BONZ: Bonzo says aloha to the ‘King’ and his court

I’m getting a little more used to occasionally hanging out with pets of the feline persuasion. A little more. But this week was a first for me. I got an email from a cat, King Kamehameha Geesey, who read my column about his pooch neighbor, Ruffio Smith, and wondered if I could do one on him and the rest of what he called the Furry Herd.

I was intrigued on several levels: like, he was already friends with a dog. You don’t see a lot of that. And then there was that name. I wondered if he was royalty. PLUS he’d mentioned there was only one tail among the four members of the Furry Herd. I figured, at the very least, it wasn’t going to be boring.

When we were scheduling, he explained, “When we heard you were gonna do the interview, we all wanted to be Spokescat. There was a LOT of caterwauling, but, obviously, I’m the best choice. Oh, and, don’t ring the doorbell. The others are wa-ay older than me (I’m almost 3) and, when the doorbell rings, they dive under the bed and Mom and Dad have to drag ’em out. So I’ll watch for you and open the garage door. If I can reach the button. And, by the way, you can call me Kammy.”

“Well, thank Lassie for that,” I thought to myself. I’d Googled “King Kamehameha” and learned he was a human king of Hawaii a long time ago. I couldn’t wait to hear all about King Kammy and the Furry Herd.

Just as me and my Assistant drove up, the garage door began to open. We saw two feet, and four paws. Then there they were, a lady, and Kammy, a good lookin’ fellow, white and apricot, with a (cat-sized) lion’s mane.

He strolled over and said, “E komo mai. This is my Mom, Cindy. I’m Kammy. I thought you’d be scary but you’re not. C’mon, let’s go in.”

“I’m pleased to meet you,” I said in my non-growly voice. As he turned I saw that he was NOT the one member of the Furry Herd with a tail. He did have very fluffy pants.

The house was a Cat’s Dream-Come-True. Cat stuff everywhere. Totally Cool Catnip!! Leading the way to the living room, Kammy stopped by a cabinet and peeked inside. “Rowdy, get your fluffy behind outta there. Mr. Bonzo’s here!” I could see a heap of white and gray fluff. A man came down the hall and pulled the heap out of the cabinet. “This is my Dad, Adam,” said Kammy, “and THIS is Rowdy! He’s 15. He’s a Manx like me, but he’s a rescue. Cassidy’s a Manx, too. She’s the only girl in the Herd. She’s a diva cuz her coat has three colors and it’s really pretty. And then there’s Kaboodle …”

I interrupted, “Hang on a minute, Your Majesty. I gotta get all this down. One at a time.” I was getting a cramp in my paw. “Let’s start with you.”

“Purr-fect!” he said. “I got my name (it’s fabulous, right?) cuz Mom and Dad were in Hawaii when they got a call from my breeder about me. I’m a Purebred Long-haired Manx. Mom and Dad were introduced by a rescue Manx when they were volunteering at a humane society in Georgia, and discovered they were both Tails-Over-Teakettles about cats. Before he retired, Dad travelled a lot and he’d call every night to talk to us cats. Sometime he’d talk to Mom, too.”

During the interview, Rowdy sat in his Dad’s lap.

“Rowdy came from the Broward Humane Society,” Kammy explained. “He’s a Purrbox! When Dad had a bunch of eye operations, he had to sleep in a recliner. Soon as he pulled up his sheet to get all comfy, Rowdy’d jump into his lap and lick his hand and purr ‘til Dad fell asleep.”

“I’m proud to be a Manx,” Rowdy said. “We say, ‘Less Tail, More Cat!’ And, when we’re kittens, we hop around like bunnies. Humans find that irresistible. I mostly hang with Dad. I also enjoy drinking from the kitchen faucet, and napping in my TV.”

“Huh?” I blurted.

He pointed a paw. Next to his chair was a plastic TV with no insides, just big enough for a cat. It looked cozy.

“Hey, Cassie,” Kammy called. A short-haired little Calico strolled over.

“A pleasure, Mr. Bonzo,” she purr-meowed, delicately licking her paw. “I am a PUREBRED Calico Manx, the only girl in our Furry Herd. I try to keep these silly boys in line.”

“I’m Kaboodle!” A long-haired Tabby entered from the kitchen. I’m a rescue like Rowdy.” He looked sorta Siamese, long creamy hair, dark ear-tips. He also had the Herd’s only blue eyes, and its only tail. It was a cool one, too, a big, fluffy plume.

“We get along great!” said Kammy. “We share one big food bowl. I chase little dragons on the patio every morning and sometimes bring ’em, or parts of ’em, to Mom and Dad. They’re not as excited about that as I am, for some reason. And we have a Garden Tub for our two big potty boxes. We’re super tidy. When Mom and Dad travel, Uncle Jay comes all the way from New York to catsit. And, we Don’t Believe in Working. Kaboodle, Rowdy and Cassidy are Senior Citizens. They do Three Things: Eat, Sleep and Lay on Mom and Dad. “

When I got home, I Googled King Kammy’s greeting to us, “E komo mai.” It’s Hawaiian for “Welcome.” Woof! I never thought I’d learn something from a cat.

Till next time,

The Bonz

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