The Boss’s Tail: Part 6 of The Caterbuddy Tails

My name is Kana, which derives from the name Nakana, but is not short for Nakana. I am Kana, jungle panther, black velvet empress of the realm.

Being the boss is the most important job in the world because without a boss the underlings are without direction. Being the boss is unrewarding and difficult, but it is my purpose in life.

How would Mom handle these kids without me to help? The night I first met Mom and Dad (4 1/2 years ago) I could tell they were a little clueless and needed some help around Casa Castle. I was unappreciated at the shelter at that time because the roaming room was ruled by a monstrous male cat called Henry. Because I was the obvious choice for boss, Henry thought I was his enemy. I would have been content to rule jointly, but he told me that a female wasn’t going to be a boss when he was around. Henry attacked me, so the shelter put me in prison for my protection. I was in my cell when I spotted Mom. She glanced over at me, and I stood up on my back legs and drilled her with my piercing hypnotic stare. She was a goner after that.

But Mom and Dad didn’t take me home. I knew I had smittenized her, but they left me there. Week after week, they visited us for their janitorial and librarian duties, but they left without me. I got ringworm and had to go to the hospital room which might as well be an asylum straight out of Dickens. When that finally cleared up, they shipped me over to Petsmart, which is frequented by the lowest types. They obviously do not realize the talents of an 8-year-old big black female cat as they oohed over the silly kittens and prissy cats. I sat there under glass as if I were a pheasant waiting to be served. They brought me back to the shelter as if I were a loser.

For the first time in my life, I became clinically depressed. What is a boss without peons to boss around? My life was over. Or so I thought.

One day, months after first meeting Mom and Dad, Mom came into the roaming room with a kennel. I was nearly suicidal by that point and ignored her. When she picked me up, I snapped at her. But she held on and pressed me into the kennel and snapped it shut. She brought me home.

But I wasn’t going to make it easy for anybody who made me wait like that. No matter that she had been waiting for her old cat to die before she could get me. That she had been telling everyone about me and how she wanted me to come live with her. Hmmph!

To show Mom–and Dad too–who is boss I started a campaign to run their stupid runty calico Tiger out of town. I had her quivering and shaking and running and crying. But my mother is as stubborn as I am. She came up with all kinds of tricks to protect Tiger. She never gave up on me either.

So I stopped bothering Tiger because it wasn’t getting me anywhere. And besides by then Mom and Dad knew I was boss. Mom loves and respects me so much. Dad respected me from the beginning, especially my teeth, but it took him longer to love me. He started looking out for my best interests and became my buddy.

Life was the best at that point. I was boss of the casa. Mom figured out I have IBD and gives me the right food so my stomach doesn’t hurt.

Then Perry arrived. [Kana visibly shudders.]

Perry is a handsome young male cat. He is good-natured, but unfortunately he also wants to be boss. Everyday we have to have little tiffs to see who gets to be in charge. The truth is, since he’s a nice boy and just learning I often let him think he’s in charge. But we know that I am the real boss just letting him have his baby way.

I am now 12 years old. Pear is the oldest at 19, but she is independent and doesn’t want the responsibility of management. Then Tiger is 15. She’s grown a lot since I’ve gotten here. I take credit for her transformation. Felix is 13. He’s a sweet boy who gives me no trouble. Then me. There are two younger than me: Sloopy Anne and Perry. These five are my minions. My underlings. My “kids.” I AM BOSS.

Sleepy Kana


The Baby’s Tail

The Dowager’s Tail

The Bitch’s Tail

The Outlier’s Tail

The Kitchener’s Tail


Filed under #writerlife, #writerslife, Cats and Other Animals, Memoir, Nonfiction, Writing

44 responses to “The Boss’s Tail: Part 6 of The Caterbuddy Tails

  1. I had a lady black panther named Lacy. She was a real alpha cat. When she was older, Jake join our household. He was a male black panther. They fought for control until I had to separate them. At one point Lacy ran away from home preferring to stay at the neighbor’s deck. I picked her up and kept her upstairs. At this point she was over 16 so she was content to sleep in sunspots on the beds until she passed. I never had an issue with Jake accepting any other new cats. There was just some bad chemistry between Lacy and Jake.

    • That is so sad when two cats in the same household just cannot get along. I’m sorry you had to go through that. I thought that was the case with Kana and Tiger for a long time, but it turned out ok. If Tiger had been 16 I would have put her upstairs, too. But in her case she was a wimp, not like Lacy. As for the boy Henry at the shelter, he was a huge cat and extreeeeeemely dominant. He had names like the Mayor of the cat room because he greeted everyone and showed everyone around, stuff like that. He seemed quite the handful, and definitely preferred men. Luckily, an older single man adopted him and the other inhabitants of the roaming room breathed a big sigh of relief.

