The Lion Sleeps Tonight

I am being completely serious when I say that everything Steve does is awesome. His newest thing is that every time he walks into the room he is in, instead of quietly slinking in, whenever he crosses the doorway, he lets out a big MEOW, and with his winter mane it’s like I have a lion stalking me in my house. The other thing he does that I love is every morning when I wake up, before the girls get up to potty, I call for him and he comes running and jumps up into bed and lets me pet him for ten to fifteen minutes.

At any rate, it’s really hard to be stressed out when you are in a bathrobe and slippers in a lazyboy, sipping hot chocolate, watching TDS with a dog on your lap and this snoring next to you on the couch:


I keep expecting to wake up in the morning and see a spider’s web above his head that says nothing but “Some Cat.”

*** Update ***

I will never get over the size of his paws and how he uses them like hands:


Just crazy. Not sure how I go bigger than Steve without adopting a bobcat.

44 replies
  1. 1
    fordpowers says:

    I’m still trying to figure out why in the actual fuck shaving a cat’s ass is a thing…?!?

    Aside from that horror, he seems like a really awesome lil mister

  2. 2
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    I keep expecting to wake up in the morning and see a spider’s web above his head that says nothing but “Some Cat.”

    Were you planning on using him slaughtering him for meat? Jesus, did the shelter know about this?


    I’m still trying to figure out why in the actual fuck shaving a cat’s ass is a thing…?!?

    Because Cole tried to do it.

  3. 3
    Violet says:

    Those look like aftermarket paws.

  4. 4
    Mj_Oregon says:

    He’s a beautiful boy, John. You are indeed blessed with a lion in kitteh clothing.

    It makes me smile when I see your Steve posts and I needed them these past few days as I had to let my tuxedo cat, Charley Fat Boy, go yesterday. He had either gastrointestinal lymphoma or long term chronic pancreatitis that finally overcame my efforts to keep in check. He once weighed 18 pounds but wasted away to about seven pounds over the course of the last year. He was in increasing pain and finally all my special food/vitamins/supplements fell short and he stopped eating. I’m lost without my kitchen shadow as he was always underfoot whenever he thought food might be available, which for him was whenever I walked anywhere near the kitchen.

    In time I’ll be able to remember him without tears, but tonight it’s weepy time again. In any case, thanks for the Steve photos. He’s a definite keeper!

  5. 5
    John Cole says:

    @fordpowers: Fer fuck’s sake, use your imagination. He’s a long haired cat with ginormous hairy pantaloons, and unpleasantness can form or stick to said pantaloons that quite simply can not be dealt with through the cat’s normal grooming process or through gentle brushing. More drastic measures need to be taken.

    I’m not some sadist who likes torturing animals, nor am I a masochist who enjoys watching my hand look like something from Hellraiser with cat claws pulling at my flesh instead of hooks, but I live in West Virginia and there are no cat groomers around here so I had to do it myself.

    I’m cool with multiple animals shedding and existing in my house. I’m cool with a smooth criminal predator like a cat with their furniture shredding claws living in my house. I’m ok with a 20lb killing machine shitting in a box in my house every day and am ok cleaning it once or twice a day.

    I am not, however, okay with a walking ball of dessicated shit (on good days, when it is dry) masquerading as my pet roaming around my house touching all my furniture, sitting on my carpet, or lounging in my bed. So I’m not some bug eyed crazy fucker from a Criminal Minds episode.

    I just wanted the shit off my cat’s ass because it was disgusting and distracting. My approach failed. I will rethink the process and proceed in the future.

  6. 6
    Emerald says:

    @Mj_Oregon: Oh no! It’s so hard to go through the decline of a beloved pet. I hope you’ll follow in John’s footsteps and consider adopting another kitteh very soon. You’ll never replace your Charley Fat Boy, but you may find another awesome cat that can help–just help–to take the edge off your grief. I did that and have never regretted it.

    And you can save another life! (Consider a Maine Coon, especially if it has thumbs.)

  7. 7
    Ash Can says:

    @Mj_Oregon: Aww. Condolences on your loss.

  8. 8
    piratedan says:

    @John Cole: I recommend grooming shears and soft kitty treats, yeah I’ve done dingleberry patrol in my day and I have a dedicated pair of clips for removing the lingering lumps of stinkiness from various and sundry hindquarters. If needs be, find an empty coffee table and a car washing towel to place him on to save your back.

  9. 9
    Yatsuno says:

    Proper authoritahs alerted. And now I’m on the hunt for my own Hemingway kitteh.

