Gus van Horn’s Fact Checker
I’m a little loose with facts myself. I figure if I get even an adjective wrong, someone will show up to set me straight. So I see fact-gathering as a game of pick-up sticks. I try to nudge them out of a story, but sometimes the whole thing collapses.
I’ve intended to write about one of my best friends for quite awhile, but have mentioned him only a couple of times so far and only in passing at that. We have been close collaborators for over a decade. He has stuck with me through thick and thin. I am, of course, talking about my cat, Jerome.
Jerome is, of course, his nom de plume, and I just learned of it today. He is a cat of many eccentricities and surprises, not the least of which is his pen name. In fact, almost everything about this fine beast is eccentric in some way, and his uniqueness will pervade my whole account. He is at once the most unusual and, by far, the best pet I’ve ever had.
In the post,
… we checked out a few books on cat breeds and determined that he is probably at least part Turkish Van. Because he has been such a great pet and is getting on in years, my wife and I are talking to breeders to get a better idea of whether he really is a Turkish Van. Especially after seeing an entire row of Turkish Vans at a cat show awhile back and recently describing him to a professional breeder, I am fairly sure that he is a Turkish Van. We certainly don’t expect another one to have the same personality, but the next cat my wife and I get will be a Turkish Van. Jerome’s temperament was probably shaped by his being rescued, but he also seems typical of his breed.
My word! Jerome is still with them and they’re already planning on his replacement. I do hope he doesn’t discover this in his fact-checking. Vans are smart and if he reads that part, things may not go so well…the trauma might cause him to be unable to ever check another fact again.
And one important disagreement I have with
Nope, in this case it’s genetic - he’s got a Van.
As it is also genetic in the case of my neurotic cat, Lulu. What a mess. My vet says that in cats a fearful nature is passed on through the paternal genes. Her daddy must’ve been a feral beast, indeed, for she jumps at the slightest movement.
We got snookered when she wandered in through the open door of the church and I let the future Baron take her home while I made noises about having to give her to SPCA. After all, we already had two cats as it was. Of course, we never quite made that trip.
And as fortune would have it, eventually Lulu turned out to be my “chemo cat.” While otherwise quite leery of everyone (especially after the dominant cat started making her life hell, while I was in chemotherapy and would curl in a fetal position in bed, indescribably cold and tired, Lulu would jump up and curl in the curve where my knees bend. She was a nice warm lump, content to lie there for hours. Ever since, on occasions when I haven’t felt well, I feel her lying next to me.
Ever since I put her on clonazepam it has made all the difference. Ms. Congeniality? Not exactly. But she will come when called now instead of hiding under the bed, and sometimes, of her own volition, she will jump up where you’re sitting and peer into your eyes. Black cats seem to like eye contact.
She has developed a rotten habit: yowling in the middle of the night as though she has lost track of where we are. She does this routine right next to the bed, so if I call her to climb up, she does…and then settles down to sleep. However, just as often I exile her to the kitchen. Damn cat.
Of course if you’re sitting in front of the laptop, she thinks her perch ought to be the keyboard. So I have to remove her and then wipe the keys of any trace of her germy derriere.
Now this creature is our only cat. George, the male calico, was hit by a car while hunting. Moe, the fB’s beloved cat, who once fell down an old well and was stuck there for five days before the fB came home from college and found him, had his neck broken by a dog…we think. Moe couldn’t move very fast, so he was an easy target.
Only Lulu remains. And it is far, far too late to send her to the SPCA. Besides, her sleek black coat is beginning to be flecked with white…
I tol ya that the blogosphere is an automatic fact-checker. Turns out that Mr. van Horn ain't no mister at all. He's Doctor van Horn.
Proves my point about fact-checkers, hmmm?