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Frivolous Cat Post #1 — Gooseberry

- December 20, 2007

The obligatory week having passed since my last frivolous small-animal post, Gooseberry’s fifteen minutes of fame are now upon us.

Since becoming a cat person, I have considered it vital that our little family unit always include one orange stripey model, and Gooseberry has occupied that chair for the past seventeen years — a worthy successor to the long-gone but still much-lamented Tooth Fairy, the Greatest Cat in the History of the World. (The name “Gooseberry,” by the way, was chosen for its homophonic relationshp to “Tooth Fairy.” Goose, as we call often call him, is thus a living memorial to Tooth, as we often called him.)

Gooseberry has two main distinctions that set him arpart from other cats. First, he has no tail, which is not to say that he is a manx. No such fancy bloodlines for Goose — he is of humble, alley-variety origins. As a kitten he apparently was tortured, leading to the amputatation of his tail. This feature adds to his charm (for viewed from the rear, he is cute — rather like a Pembroke corgi), though it detracts from his agility; he has always been clumsy, but at age seventeen he is extremely so, when he deigns to move at all. Second, he is an alarm cat. Possessed of an acute sense of time, he awakens us, virtually without fail, within a few minutes of 6:03 a.m. on a daily basis, often hitting 6:03 on the dot. We have no idea how he does this, but he is extremely dedicated to the task and we rely on his stiff-legged footsteps to trample our vital parts each morning at the appointed time.

Here, then, in his feline glory, such as it is, is Gooseberry. (He’s the live one in the picture, not the stuffed look-alike directly behind him.)