Bubba was always a chatty cat, but sometimes his dialogue took on an annoying, demanding tone. It's hard to spell, but if you can imagine a pint-sized lion's roar, it goes something like mraaarw! and was often accompanied by a paw to the nose. The latter was applied gently at first if the recipient is sleeping, but with increased emphasis, eventually with one claw unsheathed, until the human slave awakens. Upon a successful eviction from bed, Bubba would trot ahead of his slave, occasionally throwing another mraaarw! over his shoulder. His goal was the utility room and once there, he expected his kitty-whipped slave to lift him to the top of the clothes dryer (where he always dined), to refill his food dish, and to pet and praise him while he eats. Don't even try a couple of pats and a quick exit; you'd be rewarded with a sharp left hook to the arm, delivered with surgical precision. This cat had eyes in the back of his head and claws like scalpels.
One day, my son, Lance, stormed into my office with Bubba in hot pursuit, mraaarwing all the way. "What does this blankety-blank cat want?" he demanded. "I've petted him, brushed him, and gave him food, but he wouldn't eat it. He won't shut up!"
When he admitted that the food was on the floor instead of the dryer, I explained in detail exactly what Bubba wanted. Lance trudged down the stairs, mumbling, with Bubba following closely behind. I waited at the railing of our loft and listened. Sure enough, I soon heard food rattling in the dish and then blessed silence.
I can't stand to see a grown man cry.