September 27, 2013 by T. Gregory Argall
People often ask me why my cat is called Lefty Stitchnibbler, The Wonder Cat. In fact just this morning I was asked that very question by a man who ran up to me on the street. He had half a beard, was wearing a Muumuu and carrying a toaster. He also asked when the green and purple ship would be returning for him and why the grasshoppers have been so rude to him lately.
It was a little unnerving. I moved slowly away, making no sudden movements.
But despite his diverse curiosities and unique fashion sense, some could argue that it was a valid question. (The one about the cat, I mean. I’m sure the grasshoppers have their reasons but it’s really none of my business.)
Why is my cat called Lefty Stitchnibbler, The Wonder Cat?
First of all… Not my cat.
Since I am not directly responsible for him, I have the freedom to call him anything I choose without having to deal with whatever feline psychological trauma may result.
Sounds harsh, but I don’t care. I’m not really a cat person; I’m more of a dog person. I have noting against cats. per se. It’s just that they’re not dogs.
I think they should make an effort to address that, but they don’t.
A few weeks before my son turned eleven, my brother’s cat whelped out a litter and my nephews thought it would be nice to give one of the kittens to Robert for his birthday. I was marginally consulted on the matter and managed to establish the firm guideline that became known as the Cat Compromise… I would have absolutely not commitment or involvement in matters pertaining to the feeding of the cat, not the cleaning requirements resultant from the cat’s presence in our home. In return for this, I would have the privilege of paying all of the bills related to the little furball.
So since, as my nephews pointed out, the kitten was a girl cat, Robert decided to name her Josie, even though the movie was a box office disappointment. However, a veterinarian who seemed to think he was better qualified to judge such things than my nephews declared that Josie was, in fact, a boy cat. Apparently the penis was a key factor in reaching this conclusion. Whatever.
So, in addition to the initial emasculating fact that he’s a cat, this boy cat was now also stuck with a girl’s name. Oh, well. Spelling aside, if it was good enough for Clint Eastwood, it was certainly good enough for a cat.
About a year later Josie flew rambunctiously into kitty puberty and it became apparent that repairs would be needed. He had to be fixed. So back we went to Dr. Know-it-all, the gender-vet and, of course, there were the inevitable complications. Josie turned out to be what they call a High Flanker. It seems that, much like Dick Clark dealing with mechanical problems on New Years Rockin’ Eve 1987, Josie had a ball that hadn’t dropped. They had to go looking for it because that would cost me more money. Although it seemed to me there’d be a very limited number of places it could be, this quickly became a major expedition, veterinarally speaking. It was like Indiana Jones and the Lost Testicle.
Thus began the evolution of Josie’s sarcastic nickname. I started calling him Lefty in honour of his elusive nut.
A few hours later he was released back into my financial care and I was told to bring him back a week later to have his stitches removed. Which I did, only by then he had nibbled, gnawed, and chewed them into nothingness and there were no stitches left to remove. But I still had to pay for the stitch-removal appointment because what the hell, cat?
His name-volution continued and he became Lefty Stitchnibbler. I wondered what the next feline attack on my wallet would be and, well, you can see where I’m going with this.
And now, years later, Lefty Stitchnibbler, The Wonder Cat is still stuck with that title.
The subjects of the random wonder-ponderings vary, however.
“I wonder how much fatter he’s going to get.”
“I wonder if he’s lying on the stairs, waiting to trip me.”
“I wonder if Feline ADD is a real thing, because he’s definitely got it.”
“I wonder how many cat farts he’ll share with us today.”
“I wonder if he can fly.”