|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 stay...in 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
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.