The Secret Reign Of Cats

“I believe cats to be spirits come to earth. A cat, I am sure, could walk on a cloud without coming through.” – Jules Verne

For a man who shook poetry from the trees and made profit with the value of extraordinary journeys, it’s obvious that old Jules grasped the divinity of felinity when he uttered those words. He understood that cats possess mystical abilities which transcend our mundane existence. The fact that they haven’t let us in on their slinky secrets by now is proof that when humankind is done crunching this cosmic taco, cats are going to own the the title on some primo real estate.

My history with cats didn’t get started until I was a young adult, in keeping with my scattershot family tradition of going pet-less for great stretches of time. I was fourteen when we adopted our first dog: Penny was a Vizsla who was delightfully unapologetic about her disdain for strangers. It was no wonder I took to this wondrous hybrid, seeing as how she possessed the soul of a cat who happened to play a mean game of frisbee for good measure.

The next family additions came when I was eighteen. Ralph and Norton were a couple of hooligans my mother and sister found. The former was scared of his own shadow and the latter, well, he was that shadow. These miscreants were a rebellion unto themselves with their abhorrent lack of manners when it came to dining, as well as their disdain for upturned noses. They were cats in name only . . . which counts for much. Lady Chestnut was a tortoiseshell beauty who went from rags to royalty, and she kept the boys in line.

I became a cat daddy by proxy when I was in my late twenties and married. I’d rented a refurbished barn to sell antiques out of and that’s when I met Sheba. Imagine Uma Thurman from Kill Bill in a jet black fur suit. She was a feral cat who had little use for life on the inside. I built her a little abode out back so she could keep me company when she felt like it. She was a huntress of biblical proportions and the first time she jumped up into my lap, I knew I’d achieved street cred in perpetuity.

Joe was next. He was yet another feral black cat who was a CIA agent in a past life. I got his name from the Jimi Hendrix song. Joe was a fascinating specimen in that he possessed the most extraordinarily placid demeanor until something fucked with his Zen, after which he went all Bruce Lee. His human inner circle consisted of me and my daughter. As with Sheba, we lost him to the streets.

Storm was our first inside cat. She was a gray and white longhair whose equanimous nature belied the struggles in her brain. As with Sheba and Joe, she was the product of an Amish ‘upbringing’, and that is a dubious trait to be toting between your tail. We brought Storm and Sweeps inside, but her brother- the coolest black cat in the history of ever- died during his orchidectomy. Storm suffered from a cognitive decline at a young age. She was our Crazy Queen, the lone heiress to the throne in what would become a bittersweet reign.

I hadn’t stopped to consider the royal lineage of cats I had lived under until the reign of Mister Jack Speaker. He became the coolest black cat in the second book of the history of ever. He was a polarizing figure, fiercely loyal to his round table of peeps and unforgivingly savage to everyone else. As a King, he was imposing and uncompromising. It was purr meeting fection, damn straight.

After Mister Speaker’s passing in 2020, I knew the next cat to hold the throne would have an extraordinarily large set of pawprints to fill. That’s why I adopted two.

Jack- named after his predecessor- is a marmalade tabby who happens to be one of the buffest cats I’ve ever known. If he was a professional athlete, he would be getting drug tested on the regular. He was a dog in another life because he greets me when I come home, sleeps at the foot of my bed every night and is always there to wish me a good morning.

Wednesday- a tortoiseshell with white patches that pop- possesses a Picasso-like half mustache that speaks to you in languages that haven’t even been borne yet. She observes all the etiquette of a proper young lady and as with Lady Chestnut, keeps her reckless brother in check. She’s a cat in the most magical sense of the word and so her gaze is the only currency she is ever going to need.

The Empire is strong.






45 thoughts on “The Secret Reign Of Cats

  1. B

    What a wonderful share. Though, and I know you are not keen on taking photos, it would be nice to see the latest tenants of your abode 😉

    Our first pet came when my sister Tracy was about 4. She nagged and cajoled and tried to bribe my mother into getting a dog. The problem, you see, was my sister Lisa was petrified of dogs.

    We where shopping for who knows what and ended up at a pet store where the cutest little chihuahua-fox terrier mix puppy, with the sweetest eyes (until they bulged like a chihuahua’s, but that’s besides the point) pleaded with us.

    “Mommy, mommy, pleeeeeeeease,” from Tracy. My mother, all cocky, said: “If Lisa holds her, we can have her.” No sooner had the words left her mouth that Tracy shoved Juanita into Lisa’s arms. And Lisa held her. Mom was fucked now. That old dog lasted a good 17 years! I moved out and she was still hanging around.

    Now you’ve got me reminiscing about the pets in my life. I might have to follow suit and get off your comment box and into my blog! Apologies for my runaway fingers.

    Love the Bowie song which is perfectomundo, of course. And I loved your share.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Q

      I just can’t bring myself to do it. Well, I don’t have pics at the ready for any of the cats before Speaker as it is. I just like telling their tail. Or tale. Both.

      I was “allergic”, which led to us having to bring the dog my parents had before I was born to the kennel. I’ll never forget that walk. It’s one of the few things I do remember of childhood. It’s funny how the bad stuff keeps.

      Aye chihuahua! THAT was actually our first dog, in Miami I don’t mention her because she hated everyone. LOL.

