||Five years old|
||Ormond Beach, Florida, USA|
is my mother's cat, and as for her age, well, a lady never tells.
Let's just say older than five. For her breed, well a bit of this, a bit
of that, and a striped tail! Cleo is listed as the main author of "The Cat
Manual," a humor book translated from Cat by Michael Ray Taylor.
Cleo is what my mother terms a "problem child." White, with brown patches
and a tall striped flag that my mother calls "the tail from another cat,"
Cleo is the most perspicacious and persnickety of a litter of four kittens
that my mother's lawn care provider discovered abandoned in a field. At
his insistence, she took them in "only until they could find homes." She
already had two cats, one of whom was quite elderly. She had previously
declared that there would be "no more cats" when these two were gone.
Although she was not quite yet old, Mom informed us she was getting too
old for new cats. She couldn't bear to lose them when they grew old and infirm.
Yet after a couple of weeks, the kittens all had names. From this fact, we
in the family knew they had also found a home. I spent long Sunday phone
calls listening to descriptions of the antics of little Cleo. Several
years later, it remains Cleo who is the first to try such sports as
jumping onto the refrigerator, ambushing the visiting cousin, and
rearranging the tiles whenever my mother attempts to play Scrabble the
old-fashioned way, on a table, rather than on the computer.
Of course, Cleo helps her out on the computer also - and her secret
writings there form part of "The Cat Manual."