Saturday, June 28, 2014

June 18 Special Feature: Rusty Gets an Email

I got an email!

A reader from Mt. Pleasant Iowa who goes by the handle hummelgal3243 (I wonder what her hobby is) emailed me at, was kind enough to say some nice things about the web site (which I passed along to the ape man), and ask me how it is that I came to live here. Well, Hummelgal3243, first of all thank you very much for reading, and as for how I got here, that's quite a tale.    

First you should know that I was tarred with the white-hot shame of the label "shelter cat." I spent my kittenhood in the upstairs apartment of a general store. In my nightly travels I met up with a cat - I forget what his humans called him but he went by "Dutch" on the street - and he taught me how to be a serviceable pickpocket and petty thief. I became part of - then leader of - a gang of cats that made their living intimidating dogs and shaking down local butcher shops. I ditched my loser humans and took up the proud tradition of the alley cat full-time. I had an army of cats with keen eye and skillful paw doing my bidding. I dined on the choicest morsels. I was happy.

Then came the PetSmart job.

It was going to be our grand achievement. The culmination of a full cat-year of planning and research (that's like five weeks - we were in a hurry). We had every base covered. It was foolproof. No outside influence could defeat us. No, in this case the poison came from within.

One of our newer members, an orange tabby with one eye and thumbs with the unfortunate name of "Minky Boodle," got into it with our logistics cat, a black-over-white tuxedo cat named Wayne, with long legs and a penchant for breadmaking that bordered on the creepy. At the time I thought it was nothing. Little did I know.

Instead of getting better over time it got worse. One of Wayne's bags of catnip went missing. There were menacing glances, then hisses, then an absolute donnybrook. The gang wasn't the same after that.

Long story short, Minky Boodle turned rat. Got the whole gang pinched. I lost track of Wayne, but I was sentenced to a kill shelter without a whole lot of due process. That's the way it goes, I guess.

The days were ok - noisy, but ok. Mostly I slept. The nights, though - the nights were hard. Well, no they weren't, really; I mostly slept through them too.

I came to the realization that some humans come in and vouch for cats sometimes, to commute their sentence to a much nicer prison and some company when you want it. I developed a cutesy-pie act for whenever one would come close in the hopes of getting picked. And sure enough, Stupid Human's mate comes sauntering in one fine day, I do my cat-and-pony show, and she goes home with the cat she was going there to get, and me besides.

I will say this: It's a good gig. I've had quite enough of shelter life, and you can take that to the bank. I can't go out anymore, but that's ok - running a gang is a young cat's game. They feed me, they have plenty of little nooks and crannies in their dump of a house, and really, my humans might be just the stupidest apes I've ever come across, but they're good hearted enough, I suppose. They call me "good kitty" from time to time and no cat tires of hearing that.

So there you go Hummelgal3243 - my story. And it's all 100% true.


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