He goes by many names: Oliver (his legal name); Sweet Boy; Hunny Boy; Stinky; and Don Gatto. To the rest of the world, he is my cat. In reality, I am his human. He allows me to live in his apartment, where my job is to feed him, play with him, buy him things and give him the adoration he believes is rightfully his. In return, he greets me at the window when I come home from work, pesters me unmercifully when he wants attention (especially when I am working at the computer) and sometimes sleeps at the foot of my bed at night. One of the ways he shows his love for me is by nudging me with his nose, leaving little dots of cat snot on my hand. He also purrs a lot, and he likes the way I stroke his chin.
He’s a brown and black tabby, and kind of a handsome little guy in his way, although he always looks just a little bit rumpled. That is part of his considerable charm, though. He knows he’s a charmer, and makes the most of it. Looking cute is one of his specialties. So is “talking.” He must have inherited some Siamese genes from a distant ancestor, because he is always making little kitty noises at me. His vocabulary is fairly limited, but he is a chatterbox, especially when he thinks it is feeding time.
Speaking of feeding time, Oliver has been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, and he has to be medicated twice a day with a liquid drawn into a syringe. I am hopelessly inept at shoving medicine down the throat of a reluctant cat. The only way to get the stuff into Oliver is to put it into food that he can’t resist. Fortunately for me, he is a glutton. So twice a day he gets a couple of spoonfuls of Science Diet canned cat food, garnished with medicine. Of course, he has come to expect this. If, in his opinion, I am late giving it to him, he starts a campaign of loud vocal reminders. If he doesn’t get the requisite attention that way, he will scratch my favorite armchair. He has learned that he will get my immediate attention that way, although not necessarily the kind of attention he wants.
He usually walks around the apartment with his tail pointing straight up into the air. He knows he is the master of all he surveys.
He is totally spoiled. I have only myself to blame for this. I can’t help it, though. He’s just so damned cute. Maybe there is a support group somewhere for humans living with spoiled rotten cats.
This is where “Don Gatto” comes in. Oliver was given that nickname because of his poorly disguised attempts to be a food thief. I don’t dare leave any of my food anywhere where he can get at it when I am not looking. I have learned to be proactive in protecting my dinner.
He once perched on top of my friend Michelle’s head when she was visiting us. She was lying down on the couch at the time. Apparently, Oliver thought her head would make a nice pillow, and made himself comfortable. Michelle loves animals and loves him, so she thought it was cute and funny. He has never perched on my head, but he has been known to more or less pin my feet down when sharing the bed with me.
Can you tell I love him? It’s obvious, right? Well, I look forward to seeing his little face in the window when I come home from work at night, and having him greet me at the kitchen door. Even if I have had a bad day, seeing him makes everything better.
He’s glad to see me, too. He tells me so, with lots of meows and kitty snot on my hands.
 This nickname was given to him by my friend Michelle, who often visits us.
 I gave him that one.