Yeah, this was a good year.
When I think about where I started — I was a stray flashing my tum for gravy on the mean streets of Mill Valley — I can’t believe how far I’ve come.
Cítím se tak šťastný. A lot of cats don’t have it this good. I have a roof over my head, a mediocre pet assistant, a cupboard stocked with gravy, and millions of adoring fans.
What more could a tabby ask for?
Kočky a make-up mikina?
Professionally, I even accomplished most of my goals. I added more stamps to my passport, expanded my global empire and worked on hundreds of wonderful kitty modeling campaigns.
Here are some of the more memorable ones that come to mind…
Kdo je karty kočka? Asi před šesti lety jsem se spřátelil zbloudilá, blešová kremná mourovatá kočka se špatným případem červů. I could see he’d fallen on hard times, but his profound knowledge of high fashion and department store cosmetics led me to believe that he was more than meets the eye. We became fast friends, and now he’s actually my boss (and a successful kitty model).
I vividly remember this campaign for NARS. It was RyGos and I working together in new York City. We partied hard. We also did a lot of walking that trip, first all over downtown, and then to chase ducks in central Park.
I had a blast and really enjoyed working with RyGos. His tum is almost as extraordinary as mine.
I spent a lot of time in Paris this year. I’m still bummed about not winning the Oscar for my work on Les chat Misérables, but c’est la vie.
I also had a Chanel job in the springtime with Snowflake, which was très magnifique! hunting mice along the Seine after sunset, mewling for cheese — it was so romantic.
If I weren’t at the pinnacle of my kitty modeling career right now, I could see myself settling down with Snowflake. She’s just so…exciting, and boy can she model!
But I don’t have any room in my life for a relationship right now. It wouldn’t be fair to Snowflake…
Uh…New Zealand with Peter Jackson?
That was another amazing trip. I gotta hand it to my assistant for arranging time with Peter Jackson between the two Hobbit movies. You know you’re in good hands when he’s behind the camera.
What a gorgeous country, too. I hear it’s how California probably looked a few hundred years ago — thick forests, tall, snow-capped mountains…and lots of sheep!
Not my favorite trip this year, but that’s what I get for working with a newbie photographer. You’d think I’d know better by now.
The guy had absolutely no idea what he was doing, but at least I got to work with Steve again. best Bengal tiger in the kitty modeling business, paws down.
Hilton Head, South Carolina… You know, I surprised myself last summer on that job for CoverCat. I’d never waterskied before, but I think I did alright.
I’ve always had pretty good balance, even though my assistant laughs at me every time I slip on the kitchen tiles… I really should talk to her about that. It’s rude.
Miami for BECCA was fun, of course, but that’s mostly because I got some much-needed beach time.
Venice Beach, California
Speaking of beaches, Venice beach was cooler than I thought. I expected a lot more dogs…
I met so many musically talented cats down there. It reminded me of my days battling strays on street corners in Mill Valley for treats. I always had a good-sounding meow…
And then there was Tuscany. Really, how can you go wrong?
What was that Ragdoll kitty’s name again…? Patches, Peaches? She was the kitty model I worked with… I can’t remember her name, but she did a good job. I mean, she was nervous, but who wouldn’t be working with a powerhouse kitty modeling superstar like me?
You know what they say — what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. ‘Nuff said.
Seriously, this was also a milestone year for me. Not only did I turn in some of my all-time best kitty modeling work, but I also penned my very first short story, a 5,000-word tail loosely based on actual events.
I’m reproducing it here in its entirety. hope you enjoy it, and I’ll see you soon in 2014.
Much love, always,
A relaxing TIME
by Tabs the Cat
Tabs could not believe how loud the generator was. The sound reverberated off the walls of his tiny shelter, and probably also off the frigid floor, which except for the one hole cut in the middle of the room, was a 12-inch-thick slab of solid ice.
When his friend, Felix, told Tabs about this place, told him about how ice fishing up here in the northern Territories was the most relaxing thing he’d ever done, Felix neglected to mention the generator.
