I would start this blog with a picture. But I couldn't find a single photo of Thomas anywhere in this computer. Or even on Facebook. Poor dude. He died several years ago, and he really preferred to not have his photo taken. Most pictures of him were not taken with a digital camera, so I'd have to scan it.
I'll do it later. I promise.
When I was little, I desperately wanted a kitten. Almost all little girls, at some point in their lives, want a kitten.Kittens are cute, and cuddly, and fun to play with, right?
I would soon find out otherwise.
For my birthday (Fourth or fifth maybe. I was little.) my parents decided a kitten would be nice. Some friends had a litter of kittens, and we selected the least violent one. "Least violent" is pretty far from "Non-violent" in this case.
He was itty-bitty and adorable. He was black, and had seemingly innocent kitten eyes (Possibly still bluish at that point, though they soon turned green). We named him Thomas.
Had we known better, we may have named him Holy Terror.
It was fun for a while, he was a harmless ball of black fluff.
But he grew larger.
Fully grown, he weighed almost twenty-five pounds. We nicknamed him Bagheera, after the panther in The Jungle Book.
And soon it became evident...This cat had a wicked sense of humor.
He loved to play little games with us children.
His special game to play with me was, "Corner the Little Girl and Stare at Her Menacingly Until She Cries, Then Pounce and Bite Her Leg". This was his nightly routine. I would end up screaming in a corner for Daddy to carry me to bed, knowing that hidden somewhere in the shadows of the night, Thomas lurked, his green eyes glittering with fiendish delight.
My parents found this amusing. Thomas didn't usually bite me that hard. More frightening was the knowledge that if I moved, he would pounce, and if I didn't move, he would pounce. He was nearly as big as me.
He had a special game with my little sister, too. He would sit on the back of a chair in the living room, and just wait. Eventually, she would walk by. When she did, he would pounce on her head, and knock her down.
My sister is not much like me. She thought this was hilarious, and would repeatedly walk by, hoping he would do it again. She loved to wrestle with him. They'd go at it every day, a sport my grandparents disapproved of a little, but everyone found it quite entertaining. My sister didn't believe in pain, anyway.
Wrestling with Thomas was not as hazardous as one might think, as my grandparents had him declawed. I generally disagree with declawing, but the bastard tried to scratch my eye out, and he fully deserved it.
He adored his wet food, and begged for it every morning, establishing the routine of Dad having to feed kitties their breakfast each morning, a routine that still stands today. He also loved Barbies, and would frolic in their hair (IT WAS SO BEAUTIFUL AND BLONDE AND LUSCIOUS). When he got a drink of water, he'd flip his head in a odd sort of way, getting little water droplets all over his nose. Having those droplets on his nose made him ridiculously happy, and if anyone wiped those drops off, the happiness would vanish, and be replaced with annoyance. He worked hard for those water droplets.
As more cats were added to our collection, Thomas made sure that each cat knew that he was here first, and he was DA BOSS. They must follow all the people rules (He was big on rules), lest they receive a bop on the head or a stern glare from DA BOSS. They shalt not look at DA BOSS funny, or DA BOSS will hit them. They must not eat dry food while DA BOSS is. They must not sleep on his Most Sacred Couch Cushion (He would allow them to sleep on one of the Semi-Sacred Couch Cushions).
Of course, sometimes he'd bop them on the head for no good reason at all.
The veterinarians loved him, and they saw him often. When the vet would try to pull him out of his kitty carrier, Thomas would somehow hang onto the sides with his clawless paws, and it would take forever to extract him. They called him, "The cat who keeps on coming". An abscess in his right ear left him with a shriveled ear, which he didn't seem to mind, so long as we didn't poke it (Which we did. It felt weird.) General poor health and kidney failure eventually got to the old man, and he passed away at the age of ten (Maybe eleven. There was some argument about his age) I believe right after Halloween, which we had deemed his holiday, despite his favorite holiday being Christmas (But as he was black, he could not deny his Halloween Cat status).
The rest of the cats had seen his death coming, and had quietly elected a new leader, another manly sort, whom Thomas approved of. It was strange not having the big lummox around. We were already getting out of the habit of looking for him on the couch. In his last few weeks he had taken to just falling asleep wherever he happened to be, usually appearing possibly dead already and freaking us all out. I suspect this was another of his fun little games.
For Christmas one year, I received an ornament that is a little green-eyed black cat with a halo and angel wings. Although I very much doubt his angelic status, I still hang that ornament up near the top, so he can keep an eye on all the other ornaments, and bop them if they get out of line.