The black cat jumped into Atiya's lap and began to strut back and forth, kneading Atiya's thighs to make them more tender.
"This cat is so sexy!" Atiya exclaimed, as the cat stepped on her right leg with all four paws and then turned around, the cat's tail whipping her nose, the cats asshole probably grazing her shoulder, and then stepping back over to Atiya's left leg.
Atiya had met the cat before when we lived on Long Island. The cat was very skinny then and would stretch her torso out a lot. At some point we got a little high, and as the cat sauntered around Atiya, Atiya whispered, "I want to see your skeleton."
But now she was in Los Angeles, reunited with the cat after two or three years, and the cat quickly warmed up to her. I had watched a television special on the intelligence of orangutans, as they utilized sign language and successfully played memory games. Near the end of the special, the star orangutan, Thaddeus, was reunited with Sally, the lady orangutan he had known in his formative years but had not seen in over half of his lifespan.
"Will Thaddeus remember Sally?" the scientist said in a voice over, as Thaddeus was ushered into a large habitat-cage where Sally was chewing on something and waiting. The two squinted at each other, unable to believe their orangutan eyes, and then ran at each other and leaped into each other's arms. The orangutans were crying, the scientists began crying, I was alone and became a little visibly emotional as well. Unfortunately, I do not think that that was what the cat was going through when Atiya entered our apartment.
When we first got the all-black cat, we couldn't pick a name for her. My dad wanted Blackey, I wanted Blackula, but my dad's girlfriend, Mia, nixed both of those names and, citing the cat's loving friendliness toward all of us, decided that the cat should be named Family Pet.
Family Pet showed a penchant for constant affection, and would get it any weird way she could. Sometimes she would on top of the refrigerator and wait for one of us [we're a pretty tall family] to pass by. From there, she would jump to our shoulders and get comfortable on them, and we'd walk around slowly and slightly hunched over, not unlike a professional wrestler showing off his namesake boa constrictor.
Some nights the cat would come into my room and get on my lap and begin purring. Then she'd start digging her nails into my thighs, lightly and rhythmically corresponding with her purring. The whole thing did seem kind of sexual, and I would find myself questioning if I was a zoophiliac.
One day Mia brought home the confusing Russian novel, The Master and Margarita. "Look!" she laughed, holding the book up to the cat, "It's Family Pet!"
The cover of the paperback displayed a shiney black sitting upright, not unlike a well-trained pubescent, the cat's back to the viewer. Looking over its shoulder, the cat's eyes were excited and gold, and the cat's tongue, split down the center like a serpent's, was slithering out of its mouth and reaching toward the book's binding.
I imagined Margarita to be the shiny black cat, harboring the soul of a once-luscious woman. Purring her filthy deceit into the ears of the ship captain/lord of the manor, she would drive the man to commit clean murders of those who had transgressed her in her former life. The novel would end, presumably, when he left more of his estate to her than to his hard-working, motherless children.
Unfortunately Margarita isn't the cat, but apparently a woman-turned-witch, carrying on an affair with a writer and often making deals with Satan. The cat on the cover is actually named Behemoth, and is in turn quite large. And like every Russian, Behemoth enjoys vodka, chess, and shooting guns [at the literary elite]. The former does sort of sound like Family Pet, but sadly, the latter does not.
Within the past few weeks I've learned that Family Pet is a purebred Bombay. She had been bred to perform in cat shows but, because of three whispy white spots on her stomach and chest, she and her mother were put up for adoption.
Bombays, a breed that gained popularity in the American South in the late 1940s, were made to resemble small black panthers with pretty yellow eyes. In their genetic makeup is a personality trait of desperate neediness, which breeders have translated to, "good with children." No matter who had adopted her from the North Shore Animal Leauge, Family Pet would have had no choice but to instantly have become one-of-the-family.