Tabs shivered, despite his heavy wool coat, thick fur and thermal kitty underwear, and watched his breath puff in the frosty air.
The one electric bulb hanging from the ceiling briefly dimmed as the generator momentarily sputtered.
Wouldn’t that be perfect, Tabs thought, if the generator conked out and stranded him out here on a frozen lake?
The generator resumed its steady, rhythmic roar, which sounded to Tabs like the loudest lawn mower he’d ever heard.
He wondered what he would do if it stalled. The darkness wouldn’t be a problem for him because he was able to see in the dark, but the cold… how cold would it get in the little shack without the heater? probably very cold…
He had no transportation, either, thanks to Felix, who talked Tabs into hiring a local bush pilot to make the trip here. until the pilot returned on the day after Christmas, Tabs was on his own.
With a jolt, he suddenly remembered having his iphone and pulled it from a pocket inside his coat, thinking that if something happened to the generator, he could call his assistant for help.
He slid his paw across the phone’s screen, and the device sprung to life, displaying more than a dozen illuminated app icons. Instinctively, his eyes went to the upper lefthand corner.
“Mňoukat!” he cursed. No bars. He wouldn’t be able to make a call.
He held up the phone and waved it around in the air, looking for a signal. nothing until, wait! — he saw one bar for a second. maybe he could get a stronger signal over there, he thought, looking at the one tiny window in the room.
He hopped down from the chair, a sturdy, old thing made of heavy wood, set the iphone down on the ice, and wrapped the end of his fishing line around a leg of the chair five times.
That should hold it, he thought, and then the generator stopped.
When he looked to face it, the bottom of his coat brushed the iPhone, which slid directly into the hole in the ice.
Plop, was the sound it made when it splashed into the water.
Uh, oh, Tabs thought, as the now quiet room went dark…
A relaxing TIME: chapter 2
Tabs sat motionless in the shed, letting his eyes adjust to the darkness as the ringing in his ears from the once noisy generator subsided.
Soon, thanks to the sparse moonlight coming in through the one tiny window in the room, he could clearly make out shapes — the chair, his Louis Vuitton luggage and Chanel overnight bag, the generator, electric heater, the hole in the ice and the small wooden workman’s desk — and then details, like the lovely Chanel double C logo, the elegant Louis Vuitton pattern and a familiar-looking tool on top of the desk…
Can opener, he thought. That’s what his assistant called them. He never figured out how to make it work, but he knew that it could produce gravy. His assistant did it all the time.
Knowing it was here, he felt a tinge of relief. maybe he could figure out how to use it if he had to. If his assistant could use it, it couldn’t be that hard.
Carefully, he walked over to the edge of the hole in the ice and peered down. Water gently lapped against the sides, but its depths were impenetrable, even to his efficient kitty eyes.
“Mňoukat!” on zavolal. Siri! then he made his way around to the other side of the hole and tried again, louder this time. “Mňoukat!!” Siri!!
No answer… Was she ignoring him, or somehow unable to reply?
“Mrf!” he huffed. probably the former. These days, it’s just so hard to find good help.
It occurred to Tabs that he wouldn’t be in this situation had his assistant back at the office done her job. She was in charge of travel arrangements, after all, so this was entirely her fault.
“Mmrrrwww…” he grumbled. He was going to give her an earful when he got —
Tabs whipped around and focussed his senses intensely on the door. He heard something outside, something shuffling on the ice. His ears rotated on his head like tiny radar dishes trying to triangulate the source of the sound.
Tam! He heard it again. Something skilled in the art of espionage. It was close. right behind the door, and it was big. Tabs could tell. much bigger than a cat.
Then, the smell. Instinctively, Tabs arched his back to appear larger, triggered his claws and hissed loudly at the door.
A relaxing TIME: chapter 3
Tabs hissed and growled at the thing on the other side of the door, throwing decorum out the window. Sure, it was rude and not very neighborly of him, but he and dogs had never gotten along very well. He thought they were always so…pushy, and clumsy.
