STINKY, who joined our happy throng sixteen years ago today, with his heart murmur and his enormous feet and love of heating and cooling vents. His addition made four (all of whom made it to an advanced age), a personal record unlikely to be broken. His immediate assignment was lighting Hoover's notoriously short fuse every couple of minutes. He later became the chief mole/vole catcher, and a master of outdoor ahimsa, earning the soubriquet "Gandhi" (he wasn't allowed outdoors unsupervised, and if spoken to sharply, or moved upon in an effort to bring him in, would simply flop on his side and refuse to move). Went about 14-15 pounds in his heyday, but just a big pussycat at heart. Chronic cystitis, hyperthyroid, a little arthritic in his front legs, but he still kicks Larry's ass on a regular basis. Figured out some time ago that elderly cats get away with all kinds of things they used to be punished for, including attempted swiping off unguarded dinner plates. Must have the back door opened for him every morning so he can sniff the air, but almost never goes out. Used to be quiet. Sixth sense about vet visits and the dreaded vacuum cleaner--just picking stuff up in preparation for running it sends him to the basement--whose terrors have been transferred to the vacuum's evil henchman, the feather duster. Has never forgiven the Nature Valley people for changing their granola bar packaging ten years ago; the old wrappers were his favorite toy.
Oh, it's my Poor Wife's birthday, too. She's not real crazy about the vacuum cleaner either.