There’s a white furred Norwegian Forest cat living with us named Michael.  K is his officially adopted human, as he came up to her as a kitten on her birthday and said, “I’m living with you now.  Feed me!”  Oh boy, Minnie the Moocher is an amateur compared to this walking food beggar.  Michael has perfected the Meow-Bomb technology to smart-bomb levels, and can pinpoint your location with the perfect frequency for getting on your nerves.  When he’s hungry, this little monticore snap-dragon powder puff won’t let you rest until his tummy has been filled!  In particular, he has a knack for meow-bombing you when you are right in the middle of things, such as an important phone call, or coming home from work and trying to decompress to a human level again.

His fur is soft and double layered goodness, so there is the pet factor to consider.  But his guard hairs fall out easily, and a lot of time is spent keeping the hair infestation to a somewhat acceptable level.  Michael is especially good at covering dark clothes in his protective layer of shed fur.  Give him a kitty pie to lie in, or a blanket in a corner, and it’ll acquire a soft layer of Michael-fur.  Most disturbing are the egg-cases.  These are white masses of matted fur that become tangled and are pulled off when he rolls around on a surface.  I swear, they look just like moth cocoons.  Did I mention that this cat’s other other other nickname is pig-pen cat?

Michael’s stomach, for such a greedy eater, is remarkably sensitive so he throws up a great deal.  Hairball remedies don’t seem to work, though Gerber’s Baby Food Squash seems the most effective in settling his stomach.  Though, if it fails to do the job, get ready to bring out the ammonia on that carpet stain!  The countless times I’ve had to clean up Michael’s barf, it really doesn’t bear thinking about, really.  When the little monster gets into a puking spell, it’s Charles Dickens misery all around.

But the worst part is, this darn cat is expensive to own.  K got him for free, but we’re still paying for him!  The cat has a million things wrong with him, yet he refuses to give up the ghost.  He has urinary tract issues, so he has to have his food specially bought from the vet, for thirty dollars every month or so.  He eats and drinks often, so he has to go to the bathroom a lot, which means we have to buy a lot of kitty litter.  He has cardio-myopathy, an irreversible swelling heart condition, so he has to have a beta-blocker pill every day.  Man, kitty drugs are expensive!  He has to get yearly sonic scans of his heart to see how he’s doing.  And after all that, we get the welcome worry that one day he’ll keel over and bite the big one anyway!  I stopped counting after a thousand bucks, but Michael’s price tag is easily over three times that by now.

Last April, as we were moving, Michael decides to go on a rampage and puke all the time while having problems going to the bathroom.  Turns out, he has three bladder stones that need to be removed or he dies!  Fourteen hundred dollars, says the vet, and thanks for sending me to the golf course this afternoon.  Despite the chances of croaking under the anesthesia because of his heart, the tough little cat makes it through without a single complication and is more meow-bombingly active than ever!  Aieeee!

When Michael is not demanding food, he is sleeping.  If one of us is not on the couch or other suitable sitting unit, he will chirp and scratch at you until you move to the designated seating position.  He will then begin purring, dig at you with his claws until your limbs are in the right arrangement, and then he will plop his heavy boned frame down on you and purr himself to sleep.  Chances are good that within 5-10 minutes another cat will be attracted to your properly pacified form and add their mass to your immobilization factor.  You’d better hope you put a good DVD in the player, because you aren’t moving.

I keep thinking, what unholy universe spawned this feline?  What brutal, unimaginable world did this viking cat from hell come from?  The creature is an investment now, and he’d better live for a long time.  But how much longer can one’s sanity take such responsibility?  I hear some cats live as much as thirty years, and if Michael is one of those Methuselah cats he’s got many years left on the life clock.  Then I get to thinking about the secret lives of cats.  Is Michael a spoiled brat living on his fortunate choice of human servants?  Could he be a hard rockin’ biker viking cat living la vida loca in a parallel universe?  What monsters is he keeping at bay with a fully charged meow-bomb, bathing us in a fur shield and keeping the peace with nap power?  It might not be as one-sided an arrangement as it appears.