That was the thing about dogs, he thought. They had no respect for personal space.
Tabs could hear it sniffing loudly outside, conducting reconnaisance. Tabs knew about their keen sense of smell, and knew that this one probably already knew that Tabs was alone in the shed, terrified, a little on the plump side and wearing Coco Mademoiselle.
“Meeeeooowww,” he groaned, using his office voice. who the hell is that? “Mrow!” Go away, or I’m calling the police!
No answer, and the sniffing sound stopped. seconds passed, and Tabs wondered if his threat had worked to scare away the dog.
He got to thinking that he should look for an escape route in case the dog had a key to the door. It seemed unlikely, but Tabs wasn’t sure. The dog was probably a local, after all, and probably knew this area. maybe it had even watched Tabs arrive.
The thought terrified Tabs, and his tiny heart started pounding. Frantically, he looked around the room again, his fearful eyes barely taking the time to focus.
There was the solitary window, which was shut, and quite small, and at least five feet off the frozen floor. The walls were vertical wooden slats, the ceiling corrugated sheet metal, and the ground was a solid slab of ice, except for the small fishing hole cut in the center.
He looked at the hole for a moment, listening to the lake water jostling within it, then to the now silent generator and rapidly cooling electric heater, his two bags beside the heavy wooden chair by the hole in the ice, a tall stack of wooden crates that he presumed were empty, and then at the workbench pushed up against one of the walls.
Nic. No ways in or out, except for the door.
He trained his night vision on the door again and focussed his ears like parabolic radar dishes, scanning for the slightest sound…
And then the world exploded. There was a terrible crash against the door, coupled with ceaseless, thunderous barking. The noise caused Tabs to jump three feet in the air, and he landed awkwardly.
The crashing continued, over and over, and the door shuddered. The whole shack shook violently, and the metal roof clanged and buckled. Tabs cowered on the ice, shrinking against the floor, as his wild, wide eyes darted to and fro.
Tabs had never heard barking like that before. It was liquid, visceral fury. No, this wasn’t a dog, Tabs realized. This was a monster.
When the creature struck the door again, the door swung open.
Everything went completely silent as time stopped. What Tabs saw standing before him in the doorway was — at that moment he recognized it and remembered seeing one when he worked as an extra on HBO’s true Blood. The monster was a werewolf, and right then it leapt.
Instinctively, Tabs rolled to his left, sliding on the ice as the creature’s jaws snapped inches from his head. Momentum carried the large beast forward, and it careened into the wooden crates, unable to stop on the ice.
The crates tumbled down, shattering, and appeared to bury the creature beneath them, but Tabs didn’t hesitate. As soon as he regained his footing, he raced toward the open door, snapping up his Chanel overnight bag on the way, and sped out onto the dark, frozen lake.
A relaxing TIME: chapter 4
Once through the door of the ice shack, Tabs was struck by the vastness of the night sky and the frozen lake. He was running on the ice, his little legs churning like propeller blades, his claws scraping for purchase.
Fear drove him faster, forward, deeper into the night. There were dots of light far ahead on the other side of the lake, but they seemed miles away. nothing to his right but the expanse of the frozen lake, and to his left, the shadowy outline of an outcropping of land — another shore, or an island perhaps, much closer than the far shore but with no signs of life. only a line of tall trees behind a rocky beach.
Where was the creature now? Tabs wondered. had it pulled itself out from under the crates in the shack? Was it in pursuit of him now, chasing him down on the lake with its longer canine legs? Tabs couldn’t bring himself to look.
His lungs started to burn, and he realized that his pace was slowing. The lights on the far shore of the lake beckoned him. Tabs knew there was shelter there, people, but there was no way he would be able to run all the way across the lake. It was too far.
He scanned the closer shore to his left again for any signs of help or danger. just then, the werewolf howled behind him.
It was close! Tabs shuddered, and