- Name and Aliases: Benjamin “Bennie”, aka “Bennie Boo,” “Mr. Boo,” “Ben-Ben,” “Bunny Boo,” and “Mr. Tubs.”
- Distinguishing Features: Patches of red fur that remind you of a little red-headed kid with a buzz cut; fat white paws; tubby belly; hind legs that appear a bit stiff and are only good for jumping onto furniture no taller than two feet (and usually he crawls his way up anyway) and that cause him to run with a careening sort of half-hop, much like a kitten.
- Place of Birth: Unknown. (My husband believes he belonged to the neighbors down the street and that I’m guilty of catnapping—and not the sleeping kind of catnapping.)
- Age: The vet says three years old.
- Sex: Male, neutered.
- Education: The School of Hard Knocks, Pigspittle, Ohio.
Gossip, News & Trivia:
When we first met Bennie, we thought he was a she and that she was in heat. Bennie howled outside our back door until we let Kobe, our adventurous male cat, out to sit with him. They became “friends” —in quotes because Kobe doesn’t really have cat friends. I think insofar as Kobe has compassion, he felt sorry for Bennie and therefore allowed him to share some space on the porch.
One March night a few years ago, Bennie appeared in the backyard at his usual time but I noticed right away that something was wrong. His right eye was swollen closed, his ear was chewed up, he was stinky. It was cold out too. I picked him up and put him in our garage, along with some food, a cat carrier and blankets, and water. We tried to clean up some of the wounds and took him to the vet the next day.
Long story short, I named him Bennie, much to the consternation of my husband who thought we had too many pets already and naming a stray was step one down the path of adoption. Of course, today Bennie loves my husband more than he loves me. So much for the whole “what goes around comes around” theory.
Bennie cannot get to his food, which is on the kitchen counter to be out of reach of our obese cat, Babu, who has what Pigspittlians call “the sugars” (i.e., diabetes). If he wants to eat, he has to stand near the counter and wait for someone to give him a lift up to his bowl—what we call, in shorthand, “ups.”
Bennie talks a lot. His meows are most often howls, sometimes quite guttural especially if he has to use the litter box, and sometimes are phrased like questions, as in: “Meeeeeooowww?” He and my husband have long conversations. I don’t know what they talk about.
He loves sun spots and has several locations for napping that change according to the season, the height of the sun, and the positioning of chairs. He likes to work out and will do crunches using his forelegs, grabbing onto one of the bars supporting the weight bench and pulling himself up while I am doing leg lifts. If he’s feeling particularly lovey, he will lie on his back and scoot himself along the floor as if he’s doing the backstroke, what we call “swimming.”
His purr is the best sound in the world.
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