To Bubba on His 22nd Birthday

Bubba the birthday boy.

Happy birthday, old friend.

I always said if you were human, you would be a cigar-smoking, lady-killing, country-music lovin’ conservative. You wake up every day, batting my face and rarin’ to go. Some days I swear you’re trying to tell me, “Time’s a wasting, let’s have an adventure.” Whether it is swatting your sisters when they become too demanding or meowing until a hug comes your way, you are always intent on embracing the life you have and making it good.

You may not want to admit this, Bubba, but you entered my life as a little hell-raiser from the streets of Jersey City. You romped through my tiny studio, breaking fancy wine glasses and annoying my ex-boyfriend — and he loved cats. You loudly chased your now-departed brother without mercy, although in retrospect I wonder if it was merely sibling rivalry between two spoiled brothers.

Oh, and let’s not forget how many important pieces of paper became lunch. I couldn’t very well tell the cable company “the cat ate my bill,” so I’m sure Time Warner customer reps thought I was the most disorganized person on the planet. And there was the memorable day you wrestled a Manhattan white pages to the ground and feasted on a large corner of said book. Months later, I still found little curls of shredded paper.

Then your brother got sick. You never left his side through a mercifully brief illness. When I came home with an empty carrier, you didn’t mope or look for him, however, his death changed you.

You now licked my face, slept close by and delighted in daily hugs. We were both older now; the time for childish games was over. Yet you never lost your sense of adventure or uncanny ability to run a household. Did I really need to remember a feeding schedule when you park yourself in front of me and meow until you lead me to the kitchen and look at the foods bowls?

If you were human, you might be on the radio because you sure love to talk. If I say something, you always respond. A lot of married people don’t have that kind of communication. At the risk of spouting cliches, I have to state the obvious: life is sort and time is precious — you seem to instinctively know that every time you start wailing for a hug or gently swat me into some action.

It’s not just me. Thank you, Bubba for grooming your sisters and setting a good example for them. It is cute to watch them seek your approval and the privilege of curling up in your greatness.

Never in my wildest dreams could I picture you, my brat cat, a sleek senior who has been on TV, inspired a blog and is now known to people around the world. As we’ve grown up together, you always remind me that home and family is everything; the rest is icing.

There is no birthday present I could offer as great as the one you give me every day.

Happy birthday, Bubba.

P.S.: President Obama, we want you to know that Bubba is still waiting for his birthday card.

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Filed under Bubba, cat lovers, old animals, senior pets

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