I want to talk about self-image, not mine, my cat’s and every  cat’s. Sophie, the feline who shares my living space believes she is a cute kitten. She attempts to demonstrate this by pouncing on me while I’m watching TV or sleeping. She doesn’t realize that tge days of cute kittenhood are long pastl She’s a matronly cat having had a litter at some point in her past. I got her after my last cat, Bill the Cat died. She came via my brother-in-law. She was having problems with her living arraingments and the woman who had her foisted her off on BIL under the guise of filling the void left by Bill’s demise. She attached herself to me. I fed her and the pragmatic nature of the cat told her “Go with the source of the food.” I got a shadow. Not unlike the first cat we had Shadow, who trailed me all over the apartment for the same reason Sophie does. Soph likes to share space rith me and is unaware that she occupies space and cannot lie down on a piece of sofa cushion that wouldn’t hold a medium-sized gerbil. Yet she tries. I kmow I should appreciate the affection and tolerate her feline mind set but deciding to demonstrate affection at 3am is really pushing the limit. As I’ve said she’s a large cat beyond the point of being tossed off the bed like a kitten. I had to do that early in my relationship with Maggie the Cat From Hell. She climbed onto the bed and tried to sleep on my face and after being pushed off and given a place to sleep she needed to be tossed. Not violently but more being lowered with authority. Maggie honed her skills with claws and teeth and after my reception of these skills, she was allowed to sleep wherever she damn well pleased. Back to Sophie. She manages to spend the night on my bed after she’s had her nightly snack and patrol of the apartment. She tries to sleep on my chest but settles for sleeping next to me. She likes getting up at 5am. I don’t. That being said I have to get up, go to the bathroom and fill her food bowl. I try to fall back asleep but I never can. I’m fated to watch early morning news shows and eat my yogurt, fruit and granola breakfast. I deliberately avoid going on-line that early because I like the surprise myself with a full mailbox in the afternoon. To make up for lost sleep I crash around 11am and wake at noon. My nap is shared with Sophie who believes that sleep will elude me unless a cat shares my sleeping space. I’ve tried to discourage her but she stubbornly holds on to the belief with the tenacity of a 1960’s nun. Did I mention cat food breath? Yep, it’s a shocker. Who’d a thought that the dry mix that she consumes daily can strip paint. I won’t go into brushing a cat’s teeth. I tried and was badly clawed and decided if the vet belived in cat oral hygiene that strongly he could do it. Sophie likes to have a face-to-face staring match. Usually around 5am and usually wins. She’s on the couch and watching me type. That inscrutable look doesn’t fool me. she can read this and is plotting an attack sometime tonight. Don’t talk to me about closing the bedroom door. The piteous mewling is like a fishhook in the brain. You know better than to respond but you feel like a shit if you don’t stop it. For a later date: Tales of The Cat From Hell.

I’m listening to transcripts of the Jack Benny and Fred Allen radio shows. The CDs feature the feud between the men. It revolved around Benny’s violin playing and Allen’s New England sensibilities. They never missed a chance to toss barbs at each other. It was done in good fun with an eye toward ratings. The really neat thing abot the shows is that the commercials were left in because they usually involved the announcer. Ipana Toothpaste and Sal-Hepetica sponsered Allen. Ipana, a brand that made it into television suvived for a while. Sal-Hepetica a mineral salts laxitive that removed waste and balanced acid in the system was touted as a cure for the cold. Jello and Lucky Strike were Benny’s sponsers. To listen to the Luckies commercials ignored smoker’s cough and the possibility of ling cancer. Jello was a boon to the housewife who could mix canned fruit into Jello for a gay treat. Their words not mine. Everything was gentler then. Rochester could belong to a club, shoot dice and drink gin. Putting on blackface for a radio show sounds racist but nobody noticed. After all, it was the Forties.

See you on Monday. Don’t forget your local food bank. It’d be nice if everyone had a chance for a Happy Thanksgiving.