Hello again, Oscar here, and I’ve been lounging in my kitty tree all day. I thought I saw my brother Gerald’s ghost a couple nights ago when a neighborhood kitty came by our window, but it was just Banjo, or at least that’s the name we give him because we don’t know what other people call him. You remember on one of my previous blogs I mentioned Gauguin/Tiberius who was another ginger kitty who used to walk around outside our window but he passed away about two years ago, but then another kitty started coming around and we called him Banjo:
and as you can see he’s what we call a “longhair orange marmalade” kitty whereas Gerald was technically a “shorthair yellow tabby” and Gauguin was also a yellow tabby, so if you ask me, there are far too many ginger cats in this neighborhood and not enough black ones! And because of that fact, I thought I’d devote today’s blog to all the things you don’t know yet about me, Oscar the black kitty.
Did you know that I’m polydactylic? I think that makes me sounds like some kind of dinosaur that flies, but what it really means is that I have extra toes on my front paws, which means I have “mitten paws,” so Gerald used to say that I had big feet which is why I play the feather toy so well since I have a super strong grip on things if I use my thumb. So here’s a picture of mitten paws:
And here’s a picture of me playing feather toy today, although for some reason the camera made me look like a devil cat:
And did you know that I’m technically a “medium hair” kitty? Gerald was a shorthair yellow tabby, and my friend Banjo outdoors is a longhair kitty, but I have “medium hair” which means it’s not long enough to look like I have a moustache, but it is fluffy enough that I shed a lot and when Daddy brushes my fur he manages to take a lot off me. And Uncle Kevin says that he’s always thought my fur was some of the silkiest fur of any kitty he’s known and that was a nice thing for him to say since he knows I’m very vain. And my hair sheds so much in the summer that Daddy sometimes has to feed me cat laxative to make sure that when I groom myself, the hair doesn’t get stuck in my tummy, and I love the taste of the laxative because it tastes just like honey, but Gerald never liked it and Daddy would put globs of laxative on Gerald’s chin or on the roof of his mouth or even on his leg so Gerald would have to lick it off, and of course Gerald always felt so humiliated.
And did you know that I can see in the dark? Actually, all cats have superior night vision, but many are the times when Daddy would wake up in the middle of the night to use the potty and he’d leave the lights off and he’d see me batting something on the floor and he’d ask me, “What are you playing with?” and Daddy would look and look and he couldn’t see anything so he’d turn on the lights and he’d see that I was playing with the tiniest little bug and Daddy would shake his head and wonder how I could possibly see something like that in the dark, but Daddy doesn’t understand that God gave us kitties extra-special vision at night time so we can drive away all the evil spirits and welcome all the angels that come by our house at night.
And I think I told you a few blogs ago about my teeth and how the kitty doctor removed two of my teeth about five weeks ago, but here’s a picture of what my teeth looked before they got removed, and wasn’t my left canine tooth beautiful?
And did you know that Gerald and I are very different lap cats? Even though we both love to sit in people’s laps, Gerald liked to sit on round soft tummies like the Kevin Pillow, and sometimes people would hold him in the crook of their arm lying on his back, so he looked like a little kitten again, and when he was happy he would purr and drool, and many times he drenched the Kevin Pillow in his drool, and if he was especially happy he would nuzzle his nose or the side of his cheeks against the person’s chin, or he would lick and gently bite Uncle Kevin’s beard like this:
But I’m different, and I like to sit on people’s thighs, or on Uncle Kevin’s chest, so I prefer a harder surface to cuddle on, and when I’m happy I knead things with my paws, and even if my paws aren’t touching anything, my little kitty toes will still stretch and wiggle because I’m so happy, and I don’t usually drool or bite things, but I do purr and I wag my tail sometimes.
And did you know that I can sleep with my eyes partly open? That’s another thing that Gerald taught me, since when kitty cats sleep their eyes shouldn’t completely close, just in case a yummy bug or birdy comes running by. Here are some pictures, and can you tell that our eyes are just slightly open?
And did you know that Uncle Kevin wrote a song about me when he first met me? It goes like this:
Oscar the kitty cat
He’s such a kitty kitty
Oscar the kitty cat
He’s such a puddy tat
He’s black and he is fuzzy
He’s goofy and he’s funny
Oscar the kitty cat
He’s such a kitty kitty
and I love it when Uncle Kevin sings the Oscar Song to me, because I’m so vain, and I love the attention; but Kevin never wrote a song for Gerald, and that’s probably because Gerald was so enigmatic and it was hard to capture his personality in a song, whereas I really am black and fuzzy and goofy and funny.
And did you know that I speak German? Or at least Daddy thinks so, because ever since I was little, Daddy would call me his kleines Kätzchen or his süsses Kätzchen or his schwarze Katze and I always knew what he was talking about. But Daddy is weird and sometimes speaks to me in Latin and sometimes in Ancient Greek and sometimes in Italian and even in Russian and I just meow, “Yeah, whatever.” But Daddy remembers learning conversational Russian and one time the teacher asked him a question but Daddy didn’t know what the question meant but thought it had to do with liking something, so he answered in Russian, “I really, really like cats…” and the teacher went, “OK, that’s interesting,” and later Daddy figured out that the teacher was probably asking, “What do you like to eat?” but for weeks Daddy’s favorite phrase in Russian was “I really, really like cats.”
And did you know that Gerald and I were both baptised? It was at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Ann Arbor, Michigan, which was right across from where Daddy lived with Aunty Beth, and every year on St. Francis of Assisi Day they would have a blessing of the animals, and St. Francis’ feast day is always October 4, and in 1997 when I was 2 ½ years old it was on a Saturday, and that was the day when Uncle Kevin and Daddy took me on my leash to go just across the street and there were all sorts of dogs and cats and other animals gathered on the lawn, and we met a long-haired Persian kitty named Princess Lydia, and the priest took his aspergil and sprinkled holy water on all of us while the people spoke a liturgy, and that’s how I got baptised (or technically, I guess I was blessed). But Gerald had gotten blessed the year before, in 1996 (when St. Francis of Assisi Day was on a Friday), when Gerald was already three years old, but I didn’t get blessed at the same time as Gerald, since I was still a kitten at that time, and I guess they decided it would be too difficult to handle both of us at a blessing. And St. Francis has always been our favorite saint because he preached to the animals, and here’s a stained glass window of St. Francis that Daddy found on the internet, from St. Teilo’s church in Bishopston in the U.K.:
And did you know that there’s a St. Gerald, who was a Frenchman who lived in the late ninth century, and his feast day is October 13, and he’s the patron saint of bachelors and of handicapped and disabled persons. But as far as I know, there’s no Saint Oscar yet, so maybe I can become the first!
And did you know that I’m named after another black cat named Oscar? People often ask Daddy whether I’m named after Sesame Street’s Oscar the Grouch, and Daddy always says no (although at first he was considering naming me Grover, after Grover Monster), but in fact I’m named after a black cat named Oscar that Daddy used to help cat-sit when he was a teenager, and the original Oscar belonged to a Mrs. Manuel who was a friend of Popo. As for Gerald, Daddy says he always liked the name Gerald ever since he read Gone With the Wind which has the character Gerald O’Hara.
Gotta go now because the sun is going down and it’s time for my evening bath where I lick myself all over before my midnight kibble. So I’ll sign off for now and write some more tomorrow.