Most regular readers probably know of Baihu, the beloved cat of trumpeter Ben Goren, who also loves to discuss the protruding intestines of the crucified Savior. Ben entered Baihu into the Awesome Kitteh Contest (the entry is also available as an illustrated pdf here):
It ain’t easy living with a god.
Baihu, the White Tiger of the West, Protector of Emperors, came to me a few years ago. There being no Emperors of Peace at the moment for him to protect, he apparently decided to spend a vacation life in the American Southwest, of all places. For reasons I’m still trying to fathom, he decided to spend it with me.
It did take a bit for him to make the final decision to move in; it seems we both needed some convincing. Naturally, he wasn’t entirely sure I’d be up to the task of providing him with the level of service he’s accustomed to…and I wasn’t exactly certain that I wanted the job, to be honest. Nevertheless, over a period of weeks, the matter became settled. One autumn (of course!) evening, I invited him in. He accepted, and we’ve been inseparable ever since.
It’s hard work. The scars are the most obvious, of course. I like to explain that my hands are merely his favorite toys for his favorite game of patty-cake, but the fact is that neither of us knows when an Emperor might need protecting. We have no choice but to keep his skills — and his claws — perpetually at their sharpest. And then there’s the constant demands for massages and belly rubs; pleasant, I’ll admit, but quite time-consuming nonetheless.
Still, I wouldn’t give it up for all the tea in China. Walking around with a god resting on (and clawing) your shoulders…it’s hard standing tall with such a burden, but somehow I’ve never managed to stand taller.