A reader wrote, apropos of this posting about an alleged quote of mine, to reassure me that I really did say what the Web says I said. The quote, he gleefully informed me, came from a review of The Cat Who Went to Paris and Particularly Cats…and Rufus published in the Washington Post in 1991. It appeared in the first paragraph:
“This broadcast,” Harry Reasoner once said at the beginning of a television show called “Essay on Women,” “was prepared by men, and makes no claim to being fair. Prejudice has saved us a great deal of time in preparation.” Perhaps I should start with a similar disclaimer: This review was written by the owner of an 11-year-old cat named Blossom. Not surprisingly, I have strong opinions about cats. Some are favorable, others merely resigned. I love Blossom, but I also know the limits of our relationship. He does what he wants, and I do what he wants. Most cat owners are like that. They understand that life with a cat is in certain ways a one-sided proposition. Cats are not educable; humans are. Moreover, cats know this. If you’re not willing to humor them, you might as well stick to dogs.
Blossom died in my arms several years ago, but I still remember him (yes, he was a him) with slightly exasperated affection. A framed picture of him shares one of my bookshelves with the selected works of Willa Cather, Raymond Chandler, John P. Marquand, and Tom Wolfe—a place of honor, in other words. He was a good cat except when he wasn’t, I loved him very much, and I’m glad to have occasion to mention him in this space.