Nancy Simpson/The Madera Tribune
Here is Dennis, showing he is a cool cat during a National Night Out get together at the Simpson household.
Animals can be the heart of every home. Certainly, they can provide love and entertainment to families. As I promised in my last article, I will introduce you to the most “colorful” character in our home. By colorful, I do not mean he physically has color. In fact, he is a black and white tuxedo. This is the famous Dennis (the Menace) Simpson.
Dennis came to live in our home in December 2016 after one of our tuxedo cats, Rascal, died. Our other tuxedo cat, Scooter, needed another companion, so my husband, David, looked on Craig’s List and found this new tuxedo. Dennis was living in Pismo Beach at the time, but he was going to have to make other living arrangements because the person caring for him was moving into a new apartment and would not be able to have pets.
So, one Friday in December, David travelled from Madera to Pismo to get this cat. David was told about a couple of quirks the cat had. We would soon learn of a few more.
The trip back to Madera, with Dennis in the back seat in a cat carrier, was not a quiet trip. The cat was unhappy to be leaving with someone he did not know. When they got home, David let the cat out of the cage and into the house. A lot of hissing and other noises came from the foreign mouth of this feline. The cat then found his place under the bed of our guest room, and there he stayed.
When I got home from work that Friday evening, I was told where the new cat was, and I went into the guest room for a visit. I never saw a cat that evening. All I heard was a bunch of hissing and some noises that sounded more like a grizzly bear than a cat. It was a ferocious sound. I decided to leave him alone that evening.
The next morning, I decided to ignore the cat and let him get comfortable with us. I retreated to my office at home, but when I went into that room, I heard those same noises coming from under the futon bed in THAT room. Never saw a cat that day, either.
The third day, which was Sunday morning, I got up to find all the cabinets in our kitchen were opened. I began making coffee, and this skinny black and white cat began rubbing against my legs. Finally, we were friends.
Dennis didn’t take long before he found he could easily run our household. We refer to Dennis as “The Inspector” because everything we bring into our home has to be inspected, and he is the guy who will do it. He opens cabinets, but won’t close them. He tries to open doors, but can’t quite get the doorknobs to turn. He gnaws on plastic bags, but only for the “teeth mark effects.” He wipes his face on the dish towels I have hanging from my oven door. He burrows like a gopher under blankets. He looks up to find a high place where he can go, and we often find him on our very high plant shelf.
Dennis looks more like a priest than a tuxedo, but I can assure you that he is neither pious nor angelic. He is, however, our guy and we love him.
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“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
— Jeremiah 29:11