I have a cat – the name’s S.A.L., or “Sally” (a male) – S.A.L., for “Sweetness And Light” (for moral integrity and “the prevailing” intellectual power – prevailing name – because he has none and certainly isn’t). Gotta find another name for the cat. Maybe Elmer Gantry. He’s a sly devil – even conning me sometimes into thinking that he’s a lot smarter than I know he is. He’s of the age to begin loading and toting those ponderous bags of wild oats and is working out and getting in shape to portray the fierce warrior-harem warden he visualizes himself to be. If persistance in delusion is a virtue, he will survive. Invariably, each morning of his return – he sports new evidence of gutsy determination – the mouse on the left eye, the mouse on the right eye, missing feathers, the clean-shaven tail (God, who knows?), the split lip, missing hunks of triceps, the Capone nose – freshly adew…. the thoughtlessly sliced Pinocchio, and the truly and always enigmatic tire track straight down his back – Pinocchio to past tense. A friend of a friend told me he was a nice cat. I told her how he kicked a mugger’s ass. She wanted to know if he got around okay. I told her how he patrols the yard and warns me when the neighborhood winds are on a rampage. She asked why he had a wooden leg. She wasn’t impressed when I showed her the portrait he had done of and for me. “Yes, but why does he have a wooden leg?” I told her how he had saved a life by snatching a climbing child from a beanstalk. She got ugly and demanded to know why he had a wooden leg. So, I told her. – “If you had this cat – of obvious courage, rigid loyalty, and unsurpassed intellect – you wouldn’t eat him all at once either.” Did I really do that? I guess it just kinda sneaked in there. Anyway, we have an understanding. He’s ok – I’m ok… everything’s ok – if he doesn’t piss on me or “mine”, I don’t rain on his parade. That’s the long short course on my cat. Gees – what a cat!
From page 2, section 2 of dad’s letter. This section dated July 1st, 1989.