    Oh and Menendez is being investigated by the FBI. Seems those trips to the DR might not have been so much for pleasure.

  10. 10
    reality-based says:

    @John Cole:

    too ambitious. I understand the problem – but you have to sneak up on it/him.

    Get a pair of small sharp (straight) nail scissors. Put them on the table by your easy chair. For a week or so, when Steve jumps up in your lap, while you are petting him, pick up the scissors and cut off some air in his general direction, not actually touching the baby lion at all – so he gets used to the object and the sound.

    After he figures the scissor are no big deal, – and he’ll let you rub him with them – you are ready for Phase Two. Keep scissors – and a big roll of paper towels and a trash can – by the easy chair. Cut off one mat the first day – another two the second – etc.

    it took a couple of weeks, but that’s how I got my beloved half-Persian Cedric – gone these 10 years now, but still missed – to accept the necessary butt-grooming.

    and forget the razor. Not gonna happen, with beautiful Simba there.

  11. 11
    Violet says:

    @Mj_Oregon: So sorry for your loss.

  12. 12
    Violet says:

    @reality-based: This sounds like a good plan. You could also incorporate kitty treats with the air-cutting of the scissors so he associates the scissors and getting a treat. Positive association and reinforcement.

  13. 13
    Mnemosyne says:


    Because otherwise when a piece of shit sticks to the cat’s hind fur, he runs around the house like Mr. Hankey depositing bits of the shit on every piece of furniture he can reach.

    Ask me how I know. But I’m smart enough to have the vet shave my cat’s ass when he needs it.

  14. 14
    Suzanne says:

    @Mj_Oregon: Hugs to you. It sounds like you did the right and difficult thing to do.

    @John Cole: Let him get dingleberries on your end tables. Then maybe you’ll have another reason to get new ones.

  15. 15
    Fordpowers says:

    @John Cole: haha.. Woah. I can’t even begin to dissect that ball of neurosis as lol entertaining as it was…
    And I know you are a snuggly man who loves his babies something fierce..
    I’m just not a cat person, for all those reasons u just listed and more.
    Prissy little dogs are out too..
    And babies.
    Just not my thing..
    I relate it to my strong gag reflex… Ha.

  16. 16
    CaseyL says:

    @Mj_Oregon: Condolences for your loss.

    Cole’s wacky, suspenseful tale of kitty ass shaving indicates he only got three-quarters of the way through before Steve made a decent effort at turning Cole’s hands into meaty cole slaw. So the question preying on my mind has been: did the ass-shaving ever get completed??

  17. 17
    reality-based says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    how’s Wisconsin weather tonite? Here in NoDak, it was 25 below this morning – this evening, it suddenly warmed up to 18 above, and of course, a blizzard from nowhere, not predicted at all, sprang up.

    Which is why we have 22 basketball players, 12 cheerleaders, and four coaches/bus drivers/ chaperones camping out overnight in our HS gym – there were basketball games that started in the bitter cold sunshine at 4:30 and ended 4 hours later in a blizzard too bad to risk driving the kids 65 miles home.

    God, this winter is trying my patience. it’s either 30 below or blizzarding – ever since Thanksgiving!

    Hope Madison is warmer/calmer.

  18. 18
    YellowJournalism says:

    @John Cole: As someone who has had to a clip massive frozen clump from her dog’s butt in the middle of the night, I understand your reasons for due diligence.

    (And for you weirdos wondering why it was frozen, the dog tried to remove it by rubbing her butt in the snow, which made it so much worse.)

  19. 19
    Joel says:

    Reminds me of Solomon Linda.

  20. 20
    🎂 Martin says:

    @John Cole:

    I just wanted the shit off my cat’s ass because it was disgusting and distracting. My approach failed. I will rethink the process and proceed in the future.

    Pay the groomer.

  21. 21
    ruemara says:

    @Mj_Oregon: I’m so sorry. My deepest condolences.

  22. 22
    trollhattan says:

    @🎂 Martin:

    I have a plan. It involves tuna, a room fan, and one of those beepers trucks have for indicating reverse. And green balloons.

  23. 23
    Elie says:

    I totally enjoy your pics and stories about Steve — an amazing kitteh… I LOVE the size of his paws. My old boy Bill (who passed a couple of years ago at age 18), had big paws — though not as big as Steve’s. Bill would press them affectionately into my face and lips sometimes when I cuddled him in my lap on his back… he would knead my face and purr.