      • Lacy didn’t really like any cats so there was a sigh of relief here when she passed. Although I missed her and remembered her as a young cat (she was about a year when a friend found her as a stray) but even then although she wasn’t as aggressive, she preferred to be alone. In her older years she was a lot of work as she developed a kitty dementia that made her cry most of the night. Jake got like that too at the end.

        • Oh, poor baby. It’s so hard. My friend has an older cat who drives her nuts. She kind of feels like you did. More of a responsibility than a blessing at some point.
          That dementia thing is so sad.

  2. What a delight to read “Caterbuddy Tales,” installment six. Don’t know how I managed to miss 1-5, but glad to be back on board. Mr. Chapman enjoyed Kana’s saga as well. I’m off to Ecuador tomorrow for my son’s wedding (he’s been in Quito for over a year, teaching, and he and his girlfriend decided to make the leap. Very exciting, as I’ve never been south of Mexico City. Chapman likes the cleaning lady, who will come every day to care for him, but still — he’s not too pleased.

    • Elaine, that sounds like a wonderful time! My congratulations to the happy couple!
      Poor Mr. Chapman. He probably is sad that he wasn’t invited, although he’s a family member. I feel so bad for him. Tell him that Kana and her minions all commiserate, but explain that travel is for the birds, not the cats.

  3. What a lovely story.

  4. Cats really do have such complicated feelings, don’t they? I remember my two who were brothers, and they thought they were people.

    • Hahaha, of course they thought they were people. My belief is that cats are people. We are human. But cats and dogs and horses and humans are all people. We have our own “people,” but are part of the larger group of people. Maybe I’ve read too much Native American folk lit!
      Cats are very sensitive, but because most of them don’t have the most expressive faces, a lot of human people don’t understand that they are.

      • I agree! Our pets are part of the family. I’m always horrified at some pet owners who would move to a place where they can’t bring their pets and don’t mind giving them away, or worse yet, just leaving them behind. The only exception to that would be if the people have to go into a care facility or physically can’t look after their pets anymore.

        • You are so right. Our shelter takes back animals, whether we have room or not. That is our guarantee, such as it is, that the animals will not be abandoned at some point later on. Sometimes people go into hospice or die and their family cannot or will not take their animals and we get them then, too.

  5. Oh, Kana, you be The Boss! As you’re aware, being boss means you know how to handle difficult personalities 😉 Good that you honor the elders too because … ah … one of these days you’ll be elderly too. Not too soon, though. Not too soon ❤️

    • Marie, you got that right. And I don’t want to say anything bad about my mom or dad, but they can be a little difficult. Mom doesn’t think I need my hypoallergenic kibble or treats every 45 minutes! Can you imagine?!

      • Now, Kana, your mom and dad have the hardest jobs trying to make sure you all stay healthy. Think of it this way: if you got your kibbles every 45 minutes, they would no longer be treats. The longer you go between servings, the more special those treats are. The more special, the more satisfying. Try a little psychology on yourself 😉

  6. You go, Boss. Loved this.

  7. I’m stunned! Another bossy cat!

  8. I’m glad not to have missed Kana’s tail 🙂 It must be so much fun at your house ……

    • Hahaha! It’s a madhouse at our house lately! Two sick cats (being treated) and five of the six special needs in one way or another!!! And then there’s Perry ;).

  9. 😂 Kana is witty and gorgeous! I hope Everyone is feeling better this week!

    • She is a beauty. I remember standing outside her cube at Petsmart (I used to visit her) and trying to talk a couple into looking at her. They ignored her pointedly. Eight years old at the time, big and short-haired, plain black (even her whiskers, toe beans, etc.), she just wasn’t exciting to them; they couldn’t see her gorgeousness! Thank you–I think the antibiotic is helping Ms. Tiger who has a kidney infection. Felix, knock on wood.

  10. “smittenized!” I love that.
    She’s beautiful. <3

  11. You’re a fighter! I respect that.

  12. Clearly a cat’s life

  13. She just looks like she was born to be the boss 🙂

  14. I love this! I hope all your kittys are feeling better this week 🙂

  15. Everybody needs a BOSS. Often unbeknownst to them, but always happier when we all known our place.
    Great piece, Luanne!!

  16. Glad your clowder seems, for the most part, to have settled down! 🙂

  17. “Smittenized” I love it! And that is one beautiful cat!

    • She is a handsome beauty!!! She smittenized me with that one stare of hers! That is because she is dominant, and my old cat Mac who passed four years ago was dominant like that.

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