The Soupster hears the gruesome story of a cat’s name.
Originally published October 7, 2004
Tony held his new cat in his lap, stroking its head, a slightly deranged-looking head, but Tony didn’t seem to notice.
“What’s his name?” asked the Soupster.
“This cat?” said Tony. “There’s quite a story connected with this critter.” The cat looked up at its owner with its moist, loving, remaining green eye. The cat was also missing one ear and the whiskers on the same side. One front tooth had been cracked in half. There was something wrong with one foot.
“This cat spent kittenhood living in the home of the most hated man in his neighborhood,” Tony said. “Some kind of free-lance international telemarketer. Anyway, people came in and out of the house all hours of the day and night on telemarketing business and everybody wanted to handle the cute little kitten. Two or three o’clock in the morning was the business day somewhere on the globe and somebody was always asking about the cat.”
“A free-lance telemarketer?” said the Soupster
“Oooh-boy, did they hate him in the neighborhood,” said Tony. “The telemarketer. Wasn’t just this cat that was kept awake. All those telemarketing people stopping by all the time kept the neighbors awake. And the teenage kids in the neighborhood started making a big hero out of this hated telemarketer, and don’t you know the parents didn’t like that very much.”
“So, as the cat got older,” asked the Soupster,. “did it get a name?”
“Right,” Tony continued. “The neighbors finally convinced the telemarketer to telemarket elsewhere. He abandoned the cat. So this poor guy found himself all on his own under a trailer, snuggling up to an electric heater for warmth, when he snuggled a little too close to the main electrical element and started a small fire on his head.” Tony rubbed the stump where the cat’s ear had been.
“Then he moved in with another family, one that already had these three really old other cats. Well, old cats and new cats can be like Classic Coke and New Coke — under the influence of different planets. They ganged up on our friend here – the three cats attacked him in sequence – and each one bit off a toe.”
“Ouch,” said the Soupster.
“That was the point I got him,” Tony said. “I took my new cat to the veterinarian to get his foot treated and the vet said the cat should be fixed, so I let him.”
“How did the tooth get broken?”
“That was just last week,” Tony said. “I guess I shouldn’t have brought such a lifelike stone bird into the house at the same time I got a new cat, but I really didn’t expect him to attack it.”
“So what are you calling this bad boy?” asked the Soupster.
“Lucky,” said Tony. “Just Lucky.”