I think of Oscar as my lesbian cat. Not because he is a lesbian. In spite of the neutering he is definitely male, and as far as I can tell he is not sexually attracted to anyone, feline or otherwise, male or female.
No, the reason I think of Oscar as a lesbian cat is because I got him soon after I came out, and he’s a key part of my lezzie history, especially my relationships.
A few weeks ago, he almost died, and it made me do a bit of a nostalgic review of our 14 years together.
Remember in the early ’90s there were a ton of dykes named Jen? Anyway, one of them was moving to Toronto and didn’t want to bring her tiny orange kitten with her. He was also driving everyone in the house a little mental, what with his climbing up the curtains and clawing at people’s eyelashes when they were trying to sleep. After Oscar climbed all the way from my foot to my shoulder with his needly little claws I decided I wanted him.
Oscar was still a kitten when I started dating a waitress from the Lotus. She would come over in the middle of the night after she got off work and we would have sex and then she’d play with Oscar, who had turned his back in disgust during the sex part.
After the waitress and I broke up, Oscar watched me shave my head and played with the curls that fell on the floor. This was part of my brief attempt at being butch, and he was the only one who never scoffed at my efforts.
A couple of months later I got together with my first and only femme girlfriend, this lovely voluptuous musician who looked a bit like Wonder Woman. She called Oscar “Scrama,” short for Oscarama.
When we went for walks at night, Oscar would play a game we called Night Tiger, which involved him hiding in the trees near my house and jumping out at us, pretending to be a scary jungle cat.
When Wonder Woman dumped me, Oscar purred patiently while I sobbed into my pillow about how no one would ever love me again. He remained completely non-judgemental when I had a misguided rebound affair with this weird skinny super-political non-kinky woman. (How dare you suggest he was actually just indifferent?)
The lesbian drama got most intense for Oscar with my next girlfriend. Not because we fell in love on our second date and then she cheated on me and then I had a nervous breakdown and we broke up and got back together and broke up again. No, Oscar didn’t care about all that.
He liked her because she called him Charles —he does love a creative nickname —and because she brought him presents.
The drama for him resulted from the girlfriend’s extreme cat allergies, and the fact that I was always vacuuming and mopping and then grabbing him and brushing out as much fur as I could.
After four years of living on our own, Oscar and I moved in with my friend and her cat Bunny. Bunny was a submissive black cat with a large bare patch on his back from chewing on himself.
His owner sometimes pretended his name was Buddy, since she was cultivating her butchness and “Bunny” was a little too fey.
Oscar got along fine with Bunny, but after he moved out, Oscar was forced to live with a series of horrid dominant cats whose lesbian owners (incidentally, all butches) were overly tolerant of their bad behaviour.
There was Kermy, who hissed violently at him and then chased him, with her sister as her accomplice. Then there was Mendoza, who tormented Oscar so constantly that he retreated to the top of the refrigerator for most of the six months that Mendoza and his small neurotic owner lived with us.
Oscar’s last cat roommate was Sugar, who hated Oscar with a passion, and showed her hatred by peeing on my things. Oscar retaliated in kind, and my friendship with Sugar’s owner (a great big butch who I tried hard not to have a crush on) was quite strained by incidents such as Oscar peeing all over her power tools.
Oscar and Sugar both took pleasure in peeing down the hot air vent, so that the cat pee smell was released every time we turned the furnace on.
You might be surprised —and you should be impressed —by the fact that in spite of the corrosive odour of cat urine wafting through my apartment, I managed to snag and retain a girlfriend. Though it did take her five years to let me and Oscar move in with her.
She is a Taurus, and moves through life much less impulsively than I do, so it was not out of character for her to wait so long. But
I have to say that one of her main worries was that Oscar would pee on her stuff. You know how materialistic Tauruses are.
Plus she has this sort of faggy affection for nice interior décor.
It was hard for me not to be insulted by her fears about Oscar, especially since I was more worried about her gigantic Doberman eating him. But miraculously, Oscar completely stopped all inappropriate peeing as soon as we moved in, and even managed to make friends with the dog.
So there you have it, a run-down of Oscar’s lesbian history. Just in case you are wondering, he is healing nicely from his life-threatening abscess, thanks to expensive medications, subcutaneous fluid injections every three days and hand feeding of extra-smelly, vet-prescribed canned food.
I, on the other hand, have even less of a social life than usual, due to the inordinate amount of time I spend nursing the cat. Ah well. At least I have a girlfriend already, since there is no way I’d have any time to look for one now.