Excerpt of book edited and co-written by Jack Murray
My Name is PurSneakity, and I am a creature of habit . . . bad habits.
Bad habits – that’s why my so-called owner shouts “Bad Kitty!” all the time. What a fool; he persists in his delusion that he is my owner. Little does he know that I call him “my human” behind his back. Get a clue buddy.
My human always threatens to haul me back to the shelter where he adopted me. Take yesterday, all I did was knock his favorite oil painting off the wall. It was an accident; it’s not easy to pounce off the fireplace mantle without snagging something. Okay, so there’s a slight tear down the middle of the canvas, but come on, haul me back to the shelter over an honest mistake?
Just like a common dog, I come a runnin’ every time my human calls me. I cozy up and warm his feet while he is lying on the couch watching TV. I even reduce myself to playing demeaning games like fetch and beg – how undignified.
Okay, I do all this, so my human supplies me with treats, toys and fun ways to be bad. But let’s get this straight. I’m the boss. I’m the smart one. I’m the alpha. Just watch my human try to find me when I have to go to the vet for a checkup.
I hate to admit this, but my human is right about one thing. I am a creature of bad habits. In my eight months as a kitten, I have acquired enough bad habits to last all nine of my lives. At least, that’s what my litter mate, Patience, hisses every time I bite her tail.
I don’t admit that I am bad, but it is fun to be bad. Who can resist a catnap on my human’s black wool slacks just back from the cleaners? What’s more fun than clicking off his computer while he is in the middle of paying bills? Sheer draperies are meant to be climbed.
Then there are times when my bad habits aren’t so bad, like when I have lots of yarn to tangle or my human plays laser light with me. But soon I fall back into doing something bad again.
How can I help it? Curiosity ailed the cat. New mischiefs always intrigue me. Fortunately, most of them lose their lure after a while. However, some mischiefs turn into bad habits, even when they are no longer any fun – like when I got into a scrap with Ralph, that awful canine living next door. Doesn’t that buffoon realize that I am the one who buries his bones in the backyard sandbox . . . before I leave a trail of sand in the house?
But then a terrible wake-up call besieged me. My playful scratch on my human’s arm resulted in a horribly bloody episode, prompting him to rush to the emergency room. As I paced the kitchen floor awaiting his return, I reflected on my life. Being bad was supposed to be fun; I never really meant to hurt anyone. So I prayed to Our Father, “If my human is okay, I will work on purr-ging my Bad Habits for good,” and I will write a book about it. Thankfully, my human was okay – he just needed antibiotics.
In fulfilling my promise to Our Father, I prepared a list of my bad habits. That list spanned an entire roll of toilet paper, even when I used small paw strokes. My human wasn’t too happy about that mess all over the bathroom floor. Then I thought, maybe I’ll just focus on my worst habits.
So, I pawed a list of nine bad habits – one for each of my nine lives. And, I came up with the acronym “Bad Habits” to remember them.
T Two Timing
In this book, I share tails (tales about endings) of my bad habits, and how I try to overcome them with the help of my littermate, my human, my purrchologist (a human counselor who is fluent in Meow), and Our Father. At the end of this book, I reveal what all these bad habits have in common.
Book cover image of cat was taken by Jessica Loftus. Other artwork on book cover is under license form Shutterstock.com.