December 11, 2023 | Rome, Italy


By |2022-03-13T06:20:02+01:00March 13th, 2022|Rye Wyt|
The life and times of... Moo.

e just adopted a kitten. For reasons known only to ten-year-olds, the cat was immediately named Moo, which if I understand my daughter correctly is some sort of linguistic combination of Moo and Miao. Mrs. Gratton, who gave us the kitten, one of vast litter by Mayhem, her female cat empress, approved of the name instantly since it began with the letter M. This meant Mayhem and Moo would forever be linked like two peas in a pod, to which Rebecca replied that she hated peas but would always love Moo.

The only real glitch in the adoption procedure was when Rebecca decided to place a surgical mask on Moo, though Moo hadn’t asked for one and wasn’t much larger than the mask itself. Rebecca explained it was to protect her and could also serve as a sweater. So these days Moo walks around with a mask around her belly, a tribute to lunatic times.

I like Moo. She has a sweetly pitched high squeak but laps up milk with intensity of a Boxer gnawing on a bone. I can hear her from a room away. She slurps up the milk and squeaks a couple of times when she’s done, as if demanding seconds. In that way she reminds me of Rebecca who, peas aside, never left a thing on her kiddie plate. She did once play a food trick when we went to a fast food outlet at the local mall. I ordered a burger so she asked for KB, a Kiddie Burger, I had to use the facilities and when I got back the KB was gone. “Yum,” said my daughter, seven at the time. I was amazed she could plow through a burger over the span of a bathroom break. Girls will be girls, I told myself. Until I went to kiss her good night a few hours later and saw the rather scrunched up burger at the foot of the bed. “My friend,” she explained, as if to tell me to please go away. That did happen, trust me.

Or maybe Moo was born as a TV repair kitten because after her pawing I could see Putin’s face more clearly.

But after the surgical mask, I did have a few concerns about Moo’s diet, her Rebecca diet that is, which in the first few days included a smoothie and soggy Oreos. Moo wasn’t especially pleased with either and seemed fully content with intense milk slurping, this while I watched CNN.

Thankfully, Moo had no comment on Ukraine or COVID but did examine the cable, pawing it like someone seeing snow for the first time, in awe. Or maybe Moo was born as a TV repair kitten because after her pawing I could see Putin’s face more clearly. Not that I’d asked Moo to improve on Putin. I’ve seen that face too many times of late, and shots of him on a horse bare-chested or playing hockey. I wish, and I’m sure Ukraine agrees, that he’d stuck with horses and pucks.

Moo has developed one habit I can do without, which is to somehow make her way up the circular staircase leading to our tiny attic and staying in this new nest of hers for hours. I once went to fetch her, milk in hand, but not even that did the trick. I got worried she’d made her way into the rafters and joists that crisscross the attic and lead into the depths of the inner hours, its architectural skeleton so the speak. So I tried getting close to that side of the attic, cramming my too weighty body into nooks and crannies, flashlight in hand. That’s when I saw Moo sitting on a joint, playing with a piece of wire she’d found in the messy attic. Maybe she was repairing it or setting it up for use on someone else’s TV so they can see Russian soldiers more clearly.

We’re both taken with Moo, a smart pretty kitten who seems like she might be a secret agent for aliens, given her roaming. At least now she doesn’t have the mask on her belly, which Rebecca removed (at least when Moo’s at home) — either because it’s warmer now or because masks have proven ineffective against belly viruses.

Rebecca’s latest idea was to take Moo out for a walk. That was vetoed, even though by then she’d already put on a loose collar and attached a leash.

Young lady, I said, don’t do another burger on me. We have a secret language and she got it, taking everything off.

Now, the two of them hang out in the attic, and then Moo comes to me to again improve the Putin pixels. I’ll have to have a chat with her on that subject one of these days, or turn off Putin for good.

About the Author:

Joel Stein is the assumed named of a humor columnist who doubles as a senior marketing representative. He does have a not-so- assumed daughter named Rebecca.