This is Buckley. He clearly knows how handsome he is. Because he is a cat.
This picture is from a couple of years ago, at my old house. We are blessed to have been chosen by His Supreme Highness Buckley for the honour of domestically hosting his material presence on Earth. But really, he is one great cat.
Near enough to 6 years ago now (if memory serves me correctly) we had just moved to a new town, and happened to discover that a very dear friend, with whom I'd had no contact for some years as I moved around a lot, had also moved there. I shall call him Horatio, as that is his name. Not long after moving there, I ran into his housemate Greg who virtually accosted me with the challenge "Hey Aadhaar, do you want a cat?"
As it happens, Meeta and I had been talking about having an animal family again. We'd been back and forth across the country in the last couple of years, living in a way that meant we couldn't have animals to share our life with. We were planning on settling now, though. So I basically said yes.
What had happened was this. Buckley (as he is now known) had, as a very tiny kitten, simply marched up to the door of Horatio and Greg's house, meowing and demanding to be let in. This was a tiny house of two and a half bedrooms, already containing 3 humans, 2 large dogs, and 3 - or maybe even 4 - cats. Upon opening the door, this fearless young puss just marched down the hallway and proceeded upon the process of taking up residence. Clearly, they already were at or beyond critical mammalian mass, and couldn't just take on another cat, however tiny, cute, and insistent. Initially he was name "3:47" as this was Horatio's quip at that precise moment in the afternoon when he espied the precocious wee fella strutting down the hallway that very first time.
So the next day Meeta and I went over there, and sure enough, this tiny little black-and-white feline just came right on up, and announced that he was pleased that we were here to take him to his new home. Presumptuous, eh? We naturally did his bidding, and Meeta recalls him actually purring in her hands as we drove the few kilometres back home. Unlike many or most cats, he immediately checked out the amenities, food, water, litter tray; potential sleeping, scratching and perching arrangements etc and promptly made himself at home.
The funny thing is, this really forward and highly human-social aspect of his personality did not survive his childhood. It's almost as if he channelled it to meet his needs - of being lost, or abandoned, or whatever - and then discarded it and went back to his own true nature not long after. In fact, he's such an aloof and discerning cat that very few people have even laid eyes on him. A bit like Mr Snuffleupagus from Sesame Street prior to November 1985. I was just about finished high school by then and even for us older kids Snuffy's outing was memorable news. Did you know that Snuffy's first name was Aloysius?
Now that Buckley's picture is posted on the internet, where everything is real and always true, he must exist, right? Anyway, he's an awesome cat companion and loves his dogs too. Plus, his litter tray's so much easier to clean out than Snuffy's......