This weekend, my cat died. It’s awful news. The kind of news you want to crawl up with for a week and beg to go away. The kind of news that can turn a 6 year-old rerun of Scrubs into a tear-jerker, or a commercial featuring the Charmin Ultra-Soft bears into a poignant statement on the fragility of life. It is, to be sure, the sort of thing a comedy writer like me should not go anywhere near, but I wrote about her so often here that I felt it wrong to keep it to myself.
Invariably, my most popular articles have been about Cheese The Cat. Whether I was coming out of the closet as a male cat lover, or narrating her opinions of my female callers, or nominating her to be to be the Pope of the Catholic Church, it was clear that the internet loved Cheese. Not as much as I did, of course, but she’s never licked your noses, so really what chance did you have? My Cheese writing reached so far that I was once stopped in a bar and asked, “Hey, you’re that guy who can’t stop writing about your cat, right?” Not necessarily the description that every joke writer is looking for, but I rushed home to tell Cheese about it anyway. Is that weird, in light of that fact that she can’t speak English, or even, you know, Human Being? Probably, but I could tell she was proud, as she celebrated with a particularly vigorous licking of the butt. So vigorous it would’ve made even the Charmin bears blush. Besides, I’m pretty sure I rocketed past weird a long time ago. Such is the life of a man whose best friend is his kitty cat.
So I felt I needed to write one more Cheese piece, but didn’t really know how to approach it. I started writing something more somber, but really that wasn’t my cat’s style. She had an attitude, and her favorite thing to do was sneeze in my food the moment I sat down to eat. So here now is Cheese’s Last Will and Testament, as she would’ve liked it written…
I Cheese, of sound mind and particularly impressive body for a cat my age, hereby declare this to be my last will and testament. I hereby bequeath the following belongings to the mentioned parties. Hope you’re not expecting any cash, because I blew the last of my savings on a raging tuna party before I passed on. Tough crap. Get a job, you flunkies.
To the Sun: God, I love you, Sun. So hot, so relentless. I loved to sit in you until I was warm to the touch, then sit there for an hour longer, just to let the birds know who’s boss. To you, I leave the stupid collar he made me wear that was just as incessant as your heat. Little tip, if you meow a bunch he’ll take it off for an hour. He’s a total softy.
Cans of Mush: Only late in my life did I realize that you, Mush, were considered “food.” I mean, sure, I ate you, but I’m a friggin’ cat. I’ll eat a bug if you let me, that doesn’t make it haute cuisine. To you, I leave my beloved turkey slices, just so you know what real food is supposed to taste like. I hear in heaven the roads are paved with turkey slices and mouthfuls of houseplant. Side note: Stop pretending you have flavors. Chicken & Salmon Pate? Please. More like Salty Mush Combined With Other Salty Mush in a different color can.
To My Litterbox: We had some good together times, brotha. Remember when he tried to train me to use the actual toilet? Humans, am I right? I leave you the greatest gift of all: the absence of pee. Enjoy!
To My Brown Blanket: Blanket, you were always there to hide under when threatening events occurred, like the visit of a repairman or rain. I leave you clumps of fur that will probably never be cleaned, because let’s be honest, he’s not exactly a neat freak.
To The Expression “The Cat’s Out of the Bag”: That shit’s fucked up. You ever put me in a bag, I’ll rip your face off. I’m not leaving you anything.
To the Neighbor with the Purple Flowers: It WAS me eating your flowers every weekend and then throwing up purple stuff next to them. Brian totally lied. Like I said, total softy! To you, I leave an earnest apology, and the heartfelt promise that it was worth it every time.
To the Bathtub: I just don’t get you, Bathtub. You’re filled with water? Do you know how awful water is? It’s so…wet. And awful. And wet. Sometimes I’d see him lying in you and just meow hysterically at the insanity of it all. Who lies in water? Freaks, that’s who. I leave you a towel to dry yourself off for god’s sake.
To Dogs: I leave to you an extended middle finger of the paw, motherf’ers. Extended middle finger of the paw.
To Other Cats: See above. Also, hiss.
To my readers: Thank you for liking his articles and making him think he had anything to do with it. It was sweet of you, but we both know I was sitting on his lap for every word he ever wrote. The best bits were all Cheese, baby. And did I get a share of the profits? No, I did not. Unless ear scratches and talking in a baby voice became US currency all of a sudden.
To Him: I know you’re sad right now. That you’ve probably been crying all week. And that you can’t imagine doing any of the things we did together by yourself. But it’ll be OK. You’ll get another cat soon, and you guys can watch Shark Tank together, and cuddle in bed all day, and write your silly nonsense while she curls up happily on your sweatpant-covered lap. (By the way, you know you’re allowed to wear real pants sometimes, right?) She won’t be anywhere near as good as me, but after awhile, it will be OK. And maybe in time you can love her just as much. Not instead of me, but right along with it. I’m sorry for all the times I woke you at dawn for breakfast, or meowed at the door while you were doing your sexy making, and that I couldn’t hang out forever and ever. I just got too tired. But I feel better now, and I hope you do too. I leave you 100 forehead nuzzles, and an eternity of purring naps on your stomach. It’ll be better soon, I promise. Oh, and when you get that new kitty, make sure she stays away from Brown Blanket. That shit’s mine forever.