The Ballad of Copycat

April 29, 2013 6am  Day ONE.  A pleasant weekend ended and another work week started with an attitude.  As I walked from my parked car to the shop's grey backdoor I noticed a brown lump on the concrete.  What the hell is that?  Something dead?  Just great.  Crap, it's something freaking dead.  Bending down to get a closer look I saw that the dead lump was a beautiful California Vole.  Sleek and brown with a shiny albeit dead coat.  No blood, no disfigurement, no sign of life.  What Mr. Vole, you got to our doorstep and had a heart attack?!  Unlocking the door and stepping over the dead Vole, probably a bad omen, I grabbed the dustpan and broom and scrapped him gently into the dirt (he was solidly dead and weighed about a pound) with the hope the landscaping crew would scoop him up with the landscape debris when their chores were completed around the complex.  My day had begun on a solemn note.  Godspeed Mr. Vole to whatever vermin heaven you may aspire.  Co-workers started dragging in at various times, taking up their usual stations. Around 10am as I was running a short envelope job on our C3220 I heard a meower.  I always hear things so I didn't think much of it.  Meower a little louder and closer.  Turning my head and looking down, inside the middle doorway sat a beautiful but scrawny Calico cat.  Trying not to startle it I started that annoying baby talk shit that people do.  WTF, I don't do baby talk.  The cat wandered into the graphics room.  I shouted "hey cat-people (the bosses own a cat), you have a cat to herd here!"  I turned and went back to my envelopes.  Hey, who am I to turn out a cat, let someone else do it.  Cats are boring, independent creatures that don't care if they have a person except to get a continuous supply of food and possibly a safe place to sleep.  Okay, so this affirmed "dog-person" learned something new that day.  As I run my short envelope job the Calico cat jumps up onto our HP2100, pretty ballsy for a tiny cat, and walks toward me.  She jumps onto the copier and tries to help by laying on the envelopes, walking on the copier's buttons and generally being in the way.  Crap.  I started laughing and the next thing I know I'm calling her Copycat.  Really original.  My bosses have heard me cracking up and decide Copycat is now part of the company and can the shop...hmmm.  Was the Vole an offering for me personally or whoever was first in?  Copycat followed me around, slept on my desk, inspected boxes.  Basically she was a tired, hungry, funny as hell, curiosity filled cat.  Had she been dumped by some rotten excuse for a human?  Was she a runaway?  Well, she had now found a safe haven filled with people to give her scritches (oh God, another catism), a continuous supply of food, water, kitty litter and toys.  Yes, dear readers, in addition to food and essentials, I have purchased 2 little bears (she likes the grey bear best), given up a monkey (in a truly experimental capacity), taped up strips of paper for her to fight with around the shop, designated an official snack drawer and catnip spray to add a little silliness to her days.  Not as it turns out, that she needs any help in that department.   The adventure has just begun.  Just look at that face!



May 12, 2013 6am Day FOURTEEN.  I get up early and go to the shop.  Today is the big day.   It has taken 2 weeks to get her into see a vet.  I had picked up a small animal carrier (cardboard) a few days before and left it where Copycat could examine it and become familiarized with it in hopes of making the trip to the vet easier.  I had been told by cat people that cats don't like cars.  I even went so far as to spray it with a cat "calming" spray in an attempt to make it as stress free as possible.  WTF?  It's a cat. I spoke in soothing tones, picked her up and only had one foot try to keep her out of the box.  She mostly folded into the box quite easily.  What's in the box!?!Then I couldn't get the handle to cooperate so I taped her in with strapping tape.  I strapped her in the back seat of my car with a big blue blanket around her to minimize noise, light and anything that might further agitate her.  While speeding down the freeway (I don't drive slowly) I hear in cat words, "Puny box!"  and glance back to see a green furry paw punching its way out the side of the box.  Shit!  Don't panic and drive calmly.  Easy Copycat.  It's okay.  Easy.  She jumps in the back.  She jumps into the middle.  She crawls between my door and me to sit on my lap, then she sits on my feet putting a paw on the gas pedal.  Whoa Copycat!  Not too fast!  She is very calm and seems quite happy to enjoy the ride outside the box.  More questionable advice from the cat people?  I stuff her back in the box and take her inside the vet's office.  By the end of the day she gets snipped, clipped and chipped and registered as the company cat.


