Late Friday night, I woke up to the sound of a loud crash coming from the kitchen. I sat bolt-upright in bed, and, for a split-second, I thought it was burglars. But then I realized what it was, and I rushed into the kitchen. Sure enough, my porcelain Oriental vase had been knocked off the kitchen table and smashed into pieces on the floor! It didn't take long to follow the trail of flowers and water to find the culprit: my kitty Arthur, who was lapping up the water, as nonchalant as could be!

I felt like bawling! That vase was my favorite! It had cherry blossoms and a little bluebird on it, which may not seem all that special to you, but it brightened my weekday mornings, when I would have to drag myself out of bed to go to my temp job at the insurance agency.

I was so furious that I grabbed Arthur and yelled, 'Arthur Teasdale! No!' at the top of my lungs. He scooted off into the basement with his tail down. I couldn't believe the nerve of that little critter!

The next morning, I told hubby Rick what had happened and how frustrated I was with Arthur. (Just the week before, he had broken an expensive blown-glass swan I had bought at RomantiCon '96!) "If you don't like him, send him to the pound," Rick growled. I should've known he'd say something insensitive like that! Rick has had in for my two kitties (the other one is Priscilla, and she's an angel) for years. Rick's wanted to get a rottweiler or some other hunting dog for a long time, but our landlord doesn't allow dogs. There's no way I'd let him get one, anyway, what with the two kitties in the house.

Rick doesn't think it's manly to have kitties, and he's always reluctant to have his buddies from the tire center over because he's afraid they'll call him a sissy or another bad word I refuse to repeat. Personally, I don't think there's anything unmanly about owning kitties: I know a lot of sensitive, caring men who have them. (But try telling that to Rick!)

Anyhow, I couldn't stay mad at Arthur for very long, because just a few minutes after Rick left for work, I walked into the living room and saw the funniest thing ever: Arthur had discovered that my glass suncatcher was casting sunlight on the living-room floor, and, thinking that the moving flashes of sunlight were mice or something, he started pouncing on them! It was so precious! I was laughing so hard, I forgot all about how he had just broken my favorite vase! How could I possibly consider getting rid of this adorable little fellow?

Actually, I guess I shouldn't say "little," because he weighs nearly 16 pounds, which is huge for a kitty! (Priscilla isn't quite as bad at 12 pounds, but that's still pretty fat!) I think Arthur's so big because our apartment is small and he doesn't get much exercise. There's also the fact that he eats like a pig! The vet told me I should stop feeding my kitties leftover beef stew and vanilla pudding along with their cat food because it's unhealthy for them, and I did stop for a while, but they refused to eat their regular cat food, so I gave in. Those flabby tabbies sure are spoiled! (In fact, Arthur is probably the only cat besides Garfield that actually eats lasagna!)

But Arthur and Priscilla are definitely part of the family. (Maybe it's because Rick and I still don't have any children.) It's like they're my surrogate kids, except they don't need their diapers changed, and they don't go to school!

But everything about them is so precious! I love the way their whiskers stick out of their faces, the way they chase their tails, and how they curl up into little balls when they sleep. (Hubby Rick suggested that I add "the way they lick their butts" to the list. Leave it to him to think of something dirty like that!)

And they're best buddies, too! I once read somewhere that it's really unusual for kitties to get along well with one another, but these guys are like two peas in a pod! (I swear, one of these days I'm finally going to send that adorable photo I took of them sleeping together to Cat Fancy.)

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you about this hilarious thing Priscilla did last week! I was taking a nap after getting home from work, and I woke up a couple of hours later with my head all sweating. I felt like I had a fever and thought to myself, "Oh, no, don't tell me I have the flu!" But the strange thing was, I didn't feel sick, just really warm. Then, when I tried to move my head, I felt something soft against it and heard a noise that was like a muffled motor. Sure enough, it was Priscilla, sharing my pillow with me, purring like crazy! She must have thought my head was Arthur! It was just too funny!

I swear, I could go on forever about my spoiled little babies! I should write a book about them. In fact, maybe I will someday, after I finish my best-selling romance novel. I haven't begun writing it yet, but I have this really good idea for one!