Thursday, January 11, 2007


Everyone seems to have those family anecdotes that are told again and again. The other day, as I was sharing with my mother my latest Alex story, she reminded me of one our family tells over and over:

It took place when I was fourteen or fifteen years old. My father was in one of those moods when he needed something—I am not sure what he needed, perhaps it was simply to demonstrate his power. He had backed me against our kitchen wall and, with his face inches from my face, he kept yelling at me with ever increasing volume the word “What.”

Perhaps he was imitating some authority-crazed sergeant he had encountered when he was serving in World War II. I really don’t know; however, the rapid-firing “What” followed by “What” followed by “What” unnerved me until I responded with “Oh, whater whater whats what.” My response broke my father up: he began laughing and couldn’t stop laughing. My mother joined in the laughter and I eventually join in, too.

The contemporary story that reminded my mother of the whater whater whats what tale took place at my house the day that Mom entered the rehab center. Alex had been outside catting around. I responded to his scratching at the front door by letting the cat who owns me into the house. As soon as he crossed our threshold, Alex stopped, looked up at me and said “Meow” to which I replied “What do you want?”

Usually in response to my “What do you want?” Alex will lead me someplace—his dining table is the usual destination. When I say that Alex “will lead me” that isn’t completely true. Alex will typically begin sauntering in a direction but slows to the point that I end up passing him and leading the way even though I have only a conjecture as to where the cat wants us to go.

This day Alex continued his meows in the same rapid-fire manner as my father had his “Whats” on the long ago day in our kitchen. Finally I stopped walking and looked down at Alex, who was still meowing, and said “Oh, meow, meow, meow, meow, yourself.”

To my amazement, Alex stopped meowing! We stood staring at each other until I began laughing. When I was able to stop laughing, I said to Alex, “Do you think I’m crazy?” Alex continued looking at me and I really believe he nodded “yes” followed by a single “Meow.” Without further comment, he jumped on a chair, curled up, and went to sleep.


  1. That was a cute story, definitely worth the wait!

  2. Many thanks to you & your mom for the great laughing-laughter-laughs-laugh, Nick!

    (& to your owner, Alex, too:)

  3. How long have I been reading and only now I realize that Axl (my cat) and your Alex share most of their letters. ROTFL


  4. that was a great story...still has me smiling. and it's always a score when you can unnerve your cat! :)

  5. My favorite family story is the one about how I look just like the mailman. It never gets old.

  6. Silver Neurotic—It did take me a bit to post this one, didn’t it. I’m glad it was worth the wait.

    Rhapsody—You are most welcome. I just spoke to my Mom and she says “thanks” too.

    Natalia—Perhaps I should have mentioned it, but I noted the Axl/Alex connection long ago.

    Jay Are—Thank you. Yes, it is unique for me to get one over on Alex.

    Abby—Thank you.

    Mist1—You look just like the mailman? Hummm. One of my childhood friends supposedly looked just like the milkman; the unfortunate think about that was that my father was their milkman.

  7. What a great Alex story Nick. It really had me giggling.

  8. Good stories, Nick. How is your mom doing?

  9. I think each cat has his own unique dialect. But somehow, they understand each other.

  10. Fantastic stuff ;o)

    Glad your mum is finally settled at the rehab centre :o)

  11. What a wonderful story, Nick. Cats are such interesting creatures.
    Glad all is well with your mum, and she settles in well.
    Have a great weekend.
    Take care, Meow

  12. Those are interesting stories.

  13. You were my first visit stop this morning and now I'm glad. I like to start the day off with a good chuckle.

    btw, I'M SORRY! I thought I already had you linked at the cowpie field but I must have had short term memory loss or something again. I'm linking you right now.

  14. That's a great story. I'm glad your father saw the humor in that. Usually, people who are being that obnoxious aren't so ready to let go of the anger.

    Good for you for one-upping your cat.

    Glad your mom's getting settled now.

  15. Great story Nick. How's mom doing?

  16. It seems that all Alex needed was a question to which he could give an answer. :) ec

  17. Hi Nick ~~ I am so glad that your mother is settled in at the Re-hab and I hope she gets some benefit from it.
    Alex's answer to most problems seems to be to go to sleep, Oh for the life of a cat. Take care, Nick, regards, Merle.