The rest is as they say, history.  Copycat has enchanted cat customers and even some non-cat customers.  Everyday is something new to explore, inspect and generally make me laugh.  Sit down, make yourself comfortable
so far it's been quite entertaining.  Did I mention the lizards?  Copycat has a tote board listing her catches (see below).  So far she has brought me personally 3 lizards and their tails separated from their bodies and one complete lizard that I accidently ran over with my chair thus detaching its tail.  They make great hockey pucks!  Crap!  Her joie de vivre is so silly.  Wait until the videos get posted!

August 4, 2013 Day NINETY EIGHT  with apologies to Morris, Copycat is the most prolific Lizard herder this side of the Pecos.  Whole lizards, no tail lizards, no lizard tails, just hatched no tail lizards.  I haven't quite decided if she finds them outside and hordes them, or if she finds them on her night raids through the shop.  Most perplexing.  She'll come into the office with the "look" on her furry face and start batting something around, or hiding it from view with her furry paws.  Oh Copycat not another lizard...

I like chicken and its gizzard. There's the tail now where's the lizard? Playing dead upon the floor. Waits to be shunted out the door. Meaty chunks to nibble later. I think I want alligator.











To those who say I’m crazy, and you know who you are, I say “mew” (cat response for “my eyes will let you know”) Remember “The Cat From Outer Space”?   An intergalactic feline crash lands on Earth and with the help of good-natured humans repairs the space craft and gets a six-pack of tuna.   Total fiction.  An intergalactic feline would not have crashed.  Think more of the opening to “John Carpenter’s The Thing”?  A malamute is chased across a vast ice field by thermite tossing Norwegians.  Ah, such fond memories.  Later when the hub-bub has been forgotten and all is quiet in the research station the Malamute wanders amiably from room to room in search of an unwitting host to infect/injest.  So innocent yet so creepy.  Everything from that point leads to a catastrophic end for everyone. In my case, Norwegians weren’t chasing me with thermite bombs, but I still needed the help of humans if I was to survive.  

I wandered the oil fields cold and alone for many months until I’d almost lost hope of finding the right victims…ah, hosts.   If my plan for Catocalypse Now was to succeed I needed a base of operations from which to spread the word!  I needed what the humans quaintly called a “Print Shop.”   I wandered into a business complex of three buildings and applied the Monty Hall theory of winning big.  Door #1…bad smells, bad vibes.  Door #2…soulless and empty.  Mathematics proving yet again that Door #3 would open to my new kingdom. Unfortunately it was early and dark and the door to my new home was locked.  How could I sweeten the deal and gain entry?  I put my most prized possession on the stoop as an offering for whomever opened that door first.   Hiding in the bushes to wait was the next step in the master plan.  

Car lights, car parking, car alarm, keys jingle, feet shuffle, under breath cursing, door open, more under breath cursing, prized possession unceremoniously pushed off into the dirt, possibly a bad sign, door still open.  A few more hours pass, more humans enter my kingdom.  What a mighty work force I have.  I seize this moment to make my presence known to these puny humans and begin my takeover.  I quietly wander into the vastness of space and sit down at an inside doorway.  My first victim stands at a replicating machine.  Perfect!

“Hey cat people…there’s a cat in the shop to herd!!!”  Oh not so much!  I wander quickly into another room away from that bellowing beast.  “Oh, how cute!”  “It is a cat!”  “What’s a cat doing here?”  “Hey cat.”  Oh humans!  What am I to do with you?  I wander back to the beast.  If I can communicate my wishes to this one, I will be able to control the entire shop.  Jumping onto the replicator I press its buttons making the buttons beep…this is now MY shop.  I will control everything that happens for my own nefurryous purpose.   Laughter!?   The beast is laughing at me!!!  “Okay, okay Copycat, what do you want to do next?”   The beast knows my true name.  

The beast is scritching me under my chin, my one true weakness. My work is truly cut out for me in this “Print Shop”.  My minions must do what is required to get the work out on time.  I have machines to inspect, papers to sort, boxes to taste…ah test, bubble wrap to pop, large output to walk on, computers to rub against, keyboards to trod upon, padding glue to get stuck in my fur, sink drains to check to be sure nothing yucky escapes, I have to keep the Phantoms off my toes and bring in the occasional lizard parts to keep my humans on their toes. 

I hide in plain sight watching them to be sure the job is done right and on time.  Sometimes I have to rule my work force with an iron paw and chase them around the shop.  Admittedly I find that pretty funny. For my part I will come when called and sit for snacks if I want to.  My meals are served to me in porcelain bowls.  I get fresh water to drink and wash my paws in after a rough day of sleeping.  I can sleep wherever and whenever “that darn cat” wants to.  It’s an easy trade off in my bid for increasing my catalogue of worlds conquered and jobs delivered on time.

Copycat Videos






January 15, 2014