Clancy, the Gray Menace, enjoyed three activities most: a good fight, a good meal, and a nap. The order of these did not matter. If you squeezed three into a day, then that day was notable. A duel with a neighborhood cat satisfied the fight requirement. But being farctate on a roast beef sub ( with hots, please!) was sublime. Follow the gluttonous meal with a nap, and well, it was a great day.

Don’t let it be said that the Menace was without compassion for fellow cats. After subjugation, the subjugated got inducted into the ranks of pals. Several times a week, the regulars showed up for catnip and snacks. I got to play a waiter. “Waiter…another serving of your best filet mignon for my friends; hurry, please.”

Yes, filet mignon. My father’s friend was a butcher. A few times a month, dad would send up deep-frozen filet to feed his son. There was more than I could consume, and Clancy generously assisted. Mere cat food for an afternoon repast was so plebian. We shared the wealth with a lot of overweight gourmand strays.

“Even overweight, cats instinctively know the cardinal rule: when fat, arrange yourself in slim poses.” – John Weitz.

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