I Am Zach

I have commandeered a shih tzu bed. This is my Clark Gable pose, although I am better looking.

I am Zach.  I am cat.  I am black.  I am warrior.  I have commanded that this post be written to tell the world of my greatness.  No harness can contain me.  No dog can scare me.  The dog in this house they call “Barney” will not even approach his bed if I am relaxing on it.  I often do this late at night, to thwart him.  The small dog they call “Cindy” claims that she barked at me, and I was afraid, but I was not.  I merely moved away to escape her unpleasant noise.  The other small dog they call “Khloe” snaps at me, but she is old and cannot see — she is beneath my notice.  In truth, I fear no dog, not even the large dog here called “Annie.”  She cowers from me.  The other cats live in terror, lest I again prove to them that I am their master.  They run, they hide, they yowl when I draw near; I don’t even have to raise a paw.  I twitch my long, whiplike tail to show my superiority, and they are still as I stalk by.

I lie in wait for my human slaves, especially in the dark hallway, and pounce upon their feet.  They are startled.  This pleases me.  I fling open doors in the house; I have this power.  I disdain to use the thing they call “cat door” to go to the basement to access my food and my box.  I am worthy of the human door, after all.  It is gratifying to do the flinging when my female slave is sitting alone after the male slave has gone to bed.  The game has grown stale, however, because she has discovered that is it I who does this, and no longer jumps up in fear.

The one pastime that continues to entertain me is shredding the furniture.  I presume that the scratching post was placed at the corner of the chair to deter me from attacking the upholstery.  The post remains untouched, of course, because I can still reach the chair.

Even creatures outdoors know that I rule.  The squirrels the female slave feeds will not come to the porch while I stand guard inside the screen door.  I have learned to open the sliding screen door onto the deck in the back of the house.  In a negligent moment, however, I let the male slave see me cleverly hook my claws in the screen and slide the door, so he installed a device to defeat me.  He was unsuccessful, for I quickly devised a counter strategy, and once more slid the door open.  A different device appeared on the door, which I also overcame.  Now there are two devices, and I have almost succeeded in disabling them.  If the stupid Annie dog would assist me (even my intellect needs her height), I could out-maneuver both devices.

Often, I cunningly pretend to be asleep or unconcerned as the slaves go in and out.  I can maintain this deception for hours.  Then, when they are lulled into carelessness, I dash through an open door and escape to the outside.  I can accomplish this in an instant.  I scorn the unwary!  At first, the slaves would follow me into the yard and try to and catch me.  Obviously, they could not bear to be without my presence.  When I demonstrated my physical abilities and they realized they were vastly outmatched, they ceased chasing me.  Now, when I choose to go outside, they stay behind and wait for my return.  I hear them calling me, but that matters not.  I am cat.  I have important business among the trees and bushes, striking fear into birds and lesser felines.  When I have exhausted my desire to be outside and I require rest, my slaves are all too willing to readmit me to the house, all the while expressing their gratitude that I have returned.  “Damn cat!” seems to be their highest mark of respect.

A few times, the slaves have entrapped me, put me in a small prison, and taken me aboard the large box that moves.  Initially, I reacted to being subjected to such indignity by escaping the large box after it had stopped.  I contrived to get away repeatedly.  I enjoyed exploring new places, and I was greatly amused to sit and watch the slaves frantically searching for me and calling my name.  I considered not returning to the box at all.  In each case, however, I thought of the comfort inside the box; the opportunities to intimidate the other cats, who had also been put into the box; and the food that was available for the taking.  In the end, I took pity on the slaves and condescended to be coaxed back into the large box.  After two such episodes, the slaves put a harness on me and attached it to a line anchored inside the box.  I had the run of the space, but could not get outside.  For awhile, I could think of no effective solution.  As I put on too much muscle, though, a new harness appeared, and I have already slipped out of it.  This may be the solution to future entrapments.

As for my story, my genius is such that I originally compelled the male slave to take me in, when I found life to be too taxing where I was born and raised.  I had left my mother a short time before, and it was taking more time than I wished to spend, securing food each day.  I let the male slave admire me as I strolled through the truck yard.  I sensed that he was gullible and would offer me shelter.  Even from a distance, I could smell other cats, plus several dogs, on him.  I did not hesitate, because I knew that all would bow to me.  I let the slave reach out to me, but I remained at a distance, aloof.  Finally, when I judged the time was right, I sauntered over to the road where the slave would drive his truck, and just as he was nearing me, I lay down in his path.  As I’d known he would, he stopped the truck and rushed out to pick me up.  I rode in the truck all day, and that night, I went to my new home.

All things considered, I do believe my choice was a wise one.  I have an entire home full of beds, tables, and chairs to lie on, and first choice at the food bowl.  Every other creature in the house acknowledges my magnificence.  On rare occasions, when I have had a particularly difficult day — several disturbed naps, one or two of the other cats failing to immediately step aside as I crossed a room — I decide that I would like my slaves to provide a soft, warm place for me to recline.  Perhaps even stroke my fur.  In those times when I deign to allow them to caress me, I simply appear on the couch and drape myself across one of their laps.  I sometimes even permit this worshipping for part of an evening.  Just to add interest, I will even lightly bite their fingers as I am accepting their adoration.  The female slave says that other cats also do this, that it’s a mark of affection.  I know nothing about these other cats, but I bite because it is fun.  And, because these humans are my slaves, I can be completely indifferent to them except for those few minutes on occasional evenings, and they will still pay tribute to my supremacy, because I am Zach.

Supervising the female slave. She wears black to pay homage to my matchless fur.

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