Quincy and the Bowl of Balls

Quincy and the Bowl of Balls

Hello. My name is Quincy.

I have a confession to make.

I like balls. To be precise, I like the bowl of balls Mom brought home yesterday. Not sure why she got them, but I like them very much.

In this photograph, you can see I am trying to act nonchalant so she doesn’t suspect I’m going to go after them again. I stood on my hind legs and knocked one out of the bowl onto the floor. I didn’t make a sound, but somehow, she found out. I only had a few minutes to bat it around. Then she put it back in the bowl.

Next time, I knocked out a ball and a stick. She must have gotten this bowl of balls and sticks for us to play with. I think she got them for me because I was so well-behaved for the doctor. I didn’t hiss at her even once. She said now that I’m bigger I can see better out of my one good eye even though I’m mostly blind. She said it was like looking out of dirty glasses.

Samson doesn’t seem interested in the balls. You can see him sitting in the background of this photograph on the small sofa.

Mom keeps cleaning and moving things around which bothers us cats: we don’t like change.  She keeps putting new toys on the table, like these orange mats and cloth things to put on them. The best part is not the things inside, but the giant plastic bags they are contained in. I love to chew and lick them. I don’t know why.

Anyway, Mom is at work now, so I have plenty of time to retrieve more balls and sticks and play with them.

Life is good.

Jesus in the Eye Clinic

In the waiting room at the ophthalmologist’s office, an elderly gentleman in a suit and tie handed me a pamphlet.

“Would you like this?” he asked, gently.

The cover showed a hand extending out to another hand and the text read, “When will the suffering end?”

“No thank you,” I said. He slowly pulled the pamphlet away.

He and his wife, dressed conservatively in a sweater and long skirt and sensible shoes, mumbled something to each other and looked away.

Proselytizing in the doctor’s office? I’ve never encountered this before. Granted, he was demure and soft-sell. Still, I found it bizarre.

Perhaps I struck him as ungodly because of the color of my nails.

blue nails

The shade is “Sapphires in the Snow,” by OPI. I had a manicure yesterday, was in a Goth kind of mood.

The old man doesn’t know anything about me: that I was a devout Catholic up until my teens, that I even considered being a nun for all of third grade, that I read a thick book about the lives of the saints. Besides, it’s none of his business.

Was it because I was texting my husband? Does that a heathen make? I was a bit nervous about the eye appointment.

Then I realized he might not be proselytizing for Jesus at all. Perhaps he and his wife are Kevorkian-ites, advocating assisted suicide. Now I can get behind that. “When will the suffering end” could refer to euthanasia as well.

Maybe he thought I was going blind and that my life was no longer of value. Or was that what I was thinking and being an Empath, he picked up on my thoughts? Then the doctor called out a name, and he and his wife exited the waiting room and followed the doctor.

Anyway, I’m not going blind, but I have had floaters for the past two weeks along with dizziness and headaches, and thought it best to have it checked out. No retinal tears, no detached retina—all good.

I’m feeling a bit sensitive, and starting to wonder what was inside the pamphlet the elderly man wanted me to read.

Leaving the clinic, the sun blinded me—pupils dilated—and I had to shield my eyes while crossing the street. It made me feel vulnerable. What would it feel like to be blind, to need a seeing eye dog? Without contact lenses or glasses, the world is a fog to me. All smudged borders and indistinguishable faces. Keith Haring-esque.

What is my purpose? It felt unclear as I continued the journey east towards my office, shielding my eyes, squinting to see.


Hey There, You with the Clouds in Your Eyes


Samson & Quincy & friends

photo: E. Herd – Samson (back), Quincy (front)

I was inspired to post a photo of our cat Quincy after reading about Zeus the blind owl on The Dancing Rest.

Unlike Zeus with the stars in his eyes, my husband says Quincy has clouds in his. Both are beautiful. Quincy wasn’t born blind. We adopted him from a foster through FOCAS.

