“In a cat’s eye, all things belong to cats.”
There’s a Disney movie, That Darn Cat, that my mother took me to see during the 1965 Christmas holiday. I wanted to see the movie because of the Siamese cat staring in the film. My mom wanted to see the movie because she had a crush on Dean Jones, who was also in the movie and staring in his first Disney movie.
Anyway, we both loved the movie but that day we both fell in love with the real star of the movie, the wily, adventurous Siamese tomcat named DC (Darn Cat).
After seeing the movie, unbeknownst to me and my siblings, my mom had asked my dad for a Siamese cat for her birthday. My dad enlisted my older sister to locate a Siamese kitten for my mom. The animal expert that my sister was, she found a top breeder in Ohio, where we lived at the time.
All of us, except my mom went to pick out a kitten. I was only 9 years old at the time, but I knew then that my sister had chosen the pick of the liter when she selected a male Seal Point Siamese kitten.
I have never seen my mom as happy as the day my dad presented her with this beautiful blue-eyed kitten. She cherished and loved this kitten, and he returned her love. We named him Rama, after the great King of Siam. Rama lived up to his namesake, because he acted and believed he was King.
We had pet cats, dogs, goats, chickens, ducks, horses, birds, rabbits, rats, guinea pigs, hamsters and of course fish. None of these other pets ever had the smarts, class and personality like Rama. Rama was squirrelly, clever, and cunning, and the funniest animal we ever had encountered. As a kitten he would climb up your back and perch himself on your shoulder. He was quite the cheeky little monkey. Even our dogs respected Rama and never messed with him.
I’ll never forget Rama’s first Thanksgiving. Our house was full of family and guests. My dad’s mom was not a fan of pets in the house so the dogs and of course Rama were relegated down to the basement during the festivities. I spent most of that Thanksgiving in the basement with my pets. I noticed that Rama was not happy being sent to the basement, so I let him come upstairs with me when my mom announced we would be eating.
I guess you could blame me for the turkey getting trashed that Thanksgiving. But, it was Rama’s first Thanksgiving and I hated for him to spend it in the basement. We all were sitting at the long dining room table as my father carried the roasted 25 pound turkey to the dining room and sat it on the buffet. Out of nowhere, in a flash of white fur, Rama leaped on the giant bird, cradling it with all his 5 pound might. I was hysterical with laughter, but my older brother and father wanted to kill this cat. I couldn’t understand why we couldn’t eat the turkey. Rama hadn’t even had a chance to take a bite out of the turkey before my brother grabbed Rama by the scruff of his soft white neck, saving the kitten from the wrath of dad and handed him to my mom for safekeeping.
A year later, we relocated to California where Rama became an indoor/outdoor cat. Everyone in the neighborhood wanted Rama to be an indoor cat because he was whooping ass on every cat in the neighborhood. My dad wanted Rama to be an outdoor cat because every time dad watched TV, Rama would climb on top of the TV and swat at the screen until my father grabbed Rama and tossed him outdoors. Rama preferred being outdoors, so I always believed the cat intentionally pissed off dad knowing he would get tossed outside.
Rama also loved to go for rides in cars. He didn’t really care whose car it was either. One day our neighbor left his car windows down over night. After being tossed outside by dad and being the car lover Rama was, he jumped in our neighbors car and took a midnight cat nap.
The next morning we found out Rama had hitched a ride with our neighbor. Apparently, the neighbor was driving to downtown Los Angeles to work and he looked in his rearview mirror and saw Rama reclined on the rear windowsill of his car. He recognized the infamous Rama and luckily for us and for Rama this particular neighbor liked cats, or Rama might have been tossed out the window onto the 405 freeway.
Rama will always have a place in my heart. He was not only beautiful but he was the wisest and most regal cat I ever knew. Through my life I have had other great cats, but Rama will always be my Rama – King of Siam.