pianist, Jo my oldest son, Math wiz, comedian and future winner of Best Teacher awards, Jon, the guitar playing philosopher, socialist and keeper of obscure facts (he’s the man to have on your side when playing Trivial Pursuit, especially if the topic involves the history of rock and roll, and Micah, the  monkey lover,my youngest boy with the unique sense of humor who will obviously one day be a far better writer than his father.

The Boys at Christmas

That’s One Tired Pussy

The one character of the household whom you haven’t yet met is the one who was keeping me company on those long weeks between my children’s and boyfriend’s visits. I’ve only given you a slight glimpse of what he is capable of, and I may have mentioned that if he could only flush his own toilet and make the coffee he’d be the perfect roommate. But until now, you haven’t seen any photos of him, except maybe in the video of “Danse Russe,” a poem by William Carlos Williams. At about the 14 second mark you see that photo on the left.

This, my dear friends, is Milton, Milton Patrick McCauley. Yes, he was given a full name from the beginning. When I found him he was living off the generosity of servers and patrons on the garden patio of a restaurant I used to manage. He was skinny and scared, and yet affectionate. He would hide, shaking beneath the bushes when trains went by, but I could tell by the way he dug in the dirt that he was familiar with the ways of the littler box. In fact he had at some point in his past been declawed and neutered, so someone no doubt took care of him.

Had he been abandoned, or had he just taken a stroll and not found his way back home? We didn’t know, but for several days various servers had talked about the possibility of taking him home. Nobody seemed able to go through with it. But since I had left my previous pussy with my ex boyfriend when I moved out, I was in need of a companion. I had already been given permission for one cat in the apartment, since I had considered bringing Claire (named after both my Irish sister in spirit and the allergy drug Claritin, because  despite my love for these fur balls, I do have a bit of an allergy, as does my son Jon) with me when I signed the lease. And so I decided that he and I were meant to be.

He had acquired the sad name Marvin, Starvin’ Marvin, but that just did not seem dignified enough, for despite his ragged, haggard appearance, he still held a look of dignity about him. I decided that he deserved a better name, and settled on Milton, after the author of “Paradise Lost” and “Paradise Regained.” It seemed appropriate. The rest of his name, Patrick McCauley was because he was a ginger, well ginger and cream, and I wanted to connect my companion again to my friends on the Emerald Isle, since the former kitten Claire was now lost to me. And so here is how he looked that first day, after a late night flea bath and combing, you can probably tell how lanky and skinny he was, just look at those long legs!

His First Week Here

And so, my friend Vincent was right when he counseled me that I needed to pick up the pieces of my life, join a gym (which I did eventually), get a cat. Milton and I became close rather quickly. Once he forgave me for the indignity of the flea bath, he joined me on my bed, and proceeded to institute a nightly routine; He climbs onto my chest and purrs; I pet him. When I stop, he reaches out at paw and places it on my chin to tell me not to stop. After a few rounds of this, I finally say, “Alright. Enough. Time to go to sleep.” He patiently waits a few moments, puts his paw on my chin, but when I don’t respond, and fain sleep, he finally disembarks and goes to curl at my feet. More than three years later he still does all of this. And he even tries the paw thing while sitting next to me during the day time. It looks to guest like he is wanting to shake hands, but he pulls his paw away and gives a disdainful look if they attempt it, as if he thinks they are daft.

King of All He Surveys

The vet was unsure of his age, since he had already lost his baby kitty teeth, but she guessed no more than three years at the time. Still, he seemed younger to me, more of a kitten, but then some of us seem younger than we are, and maybe he’s just a youthful puss.

I still haven’t convinced him that the red chaise longue is not his, despite the fact that it and its pillow are obviously color coordinated with his shiny lush coat. And I am still working on training him to make the coffee in the morning. I’ve given up on all possibility of his cleaning the litter box, though he is quite good at letting me know when that harrowing task must be done. He pokes his head into the flap door to his privy, glances back at me and positively howls in complaint, as if to say, “this isn’t fit for use by civilized beings!” He will not let up such a performance until I clean it either. Perhaps its true. People own dogs, but cats own people.

Sigh. . .

 

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45 thoughts on “And Now for Something Completely Different: Milton, the Pussy Cat

    • Thank you. Some pictures were missing. . . Also, I want to add that since he already had his adult kitty teeth, there was no way to know his age. The vet guessed at up to three years, but he acted like such a kitten. I don’t think he was very old when I found him.

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    • Aww sweet little thing, I had a cat when I was little called Kay’fer who looked just like your cat but he dissapeared a long time ago now have 3 cats. Tiger who is 12, Dot who is 8-9 and princess who is 4 weeks I believe :-)

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    • That’s Cool it’s a very good looking cat (That sounds weird lol), I Want to get a cat myself when I get my own place and i’m toying with the names Dr Oppenheimer, Lucifer, Zazzles of Jeff :/

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    • Your blog has reminded me that although I set up my account to Blog I never really do, I just post poems, I should really get back into Blog Blogging lol :)

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    • Well, you certainly do get away with it, don’t you? ;-) Just don’t try banging my head off the wall like you did with Mark. Too bad Milton isn’t an attack cat.

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    • Hey, it was totally an accident. He’s such a child when he gets annoyed with me, and sits there brooding, so I try to avoid slapping him into walls when I can. It makes for an easier life for everyone. But since he started that, I can’t say I feel too guilty about it. :D

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  1. He’s an adorable kitty. You’re not the only one who gives full names to their animals. My goldendoodle’s name is Sam Aloysius Doodle. Next doodle I get, I’m naming him Snicker. Because I can.

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    • Rick, you have a point. It’s the getting him up before me that will be the hard part. He and I are prone to disaster if we try to make coffee before we need coffee. We are prone to things like, oh. . . not putting the filter basket in the machine before we brew. . . What a mess! :-)

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  2. I love ginger cats. In fact, I grew up with one, called ‘Ginger’ (why we were so original I never knew) and he was such a wonderful, independent spirit that I was devastated when we lost him. I started seeing my OH almost straight after the cat died. I still tell him I only went out with him on the rebound. I was very upset…. :-)

    Lovely story, beautifully expressed, as always x

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    • Thank you, Susie! And thanks for sharing your ginger cat memories. :) I want you to know that I haven’t forgotten. I had some recording troubles this past weekend, but I have that ironed out now. I’ll be trying again and sending you that file in the next couple of days.

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  3. I had a ginger tom when I was very young at first called violla but you feel a bit of prat calling that out at feeding time, so I quickly changed it to chello. Enjoyed your story

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