American Shorthair

Overall satisfaction


Acquired: Other (stray, given cat by friend etc.)

Gender: N/A





Friendly with owners


Good with dogs




Appropriate vocalization






Easy to groom


Need for attention


A Literary Cat, a Little Stuck Up


United States

Posted Apr 05, 2015

Momo is an American short-hair with an attitude and too many toes. Some people would call him a Hemingway Cat. And like that Venerated writer, he has some emotional problems.

Lots of people will tell you this is just a cat thing. They would probably be right. Cats are emotional creatures, as likely to give you cuddles as bite your fingers. You can’t read them all the time. If you want a pet that’s easy to read, get a fish. Better yet, don’t get a pet. Part of the joy of having a pet is learning to empathize with another creature, and part of empathizing is trying to anticipate the unanticipated.

If you think you’re up for that, a cat might be a good fit for you. So let me tell you a little bit more about Momo.

Momo was actually a graduation present for me. He wasn’t a gift in the traditional sense. I got him while shopping for my graduation dinner right after receiving my BA in Japanese literature and translation. He was a tiny ball of black fur with giant feet and I couldn't resist picking him up. I was dressed in a shaggy green sweater and he couldn't resist digging his claws in. We were a match made in heaven.

Over the next few days a raging debate took place in our household: Should we name our new addition Genji, after the whiny prince of literary antiquity who I thought our beloved little boy resembled, or Momo, for a fuzzy peach because that’s what you name a black cat…or something. I lost.
It has long been established that I lost in error.

Momo, like many cats you may come to know and love, is the noisiest, most insistent, most demanding, neediest, whiniest, brattiest, jerkiest, jerk, jerk, jerk you could ever meet. He will lay on your lap and growl at you when you move. He will steal food off your plate from under your nose *while glaring at you.* He will hiss hat you when you look at him because he can. And he will Yowl. God, he will yowl. You have never heard a cat yowl like this cat can yowl.

And you have never been given such soft, sweet hugs, either.

Like a lot of cats, he will break your stuff. He will do it because he’s spiteful. Like Genji, he’s an entitled brat. He thinks the world owes him something, and he’s mad because he didn’t get exactly what he wanted that *one* time. But like Genji, he’s all to ready to love, to give his heart away and love completely and totally. To curl up by the fire and kiss your cheek. To cuddle under the blanket on a snowy night.

It’s hard to weigh the pros against the cons. You can’t balance these things out like coins on a scale. Pet ownership isn’t like that. Momo has cost us a lot of money. He has health problems; male cats often do. He has to eas special food, and he has to visit the vet frequently. He’s a jerk. He sooths me when I feel like the whole world has abandoned me. How can you weigh those things against each other?

But you should consider them carefully, because they are going to weigh heavily sometimes, and this little jerk is going to be with you from the time he is a sweet little ball of fur clinging to your ugly sweater to the time he is a grumpy old geezer hissing at you for no reason at all. He is going to be your family for a long time, so choose him wisely.

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