The Siamese Cat Rules

All cats believe they're superior beings. Siamese cats take it a step farther--whatever is beyond superior, that's them. Maew, the Siamese in Cats and Crimes, is based on a guy we shared lodgings with in my youth. I have no idea where Ching-a-Ling came from, but he was a force to be reckoned with. I grew up on a farm, so our cats were mostly the outdoor kind, given shelter in exchange for keeping down the number of mice in the barns and grain sheds. How Ching got to be an indoor pet I don't recall. He probably just willed it that way.

As Maew does in the book, Ching could reach the top of a built-in bookshelf in the living room without making a noise or letting anyone see him do it. (Looking back, he probably liked the warmer temperatures up there, because our house was drafty.) He spent his days looking down on all of us, seldom moving, so he often appeared to first-time visitors to be a large cat figurine.

Ching had the yowl typical of Siamese, and he used it to let us know when he was hungry or unhappy. I don't remember him liking to play much, or be cuddled either. I don't recall how long he lived or how he died. I just know he was part of the family. It's funny how a pet is such a presence in your life and your memories, even though the details get blurry over time.


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