Casper the Inscrutable

Casper is the senior cat of the house.  He’s survived every cat who came after, except Tolstoy, who arrived here in 2002 after one of the other cats died.

Casper is the most beautiful cat I’ve ever seen. He’s also crazier than a shithouse rat (where did that expression come from?). This is the fella:
I mean, tell me he is anything but drop-dead gorgeous.  But he’s also weird, even for a cat. He seems convinced that we will not feed him, that he will die of starvation.  Marie acquired him back in Ohio about 11 years ago, and despite the fact he’s never missed a meal, he acts like he survived the Donner Party.

He gets aggressive with Cid. The other cats–especially Miles, Pushkin, and Tolstoy–had or have a sort of love-hate thing with the dog, but Casper seems to genuinely hate him. This maybe 13-pound cat has charged the 92-pound dog more than once; he snarls and hisses, and there’s always that fear that it could get really ugly.

We figure that Casper’s the only one of the pack we’ve had over the years who probably had some sort of sexual experience before Marie got him. Shortly after I got Pushkin back in September 1997, I drove (yes, drove) to Columbus, Ohio from north Jersey to visit for a long weekend, and I took Pushkin with me. My poor cat was half-crazed from being in a car for over 9 hours, and then she goes into a strange apartment and there’s this big white cat who promptly tries to screw her. She wasn’t appreciative or flattered. In fact, Casper, persistent albeit non-functional kitty, gave it a few more college tries until the last morning we were there. Then he and Pushkin ended up in a roaring cartoon-speed fight where you couldn’t tell who was who because the ball of orange and white fur was going around in circles too fast to tell who was who, and the screeching could melt the wax in your ears.

So three years later we all wind up living together. Go figure.

But first, I had to keep Casper and his dominatrix Macy (she was adopted shortly after that first visit) for over a month during Marie’s move back to Jersey from Ohio. The cats went a bit nuts from the same long drive I had getting out there. Casper cried in my car for 50 miles. Macy fell in hate with Pushkin at once and demonstrated her displeasure by ignoring the litter pans. And Casper earned the nickname “Radar O’Kitty.” He could tell things were going to happen before they did. One summer evening the outside air was thick and disgustingly hot. That usually wasn’t a deterrent to the insane cat games. Then Casper went and hid in the space between the toilet and bathtub. Huh? Twenty minutes later the sky darkened and we had a tremendous thunderstorm–the whole God-show with lightning bolts, tympani right over the building, all of it really pretty awesome…and Casper knew it was coming long before it broke, so he went to hide. He’s a bit of a skitty kitty over storms. I guess most animals are. Even Cid, big tough dog, is not a happy puppy when storms hit.

When Macy died…she who treated Casper like shit in repayment for him fighting for her…he seemed to shrug it off. Maybe he was relieved? We determined that poor Casper was (God forgive this next one) pussy-whipped. Oh…this is Macy at her most authentic, demanding abject worship:
Right…another white cat. She really was fun once you got to know her. But getting there could be difficult. She and I got to like each other a great deal.

Casper’s current buddy is Tolstoy. After Pushkin died in September 2006, Casper and Tolstoy coalesced into a unit, two frat boys minus the keg party, and to this day they run around the house, avoid the litter pans, throw up without benefit of alcohol, and play chase games at 2:00 AM. We’re also pretty sure they have had fun taunting the dog because they know damn well they can outrun him.

I wish they could outrun the stuff that will inevitably gain on them. I rather like having them around.


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