For the first time since I began blogging last July, topics are not popping into my brain as they normally do when I exercise, read, or talk to friends. This week I have seen my first dry spell, with no hope for a deluge of new ideas, or even a trickle of inspiration. Thus I am left with the desperate ploy of introducing you to Oscar Wild — the cat, not the playwright — a well-known figure in our neighborhood for the 13 years we have owned him. Oscar’s vet still treats him like an awesome creature, despite his weighing in at 15.5 lbs., marveling aloud at his muscularity and muscle density, while ignoring his obvious love handles.
When we found Oscar in a pet store at age two we quickly realized that he had been a dumpster diver in his early years, and we have since learned that the fear of not being fed is a trauma from which he will never recover. The vet can demonstrate the size of a cat’s stomach by shaping his thumb and forefinger into a tiny circle as often as he wishes, but Oscar’s eating defies any such limits. He is a five to six-meal-a-day guy.
He probably would be carrying more pounds if he didn’t get a little exercise, which comes from his strong sense of territory. (A neighbor once spotted him seven blocks away.) He and we are lucky that the neighborhood human population is rather mobile, so that even the most notorious of his enemies eventually move away. The doctor’s admiration for Oscar may also stem from the fact that his injuries from defending his territory have allowed the vet to work a four-day week and will eventually put his children through college. The office staff has been more than willing to work with me to devise a punch card system for regular customers, using paw stamps to record visits — pay for ten visits and the eleventh is free — but their boss doesn’t seem interested in adopting it.
Oscar’s greatest contribution to the community, besides being friendly enough to walk into people’s houses if they leave the door open, is his playfulness with the mouse and rat population, a quality that allows everyone to overlook his flaws.