Every day my son brings home a new book from his school’s “media center” (that is a “library” for everyone over 30). In the fall he worked his way through the school’s nature books, bringing home those classics that all mothers love, such as “Worms Up Close,” “Tarantula Scientist,” and “Parasites Picture Book.” Then, thanks to some street smart little third grader, he discovered the Captain Underpants books and learned dozens of offensive names for old people and body functions.
That is a cat in a police uniform.
I could hardly control my laughter when we read the story before bed. I don’t know if it was the visual of the dressed up cat, or that the cat’s name is Noodles, or that my kids seemed to believe every word of the book – it was just too much for me. Did I mention that Noodles can open doors?
The only time I have ever seen a cat make that expression is right before realizing that it had a piece of Christmas tinsel hanging out of its butt. Not that that ever happened in my house.
Of course, Police Cat is about a wily cat that hangs out at the police station, chasing rats and napping, and who somehow saves a family from a fire and then stands around meowing arrogantly while a bastard German shepherd takes all the credit. Then the cat steals the dog’s breath and kills him in his sleep. NO, no, Noodles ends up getting the credit he deserves, and is rewarded with a “Hero-of-the-City Award” and an ill fitting uniform, complete with a tiny cat-sized hat that seems to have holes for his little cat ears.
After we finished reading the book, my daughter reminded me of a story I told her once that can’t possibly be true. I told her about the time that I dressed up my fat, mangy cat Duchess in doll clothes and a bonnet, and put her in my frilly old-fashioned doll carriage – and then pranced down the street with her to take her to my kindergarten class for show and tell. There is no way that happened, right? I mean, I did actually have parents. But I have extremely vivid memories of this. I also remember a mass of kids following along behind me and feeling a little bit like a movie star with my fancy carriage-riding cat. I may have just pinpointed where my obsession with celebrities started.
Anyhow, at the end of Police Cat, Noodles’ new police hat goes flying out the window while he is chasing bad guys in a police car. And Noodles decided he didn’t care because, I don’t know, he’s a big deal now or something. Well, I lost a little respect for Noodles right then. All I could think about is how mad I would be if I had spent hours crafting a tiny police hat for a cat (you can’t just buy those at a store), and then the ungrateful a-hole just loses it like an hour after he put it on his little cat head. Which is why I do not make clothes for cats.
I can’t wait to see what is in my son’s backpack tomorrow afternoon. Sloth Firefighter, perhaps, or Dolphin Mail Carrier? Or maybe Hamster Hooker? I know, hookers don’t really wear uniforms, so that’s probably not even a book. But maybe Police Cat busts a Hamster Hooker in a follow-up.
A girl can dream. And frankly, anything is an improvement over that parasite picture book.