BY CLIFF MAZER / AJT //
Jazzy Cat is sick again and at the vet.
Jazzy lived at my house for a while, during which time I had the privilege of getting to know her a little better. These days she hangs at the girlfriend’s apartment and holds court in a bedroom with Zen Buddhist-like ambiance, which is appropriate for a feline of her stature.
Now, I don’t usually like cats, even though there are probably a dozen of them living in my garage and loft for the winter. I guess you could say my garage and basement are sort of like Sarasota for feral cats.
I feel bad for them and admire their capacity to overcome adversity. However, I don’t feel the same way about most other domestic cats, especially the spoiled ones who are aggressive, territorial and prone to “biting.”
They remind me too much of old girlfriends and trigger both my PTSD and severe allergic reactions (just like said past relations).
But Jazzy Cat is a whole other cool cat. Black, sleek and curious, she is more my kind of feline (and woman). She doesn’t ask for too much, and she gives you fair warning before making a jab at your eyes. Most of the time, she’s just playing with me, keeping her left jab and right hook in shape.
It’s pretty obvious I’m one of her favorite humanoids, so that’s another plus.
Also: This black cat looked good. She kept her weight down and always assumed a stately pose, even as she ages significantly (Jazzy’s 15 years old!). She kept her cool, too, even when fighting off a new, much younger competitor – a punk cat from San Francisco named Crispy.
Crispy Cat is all about dominance, intimidation, the Benjamins and revenge. She lives to make Jazzy nervous: Like Jason or Freddie Krueger in the horror movies, she enjoys sticking her fully clawed, well-manicured paw under Jazzy’s door as if to say, “I’m coming for you!”
Unlike Jazzy’s Zen posture, Crispy lives for personal gain and getting the advantage. She’s all about the bragging rights and can often be seen plotting Jazzy’s defeat from the other bedroom.
Honestly, I think she’s always had it out for Jazzy; it’s like Khan and Captain Kirk, Simon and Chubby, Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, Israel and Iran, Ali and Foreman – only this would be more like Muhammad Ali (Jazzy) being forced to duke it out in his current physical condition.
It isn’t a fair fight, seeing as how Crispy has a combination of age, weight and stunning arsenal of sharp hand-held weapons all on her side. The best thing to do is keep the bedroom doors shut and a spray bottle full of water close by.
We know Jazzy’s time is limited. Nobody wants to admit she might be on her last litter-encrusted leg; regardless of my prior allegiance and loyalty as a card-carrying dog person, I have to admit I have a special fondness for this cool cat. When she goes, I’m going to really miss her.
Yet the universe always provides meaning and symbolism. This morning, it was announced that the new Monopoly game had come out, and, taking modern tastes into account, the antique iron piece has been forever retired and the new “black cat” token is in.
And so it seems whenever Jazzy goes to heaven, she will live on to circle the big board of life for eternity.
No matter what happens to her, I hope she remembers to land on the orange and red properties. They represent good solid values, reasonable returns and great vibes. And that’s Jazzy in black spades.
Editor’s note: Cliff Mazer, Ph.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist and humorist living in Sandy Springs. He likes pirates, dogs, one or two cats and his three kids.