As some of you know, I've had my cat Seymour for a long time. He's been a loyal scruffy companion to me for more than one-third of my life. And today - roughly - is his 14th birthday. All I really know is that he was born in the first week of April 1993. So let's just call April 3rd his official birthday.
Seymour's mom was a stray cat who lived in and around the ratty apartment complex where my long-ago ex-girlfriend (the goth) lived. It's in the Highland Park section of Los Angeles, next to a big park where scary people used to do scary things. Now, that the area has been (slightly) gentrified, all people do in the park these days is play soccer.
Seymour's mom was an exceedingly friendly Siamese-looking cat. One night, I got into my car to go home and the mom cat jumped onto my lap in the car, before I could close the door. She was offering herself to me as my future pet. I already had one cat (the unnamed one) and didn't think I could take another. I had to decline her offer.
Months later, safely ensconced in the corner of a carport, the mother cat gave birth to a litter of exceedingly cute white-ish kitties. The litter was temporarily adopted by a nice Mormon family in the complex. I saw the batch of kittens and was struck dumb by their cuteness. I took Seymour. I gave him a home in nearby Pasadena. From there, he's joined me in Monrovia, Newbury Park, North Hollywood, Ventura, Amherst, Eden Prairie, three places in Minneapolis, two places in Santa Monica, and my current place on the hill. Counting his first few weeks in Highland Park, that's 12 homes in Seymour's 14 years! (actually 14 because twice I moved to a new place within the same apartment building.) So he's proven his loyalty and versatility. As he says to me often: "Just give me some food and water and a roomy place to do my business and we're cool, Pappy."
Did I mention that Seymour is 20.5 pounds? And that his weight has more to do with his massive muscle mass than fat? And he's never been sick a day in his life?
I don't know what's happened to Seymour's mother. Or his siblings. But that doesn't matter. Seymour is really his own man. He sleeps on the couch or on my feet - alone, content, zen-like. For years, he existed as peacefully as anyone could with his unnamed sister cat. These days, he exists even more peacefully with Lily (that's her in the background of these pictures.)
So wish Seymour a happy 14th! I have a feeling he'll outlive his weight. He has 6 years and 6 months to go.
(photos courtesy of ...)