The Leo Cat

by Betty Sleep
Carraig Birmans

Published July 2006

July 23 - August 22

LEO- You want me to what?

The sun, the most powerful entity in the universe (next to a Leo cat).

Leo cats are born with attitude. This will become evident as soon as their wobbly little legs allow them to crawl up the front of your alligator embroidered golf shirt and stare into your face to convey the message “I am the boss here, and don’t you forget it.”

Your Leo cat will take its position as center of the universe for granted. You will kowtow to his every whim, without so much as a peep from either one of you. If a plate of Brand X cat food is put in front of his setting at the dining room table, he will simply look at you and you will replace it with canned crab or fresh lobster.

When dressing to go out, just the silent presence of a Leo anywhere in the room, will be enough to make you put back last year’s Halston, and rush down to the store for something more befitting the slave of a Leo cat. Leos spell “intimidation” with a capital “I”. Leo’s tastes are eclectic and must be catered to. They prefer the classical music of Vivaldi, even if Great Uncle Horace was an unwilling part of the violin section. CDs of Garth Brooks will disappear, never to be seen again. Trips to the vet, will not be protested, but must be taken in an enclosed carrier, so they are not subjected to the shame of being seen riding in a Volkswagen. From the 80s.

If you are going to give a dinner party, allow your Leo cat to peruse the guest list, or suffer the consequences which can include (a)Your Leo striding down the center of the table during the first course, even though he was locked in the spare bedroom, (b) Leo popping up out of the tub at a crucial moment when a lady guest is seated in your rest room [Nobody said Leos didn’t have a sense of humour.] (c) Leo fixing his obelisk gaze on his least favourite invitee, for the entire evening, resulting in red wine on your white carpet, when it finally gets to them. **Note: Files show that the record for a Leo causing nervous collapse in this manner is 1 minute and 36 seconds. However, that incident involved the owner of a major sports team who had cheated on his taxes, cheated on his wife, and forgot to feed his own Leo cat.

Leos do not suffer foolishness gracefully. They will tolerate a pat on the head as recognition between equals, or a brief stroking to acknowledge their impeccable taste in choosing you as their personal valet. Do not hug. Do not spew baby talk. Do not combine all of these with a playful ear tugging. After all, would you do this to the queen?

PREY: Nothing. Leos have no need to attack, chase, or otherwise debase themselves for food. They can, in weaker moments, be seen weighing the temporary high against the lifelong shame of being caught unrolling the toilet paper.

RECREATION: In their droller moments, Leos have been known to successively refuse oysters, minced turkey, grilled trout, and 16 other entrees, in order to watch a human run back and forth to the cupboard/store. They will then rise majestically, stroll to the kitchen, hop up on the cupboard and scarf down a small bite (a pound and a half) of pate de foie gras, which was your first offering.

DINING: Pretty well anything that cost more than what you eat.

MUSIC: Pomp and Circumstance.

SLEEPING: A velvet cushion personally tailored to Leo’s dimension, trimmed in Battenburg lace, and placed on a Louis XVI chair. After you go to bed, Leo will sleep on last week’s newspaper under the coffee table.

COMPANIONS: Anyone with more money than Bill Gates.

ACCEPTABLE HUMANS: Any of the ten most prominent world leaders, the Pope, the Queen of England.

NAMES: Alexandria, Bucephalus, Farquahar, Helena.

INTERACTION: Leos find it necessary to constantly remind humans of the great gulf that divides the supreme and the supermarket crowd. A human sits down in front of the TV; a Leo sits majestically, and unmoving, in your direct line of vision. A human opens his first edition of Dickens, and Leo lays across the pages, in a boneless mass.

PREVIOUS EXISTENCE: Queen Victoria’s deportment coach.

MOTTO: “ E felinus, therae e ame. Te nunc existus.” - I am cat, therefore I am. You are not.

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