Last Story Home Local Next


by Pam Shirk, North Carolina, USA


Every cat has its own personality. Some cats are smart, some are not. Some cats are humorous and some are serious. Berfert is different. Berfert, like all our cats, was a rescue cat. Shortly, after Guido, the mafia hit cat, was run over by a car, our upstairs neighbors received Berfert as an 8 week old kitten. The mother was in the army, the father was a stay at home dad and the two little girls seemed too quiet and unhappy. We found out why about a week after when the police were called to the upstairs and took daddy away for child abuse. The mom cleared the kids out and asked us to take care of the kitten for "just a week." We agreed, knowing that just a week often is forever. Within a week we didn't care if she called or not, Berfert was now a part of the family and not going anywhere. Fortunately, we never had to argue about it.

Berfert, looks offbeat. He is black with white markings. Most cats have a mustache or beard, but Berf has a white line along his lower lip, sort of like having one half of his lipstick applied, but his paw slipped on the right side of his face and it has gone up onto his right cheek just a bit. He has four white paws, with one black toe. Most cats have a strip of white running fromt he chin to the bottom, but Berferts is across his tummy from right to left, like an open zipper on his belly pouch. Other than that, his markings are fairly conventional.

We got our first taste of Berfert's sense of humor right aver we got him, when we caught him running along the curtain rod in the livingroom. He had climbed the curtain and was treating himself to a little jog back and forth along the curtain rod. After we became used to seeing him on the curtain rod, he developed a taste for running up the underside of our open stairs to the top step, swinging onto the step, then running up the bottom of the step again. About the time we got used to seeing him jogging up the bottom of the stairs, he added to his routine. Mandy's cat, Pumpkin, was older and bigger than Berf and liked to bully him somewhat. He would chase Berf, who would lead him right up the bottom of the stairs. About 7 feet above the ground, Pumpkin would realize that he was in the air without support and panic. Berf would sit on the top step watching Pumpkin frantically scrambling for a toehold and finally dropping to the ground. We were sure Berf would be laughing at the poor orange cat.

After Pumpkin finally decided that it wasn't worth his effort chasing Berfert and stopped, Berfert discovered that I had moved the old C-64 to a desk under the stairs and was writing stories and poems on it. Pretty soon, Berfert discovered that if he hung from the second step from the top by his front paws and left his back paws and tail dangling limply, I would see them out of the corner of my eyes and panic thinking he was a cat in trouble. Sure enough I would be typing away and Berfert would go into his act. I would see something black out of the corner of my eye and look up and see the poor kitty hanging on by a thread. I'd panic and try to rescue the poor little guy and he would laugh and swarm onto the top step, where he would watch me as I cursed roundly at him.

We discovered that Berfert is not to be trusted with alcohol when one of our guests slipped him some beer and got him drunk. Turned out that Berfert loved Miller lite. He also liked wine coolers and rum. We have to lock him into our bedroom and do everything we can to keep him away from the hard stuff. Otherwise the day after is spent dealing with a hung over kitty, walking on tip toes, wincing and feeling distinctly sorry for himself. We don't drink, as a rule, so we sometimes forget until the next time a friend brings over a bottle and leaves some laying around. It takes very little to get Berfert drunk.

Considering Berfert's love for alcohol, one would expect him to love catnip. Hates it. He does like to eat some strange foods though. He loves pepperoni, pineapple, spagetti noodles (not the sauce), banana bread, coca cola, kielbasa, sourkraut, balogna and other lunch meats. He hates shrimp, clams, milk, american cheese, and some kitty treats.

Berfert has played jokes on just about everyone in the house. He drug out all of Mandy's underwear and strung it through the house. He was caught pulling Mike's darts out of the dart board and neatly placing them in my chair. He pulled my scarfs out of my dresser and drug them down the hall, put kitty snacks in Rob's boots, and tried to drag a philips screw driver away after we were working on a project in the living room. He doesn't do any of these things to be mean, just to play with us. I think he believes he is entertaining us humans.

As I write this, he is under my bed thumping against the headboard. What he is doing underthere, I have no idea. I'm afraid to look. The other two cats are in their beds sleeping and ignoring him. I suspect that they're also afraid to find out what Berfert is up to. He is a strange little (a little giggle here as Berfert weighs around 25 lbs), cat.


Editor's note:

Last Story Home Top Local Next
Top of