Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Princess Puddin' speaks

 Puddin's headshot for the 5/31/18 debut
 of her  newspaper column: CatSpeak 
Not long ago, Mom allowed the dog to dictate a column which she graciously typed for him.  Unlike the dog, I am perfectly capable of typing my own column. After all, I’ve spent plenty of time on Mom’s keyboard, though until now, I’ve kept my typing talents secret.

Now, about that dog. Yes, he was here before me, and yes, he’s certainly larger than me at 80+ pounds, but he knows full well he’s NOT in charge. The silly boy thinks that because his DNA analysis indicates his ancestors are Great Pyrenees, the royal dogs of France, that he is somehow special. Pfftt.

Haven’t we all heard of folks who are royal but not all that intelligent or talented? That’s Banjo.  He’s nice enough, easy to get along with, generous with his many dog beds, but bright or talented?  Hardly.  His main activities are lying around, taking walks and eating my cat food when I take a delicate pause between bites. Why he doesn’t even chase balls or play with toys.  Pretty useless, I’d say.

I, on the other hand, don’t require a DNA test to prove how special I am. First, I am a calico cat with distinctive markings and—as are 99.9% of calicos—female.  Need I say more? I’m also exceptional because I’m a calico tortoiseshell combo. Talk about a beauty.


We calicoes are considered good luck. Known for our distinctive orange patches on a white background, we originated in Egypt. Sailors saw us as especially good luck, and Japanese fishermen kept us on board their boats to protect them in storms and frighten away the ghosts of jealous ancestors.  

The Fortune cat figurines you see in Asian restaurants originated in Japan in the mid-1800s as lucky charms, but did you know that the calico version is considered the luckiest?  Enough said about my heritage.  If Banjo expects to be called Lord Banjo, then I certainly should be called Princess Puddin’.  With or without royal lineage, I rightly rule the roost without lifting a paw.

I get first dibs on all the dog beds, sleep with Mom and Dad, and have special blankets on both couches. When I enter the kitchen meowing, someone promptly feeds me. They usually remember that milk is the first course in the morning before food, but occasionally they mess up, and I turn my nose up until my bowl is correctly filled. Banjo shares his water bowl with me and even his food dish when I’m so inclined. 

When I speak in the evenings, Dad knows it’s play time and obliges with the bird and the snake, my favorite toys.  He exclaims over my leaps and flips and adores my flying white paws. I take turns in Mom and Dad’s laps, but as Dad points out, he has the best belly for kitties. It seems the birds are the only creatures impervious to my demands. No matter how loudly I squeak at them from my window perch, they don’t respond. Maybe someday.

And I’m not only acrobatic; I’m smart too. When Mom heads to her office, I know to race ahead and hit the desk to await my treats. I’m also renowned for my ability to clean off a desk or nightstand with the swipe of a paw. Imagine the clutter if it weren’t for me.

As highly intelligent readers, you surely now realize that I am the most special creature in our household—if not in the universe. Perhaps one day you too will be lucky enough to be owned by a calico.

This story can be found in “Lord Banjo the Royal Pooch” available on Amazon. Please send comments, compliments, and questions to inkpenn119@gmail.com