ylvester Cat, a List

Among the lavish supply of kittens that graced our manse were three whom my father immediately recognized as having learning potential. In his quaint way he named the white kitten Othello, the black kitten, Desdemona, and the odd kitten--a tortois-shell roan--Iago. Iago later had kittens, sired by Desdemona. Othello couldn’t have had less interest in the whole matter, at least at that time, and was content with the ménage à trois just as it was. He became a wonderful kitten-sitter too, whenever the others were out rousting.

Just as Johnson, our intern cat of my early childhood, taught me that only in differences can we determine individual personality (Johnson swam in the ocean and relished grapefruit over all foodstuffs), so Othello, the seemingly content and most domesticated of cats vividly demonstrated once again that you simply cannot trust appearances. Othello was the only cat I ever knew to discover sex, consummate a lifetime of sexual experience, and reject sex all in one memorable night. Just what triggered his sudden and frantic devotion to this new hobby is hard to establish.

But the love bug that mysteriously struck Othello that night changed everything. He came out of his docile nap with an unbelievably evil yell and tore furiously around the perimeter of his hooked rug with the keening roar of Ferrari-like gear changes, until centrifugal force shot him like a comet through a set of French windows, fortunately open to the summer night. Across the porch he flung himself, through an arbor of Cecil Bruner roses, then, wearing a small but stylish bonnet of tiny pink roses, he careened off in a wild and gallant effort to seduce the world.

Sylvester appears in:

  • Scaredy Cat
  • Scarlet Pumpernickel, The
  • Claws for Alarm
  • Jumpin' Jupiter