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How a cat became the king in my home

Published: Thursday, April 18, 2013 11:21 a.m. CDT

One of the things that bothered me the most after my dog’s death last year was that I missed his presence each week when I wrote this column. In fact, after his passing I stopped writing in my den, which is where I used to keep Silas’ pen. I use the word “den” because calling it an “office” would imply I’m financially successful.

Christine cleaned the den out last week, and I decided to again assemble Will E Sanders, Inc., on my vacant desk. Since writing for me is extremely ritualistic, or because I’m obsessed with obsessive-compulsive behavior, I locked all four of my cats in the haunted cat room.

But when I sat down to write, it didn’t seem the same without one of God’s creatures placing slobbery tennis balls in my lap at inopportune times.

In the household animal hierarchy of my homestead, Silas ruled supreme, and my four cats always played second fiddle. Silas’ death brought about the importance of creating a domesticated pet list of succession.

That is to say, in light of Silas’ death which of my four cats becomes the famed favorite family pet? I mean, you’re not supposed to play favorites, but c’mon, everybody has them.

I didn’t take making the decision lightly. I was conflicted, so I handled it the same way the animal kingdom does. I selected my dominant male cat, Thumper, a rascally and over-domesticated Maine Coon terror, to ascend the animal companion throne.

Being as such, Thumper was granted all the feline advantages that goes along with the title: licking empty plates, approved eating of cheese puffs and rights to the couch.

And of course the highest of all allowances his new station in life affords — becoming my writing buddy.

So after Christine cleaned out the den, Thumper and I moved in like we were college roommates. I took all of my musical instruments in there, and Thumper brought his collection of random items that he enjoys batting around the house.

Silas would always peacefully rest at my feet without as much as a murmur. Thumper, on the other hand, acts like he is a participant on “Cats Gone Wild.” It’s like an improv version of “The Cat in the Hat” in my den now.

Within the first 10 minutes, Thumper managed to knock a lighter on the ground and into a heating duct, destroyed some artificial flowers, made subtle death threats and smoked my last cigarette. I don’t even want to talk about my collection of marbles. I tried picking Thumper up and placing him on my lap to settle him down a bit, and that worked for about three seconds.

The most annoying habit Thumper has is pawing at the French doors, signifying he wants out. I always give in and return to my desk. However, once I get relaxed he starts scratching on the other side of the door, signifying he wants back in. So I always give in, let him in and return to my desk. Once I get relaxed again, he begins pawing at the door one more time, signifying he has an appalling short-term memory.

I guess if I was to take the good with the bad, I do enjoy the company of Thumper when I write. Although I wholeheartedly disapprove of his attitude toward clawing his way up the red drapes and howling like a mad man at the summit. But what Thumper lacks in attempting to seduce gravity he more than makes up for when it comes to killing houseflies.

So overall, yeah, I think Thumper is a good fit to replace Silas.

Asaikn asink inkgijn kill you akdsfj ier.

Except when he walks on the keyboard.

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