His foster mom said he contracted an eye infection that went untreated when he was a stray. He has no vision in his right eye and about 30% vision in the left. When we first brought him home in October 2011, he spent a full 24 hours scanning the house. He would not sleep. He memorized the house with his senses. He still loses his footing and trips and falls from time to time, but he knows the layout better than the rest of us.

Because of the blindness, he’s considered a “special needs” cat. A few months after we adopted him, he started having coughing fits, which, after rounds of tests, was found to be caused by tissue damage on one lung and asthma. He has been hospitalized a few times during bad attacks when he could not catch his breath. I’d say he’s lost at least two of his nine lives already. Most of the time we can avoid hospital visits with daily meds and his inhaler—yes, we have a kitty inhaler. Quincy doesn’t let any of this get him down. He’s very happy, playful and loving.

Quincy and me on sofa

Selfie of me and Quincy chillin’

Here’s to all the animals (human and non-) with clouds and stars in their eyes.

Happy Friday, everyone!


Gerard Depardieu, Grave Robber: The Feline Perspective

“We got elegance, if you ain’t got elegance
You can never ever carry it off.”
–Jerry Herman

The Weirdest Celebrity of the Week Award goes to French actor Gerard Depardieu. Currently in tax-evasion exile in Russia, he disclosed in his autobiography Ca C’est Fait Comme Ca (It Happened Like That or That’s The Way It Was) that he was a former rent boy and grave robber and that he drinks 12 to 14 bottles of wine a day. He also claims to be friends with Vladimir Putin. All I can say is: TMI.

Our guest today is feline advice columnist Quincy M. Fuzzman, aka “Quincy,” who will be sharing his thoughts on Depardieu and other matters.

Quincy, Dramaturge

Mr. Fuzzman . . .

Please, call me Quincy.

Quincy, what, if any, are your thoughts on the recent revelations about Gerard Depardieu?

To be honest, I haven’t given it much thought, Erica. I mean, he’s not very well-known in the Feline Community.

I see, but as you are well-versed in film and the arts in general, what is your response? Do you think he should have brought these bizarre skeletons out of his closet?

Frankly, I find it déclassé. I know he had a difficult childhood, what with his mother trying to kill him in the womb with knitting needles and such, but some things are better left unsaid, especially the grave robbing.

What bothers you most about that?

Well, you have to understand that I grew up on the streets as well, so I’m no stranger to hardship. I contracted an eye infection as a kitten, which went untreated and resulted in complete loss of vision in my right eye and 70% loss of vision in the left. Then I developed asthma.  I ate out of trash cans, slept under cars and in garages in all kinds of weather, but I NEVER robbed a grave. Besides being illegal and invasive, it simply isn’t sanitary.

Point taken. And what about the prostitution charges?

You do what you have to when living on the streets.

And the heavy drinking – he claims to drink 12 to 14 bottles of wine a day in order to sleep.

Live and let live, but I don’t see how he’s still alive. We in the Feline Community have a credo, as do most non-human animals, “Take only what you need.” It’s how we survive in the wild. Perhaps he needs to do another film.

Now, Quincy, I realize that Depardieu is not well-known in the Feline Arts Community, but who do you and the rest of the puss world respect and admire?

Hmm. Steve Martin used to be a favorite, until he became an art snob. Of course, Eartha Kitt. Sarah McLachlan, Benedict Cumberbatch and Jackson Galaxy—he really gets us.

Oh, Jackson from My Cat from Hell?

Precisely. As a whole, we are tired of being misrepresented in cinema, popular literature and other forms of media. I mean that horrible movie Cats and Dogs was very damaging to us, and from my point of view, it seemed like anti-cat propaganda.

Can you offer any solutions?

I don’t want to jinx it, but I do have a project in the works.

We certainly look forward to that, Quincy.  Any final thoughts?

Yes. Please support your local no-kill shelters and fostering agencies, and adopt disabled pets whenever possible.

How can our readers contact you if they’re in need of advice or have any questions?

You can email me directly through Suburban Hobo, on the “Contact” page, and I will respond as soon as I can.

Thank you, Quincy, for sharing your thoughts and experiences, and shedding some light on the concerns of your community.

Always a pleasure, Erica.