WORDS BY MARY LUCIA
Can we please agree to abolish the term “Crazy Cat Lady?”
I don’t know who first coined the expression, but it was clearly made by a person not cool enough to have cats. Specifically, the idea of a woman who chooses not to be married but rather share her heart and home with cats is not only something to be celebrated—it’s aspirational.
I talk about the love of my three pugs because they are ham sandwiches and have never met a camera they didn’t like. It’s a given.
But I also share my life with three extraordinary cats who see their canine brethren and raise them a decapitated mouse head in your bed. “Why didn’t you say you worked for Corleone, Tom?”
Let me start with the grande dame of the household, Muse. Or as the vet tech with her beautiful accent calls her, Moose.
Life began for this warrior princess in a paper bag dumped in a parking lot at Mississippi Market. The night I rescued her and took her home I was terrified my other cats at the time would think she was a rodent, that’s how tiny she was. But when you’re born on the mean streets of St. Paul and cruelly cast aside, you’d better believe she was a formidable force from the jump. She has ruled every household I’ve kept with an iron paw.
When I think of my cats individually, I like to imagine where they would be on a commercial airplane flight. Muse would have some special pre-board status, jump the line before the crew, and be half asleep reclined in first class with cucumbers on her eyes while the other two were still fumbling with their e-tickets at the gate.
Eventually boarding: Stax, my gentleman Tuxedo, would be in an overhead bin helping others stow their carry-on bags. People would offer him a tip for his assistance, which he would politely decline. He would also be the passenger thoughtful enough to offer his window seat to a screaming child. He would not hog the armrest or kick your seat. He would curl up in a tiny ball dreaming peacefully of volunteering at a women’s shelter all the while smelling of waffles and fabric softener.
Ditch, my youngest rescue, would be relentlessly scratching at the cockpit door predicated on guile and handsome good looks would eventually be allowed entrance and get to sit on the pilot’s lap during takeoff.
Once airborne, Muse would be the entitled cringy passenger insisting she leave her seat during the beverage service. Not taking no for an answer, she would leap the cart to use an empty seat to pee. She would then turn around back to her luxury roomy suite and start this hassle all over again. If anyone attempts to pet her in this process, she would shoot over a withering look that says you may touch me with your eyes only.
The initial thrill of sitting in the cockpit will have, by now, become boring for Ditch, and he will be scratching against the cockpit door to be let out. Throughout the flight, he will do this 17 more times. Cue the frustrated pilot saying, “Come on, in or out?”
Stealthily slinking underneath the seats, he will make his way to the one travel bag that contains any morsel of food. The unsuspecting passenger won’t notice anything until they see a floofy orange cat running down the aisle with a croissant in his mouth. Ditch will also randomly puke twice during the flight.
Eventually settling on the tray top of a snoozing traveler, he will delete the Word document on their open laptop and scurry away. Before returning to paw at the cockpit door he will find a hair tie and kick it the entire length of the aircraft for 20 minutes.
Muse, irrationally galled by the color and pattern of the shirt her across-the-aisle passenger is wearing, will ring her call bell incessantly demanding the offending eyesore be moved back to coach. While the flight attendant politely explains he cannot accommodate her wishes she will demand more free champagne and an extra blanket, threatening to write a letter to the CEO of the airline.
Approaching descent, Stax awakens and offers to collect empty cups. Ditch, back in the cockpit, has charmed his way into assisting with the engagement of landing gear, while Muse has unbuckled and is already using electronic devices to ensure she is met at the luggage carousel.
Both pilots, who have severe cat allergies, fight to adopt Ditch.
Stax, the last one off the plane, thanks the crew by name.
Muse hops on an elderly couple’s Skycap, insisting they stop for Kahlua at the duty-free.
Popular Creeps Playlist
Baby What You Want Me To Do, Jimmy Reed
Not Dead Yet, Lord Huron
Promises, The Morning Benders
Ponta de Lança Africano, Jorge Ben Jor
96 Tears, ? & The Mysterians
Alexandra, Hamilton Leithauser
Surfacing, Chapel Club
Holding Back the Year, Lou Barlow
Far Away Truths, Albert Hammond Jr.
Victoria, The Fall
Duke and the Cash, Baby Boys
Tiny Spark, Brendan Benson