      Hahaha! THAT is staying power!

      As Cobain would say, no apologies are needed.



      Liked by 1 person

      • Really? Okay then… I won’t push. 🙂 I love that you told their tale tails.

        “Allergic” – blame the kid feels rather wrong. If there were no quotations, I would not feel this.

        Aye chihuahua! She was the ugliest and we loved her. Hahaha! Juanita loved most people but when my father raised a hand in pretense to smack me, she would snarl like she was a pit bull!

        No kidding, eh?

        You are the besterest.


        Liked by 1 person

  2. I was raised a cat person, and for most of my formative years he was my best friend and companion…on his schedule, of course. He was named Cat, because I was a minimalist of sorts at the time. Cat was actually born on my bed, which is where his mother decided to give birth to five kittens one afternoon as I arrived home from school. (That was weird to watch…) We found homes for Mom and the other kittens and went forward with just Cat. Mrs. Chess and I have not been pet-people in our union, but I often think of Cat when I see others out and about…or when I read wonderful details of one person’s history with cats.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am an equal dog/cat person but because I spend so much time away from home, I just didn’t think it was fair to leave a dog alone for eight to ten hours and then who knows how much after that. Cats are more independent in that way.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I loved reading about your cats, Marc. I have always had an affinity for cats, which fit in perfectly with our dogs. Unfortunately, when our last two went over the bridge, we haven’t replaced them.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I grew up with dogs but I was introduced to two main coon cats, brother and sister. I am convinced that they were truly dogs in cat suits because they were the most un-cat-like animals I’ve ever known. They adopted me and made sure I knew that I was their responsibility. I liked it. I had Quinn for 11 1/2 years and his sister for 16. I will always miss them and they will always have a special place in my heart.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I like both cats and dogs, but have only been a cat owner. Three of them, then we decided not to replace them due to my wife’s allergies and nasal polyps. She no longer feels she allergic, but given out propensity to travel, we’ve decided against them. All three of ours were house cats – each with a different personality. We still have the ashes of our first one. Gotta leave you a tune.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cincy,

      I applaud that. And by ‘that’ I mean, you guys realize what goes into being a parent to a furry creature and have decided to forego it, for now anyways. Too many people get pets without any thought as to what they can give them in the way of time and involvement. I’m out of the house for eight to ten hours a day, plus. As is my daughter. But we bounce off each other and the kitties get the time. Plus, when we are home with them, we’ve with them. Oh . . . and now Mom is involved!

      I saw your text when I woke up. Mom is good. She did therapy for a few weeks after she got home before deciding she didn’t need it any longer. I argued this with her before realizing that it wouldn’t matter to argue with her. I took a different tack. Fast forward to yesterday when I went in with her for a follow up visit to her doctor and we were able to convince her to go back for eight weeks. Wasn’t easy but we did it. Nicely.

      Thank you for the tune!


  6. I’ve had many cats and several dogs over the years. The last cat went over a decade ago, but I have not thought of getting another. The dogs are a handful as is! But it sounds like you’ve had some special companions over the years.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Eilene!

      I think I have been pretty lucky with my feline involvements over the years. I tend to attract the stray cats. My daughter takes it up several levels. She is the cat whisperer. When she was a kid, she used to find stray cats everywhere we went. Uncanny.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. ☺️ lovely.
    I grew up with a Tabby cat- she was my dad’s really. Kitkat was her name. She was feisty and def not anyone’s friend lol.
    When I bought a house, however, I rescued an older black cat, named him Bruno. He was mine and he was sweet. But his personality…was skittish and he liked being outdoors, which ended up being his demise, unfortunately.
    Then my husband surprised me a couple of years later with a fancy shmancy breed, a British Shorthair Silver Tabby, Gordon WHAT A L❤️VE. He was smart, beautiful and my bestest buddy for nine years until he fell ill …and I had to put him down. It was so devastating and the hardest moment to watch of my life at that point. I actually held him as they did the procedure because he was my boy and I owed him that comfort at the least.
    I vowed to never get a pet again after experiencing the pain from losing Gordon -it was beyond my control. I’m a sensitive person. But then covid hit, and life turned upside down w lockdowns and the world changing. I missed having a pal around, or for my daughters.
    The only remedy…was to rescue a new soul. So we rescued Jack. A black Bombay, two year old boy who had been returned to the shelter for being difficult. He fell in love with us just as quickly as we did him- he is my best buddy. Always by my side. He is not difficult- so pfft to those ppl.
    And though I know his day too shall come, this is the life of a pet mom, right? That makes our companionship even stronger and I’ll spoil this lil fur friend, giving him the best life in exchange for uplifting and changing mine. 😉 ❤️
    Sorry I got so wordy! I wasn’t planning to tell my life with cats story. Lol

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Mr. Speaker lives on. I always feel as if I knew him personally, and your love of cats in general speaks volumes about you….sleek, playful, smart and frisky…elusive, independent, silly and sly. Yes, volumes I tell you. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Those street cats will break your heart every time.
    As a cat person talking to another cat person – we all know cats are gods.
    How does that go? A dog thinks his human is a god. A cat knows his human thinks the cat is a god.

    I love cats, Marc! I’ll show you mine, if you show me yours?


    Liked by 1 person

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