Never Say Never

Jazz is a cat Cynthia rescued. This is the same Cynthia who, after her beloved Tumbleweed died, swore she'd never get another cat.

She was more or less manipulated into it. A co-worker, Susan, started bringing tales to the office about a scrawny cat living next to a garbage bin in Tampa, behind a building where Susan attended Jazzercise classes. Susan left him food and water, then an old blanket. No wildcat, he actually jumped in her car at one point as if ready to go home. She heartbreakingly had to leave him behind.

And Cynthia started bringing the tales home.

Check Craigslist, I said, and the newspapers.

She did. No hint of a lost black longhair.

Then Susan started showing Cynthia pictures of him. And the temperature dropped to record lows.

Have him checked for a microchip, I sighed.

Susan took him to the Humane Society, where she volunteers, to check him for a microchip. He didn't have one.

Suddenly, to our astonishment, we had a cat again. The whole process took less than three weeks.


Jazz is a domestic longhair who despite his deprived dumpster days adapted quite readily to three square meals a day. Or five. Or seven. (But before we get stern letters from the ASPCA I mention that, like me, he's getting more exercise and less food as he gets older.)

He can be a temperamental toothy furball, such as when you walk brainlessly RIGHT PAST THE KITCHEN at one minute after five when you know DINNER IS SERVED AT FIVE P.M., EXACTLY. But he repays any shortcomings with daily entertainment.

We discovered, for example, that when we move the long narrow rug in the tiled hallway that he'll hop aboard for a ride— back and forth, the faster the better, until the human pulling the rug faints dead from exhaustion.

What's even better is when Jazz decides to run up and down the hallway under his own power. A 15-pound cat running like mad on shiny tile does not stop on a dime; he doesn't stop on $14.95. He sees the door at the end of the hallway coming at him, turns, and runs like mad in the opposite direction like Wile E. Coyote trying not to go over a cliff. Sometimes he gets traction makes the 180; sometimes he bounces off the door with a bang that must startle the neighbors.

Jazz half in the bag

Copyright 2019 Bruce Kula