A cat with gilded paws is not a creature with which one should wrestle. Especially if you are limited to a post-surgical weight restriction of five pounds and that cat is an excessively fat, seemingly boneless, ameboid being. Despite my best intentions to wipe the gold carcinogenic oil paint from his gray, fur-edged paw pads, the same pads I have on occasion lovingly admired as part of this miraculous being that is my cat, squeezing to view his claws then watching them retract, he squirmed, writhed and kicked until he landed on the floor, with me still holding tight to one hambone.
It took two people to wrangle him. And even after the task was done I could not understand why this cat, the same cat that sits on my lap to have his nails cut as if he were sitting in a manicurist’s chair, was determined not to part with his painted pads.
An understated gray, Momo’s color alone never attracts much attention. Someone who spends the time will notice that the white and dark gray markings by his eyes create a dramatic affect that is quite unusual. But he is usually moving too fast for anyone to appreciate those markings, thundering from one room to the next, using the sofa as springboard to skid across the dining room table, then leaping onto his tower and snaking through a hole down to the lower level where he holds himself, upside down, in case anyone has a camera handy.
Later that day, after our encounter, after Momo had napped and after I had napped (too tired to run errands to Home Depot and Walmart to obtain a broom and a one-boobed bra, respectively – surely fodder for another day’s writing), Momo and I had a heart to heart talk. Momo acknowledged his catnip use earlier in the day. Indeed, I do recall seeing him sprawled out, crazy-eyed, on the corrugated cardboard that holds remnants of his “weed.” But then he got defensive: how could he be expected to avoid Julia’s oil painted canvas. Not only did she place it to dry in the most tempting spot of all, next to the frog’s cage, but the entire work of art consisted of designs in gold, sparkly gold, that dazzled and mesmerized his nip-altered psyche. Dude! He envisioned glittery gold paw prints from the litter box to the window sill, on the back of the couch, perhaps smeared a bit by his speed, and streaked across the dining room table. Majestic prints glittering in the sun! He would become known throughout the land as the cat that leaves the golden prints!
But I’d seen how fastidiously he cleans his toes and knew that gold paint and turpentine can only do harm to his sandpaper tongue, his sensitive digestive track. Think gold lame fur balls. And so we’d wrestled him down and stripped the feline of his festooned feet.
After our talk he looked at me in way that said, “Thank you for preventing me from poisoning myself while I was high. I now know I would never make it as a celebrity cat. I have a personality prone to excess and dependence. The glitzy life is too much for me.” He blinked his beautiful, naturally embellished eyes and was glad to be slate gray and free of the smell of oil paint and turpentine.