Monday, April 17, 2006

New-found Celebrity for Ollie

I am Ollie's chief of staff, and he has discovered that he is the Catmodel of the day at the Carnival of the Cats site. He has asked me to make this statement.

I want to thank all those who have contributed to this achievement and all who have commented on this weblog wishing me well.

Twenty years ago, after all my siblings had vanished from my family, my parents (ok, my mother's chief of staff) sent me off to a hotel near my birthplace. I have been told since then that on that day I resisted and made an escape run, and that I was in no shape to, covered with fleas, and, as they say contemptuously, "the runt of the pack". Well, my last sibling expired many years ago, sadly (though she was not very nice), and I have never thought there was any virtue in sheer size. I had to spend years living with a rather corpulent hotel-mate - a fine fellow, but with little discipline.

He also lacked vision. We spent years during which he would toadyingly chase things the staff put before us while I found subjects of pursuit nobody else could see. I do not know what is wrong with all those others around me, but I knew what was going on. I have heard the staff muttering about their master 'seeing Martians', but if that is their characterization, they should consider that there ARE Martians to see.

Lately, the staff have been failing on numerous grounds. There was a time they knew how to prepare food, and any bowl they put in front of me was full of attractive offerings. Over the last year or two they seem to have totally lost their skills. Most meals I have presented to me are pathetic - tasteless, uninteresting, and they do not seem to get it! They are older than I am - how can they not figure these simple things out?! Occasionally, and this has required a lot of coaching, I hear them muttering about cat treats, and about 30% of what follows that is edible.

Worse, the staff have been through a terrible spell in another way. They have this court behind the hotel, and for much of the last several months it has been covered by some freakingly cold white substance they put there every year for a while. Only now have they seemed to clear that away. Still, the heating they have arranged is inconsistent at best at this point. (And yes, in a couple of months, I will be complaining about how hot they are making the hotel.) (Actually, they engage in this game at some not quite predictable rhythm - I have kept them on despite this arbitrariness, but it is very annoying. I am not amused.)

The staff have another bad habit I really hate. The chief of staff has a tendency to disappear for several days at a time - he seems an OK character, and I have no idea where he is going, but he leaves in charge a dubious bunch. They would be OK if they just left me alone! But, and this likely reflects my celebrity, none of them is able to. Still, it is a tough decision - overall, he is OK, so I am not quite ready to bargain upward.

One of the bunch offers me this non-food, and sticks a needle in me (though I grudgingly confess, I actually feel pretty good AFTER the fact). Another one insists on trying to be goo-goo with me, but makes loud noises and hunts me when I just go try to find a place of peace.

My philosophy is, "Enjoy life, but complain loudly to your staff to help that cause along". And so I now mostly sleep, preferably in the sun, and put the staff to the test of who can hold out longer. It is also very enjoyable to discover that my natural habits maximally inconvenience the chief of staff - 3 am is one of the great times of day, and he has yet to understand that.

Perhaps I will be back for my 21st birthday next year, but one thing for certain: I wish to pass on my best to all my fellow species members, and hope they have staff far more competent than the clowns in this hotel.
I was told I was not allowed to do this but I doubt he will read it so let me try to defend myself. The salary he offers is pathetic, so I need a second job to keep going. And that means I must occasionally go away. (Well, I also need vacation from the master, but I don't distinguish those in front of him). The needle stuff is not heroin - the old coot needs saline shots.

FWIW, he was originally christened 'Nova', but he was renamed 'Oliver aka Ollie', modelled on Oliver North during the Iran-Contra hearings. The same ornery nature. And it shows.


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