    I know what love is like and I recognize your growing love for Steve. Lucky Steve. Lucky YOU…

  24. 24
    Elie says:


    My thoughts are with you and I send you my sympathy and empathy on your loss..

  25. 25
    Karmus says:

    Bigger than Steve sounds like a great name for a band.

    You’ve probably been told this a bazillion times already, but my sister and her husband, who have a Steve-sized MC, did not attempt the ass-shave themselves. They engaged professional help. And Claudius is mild-mannered compared to Steve. Not that Steve is so eevol, but Claudius clearly escaped from an abusive situation (to appear at my sister’s, a/k/a Cat Heaven). When I visited, I could not pick up my guitar without him scampering for the shadows. Also, his tail was obviously once broken. Anyway, he’s sweet, but also shy.

  26. 26
  27. 27
    ruemara says:

    On the one hand, I’m so happy for your joy after the sorrow. And your photography has improved by leaps and bounds. On the other hand, your Steve is like my Takkun. Shut up. I’m jealous and missing my big furry, snuggly poly-kitty with the furry harem pants.

    Give Steve a tummy rub and smooch from me. Tell him to send them to Takkun and Kage. I know cats have transdimensional travel powers. How else would I find Takkun sitting in cupboard shelves that were shut or Kage in closets I know were empty when I shut them?

  28. 28
    kdaug says:

    @CaseyL: Interesting question.

    Is Steve walking around the house with a half-shaved ass?

    If so, do you go back in, or consider your lesson learned…?

    Life is complicated.

  29. 29
    asiangrrlMN says:

    Sir Willie Whiskerton III is fat and happy, just as it should be. He is king of the woooooooorld! Or at least of the Cole household.

  30. 30
    Yatsuno says:

    @asiangrrlMN: Hi hon. You’re welcome. :)

  31. 31
    RK says:

    Please watch this and maybe do a post about it. It’s absolutely gobsmacking and funny at the same time. It’s a host from the show Shark Tank being asked about the top 85 richest people in the world having more wealth than the lowest 3.5 billion. from The Young Turks on Youtube

  32. 32
    notorious JRT says:

    So sorry for you loss.

  33. 33
    sm*t cl*de says:

    lets me pet him for ten to fifteen minutes
    “Lets you”. OK.
    That’s some serious Stockholm Syndrome.

  34. 34
    Cermet says:

    For oversized paws try a St. Bernard … those paws are really just huge clubs; and yes, when they want attention they will hit you with the paw; these dogs are stronger than anything (dog wise) and love to play tough-of-war; that is really a challenge when they pull you – it is often you who get dragged.
    They also use their paws to hit with while playing and their claws (while not sharp like cat’s) are very aggressive – breed into them so they can climb icy hills – these claws can be dangerous if not carefully trimmed. While their teeth are the size of a small lion’s they are hyper careful with those and I’ve never suffered from any wound from those while playing (they do like to gab with the mouth when playing) …

  35. 35
    duhkaman says:

    Cole, I have been following your blog for years and sometimes comment as an exiled WVian, cat lover, etc. Anyway, you are a brave soul and are deepening and strengthening the karma by taking on your menagerie. Admiration and kudos aside, I have wanted to tell you for some time that we too have a Steve in our lives, named “Steve”, also a coon cat or something like that (our vet says he is coon cat + something maybe not domesticated), 18+ lbs., marking and coat just like your Steve (swear to buddha) and was acquired 2 years before your Steve. I have been trying to figure out out to link to some FB pictures of the beast, including one where his belly is covered in softball size snow sickle but I am a tech failure.

    Keep up the good work and good luck in your travels to CO. Have some Left Hand while you’re out there.

  36. 36
    Manyakitty says:

    @Mj_Oregon: I’m so sorry about your missing kitchen shadow. I’m late to the whole pet thing, but the five years since I got hooked up with mah kittehs have made me a true believer. You’ll find your next furry little monster when you’re ready,

  37. 37

    WV does not have a place that can give a cat a full Brazilian wax? What a 3rd world cesspool.

  38. 38
    bubba says:

    A few years back you posted a picture of my granddaughter dragging around one of my cats, big happy Ange, who was grand in size like Tunch.
    When you posted this picture I couldn’t help but forward this picture of my other cat, Sally. Maine Coon who runs the house as she sees fit.

  39. 39

    @John Cole: I had a similar problem with my fat orange kitteh last year. Have you tried giving his behind a bath? I generally use very dilute baby shampoo ( 1 part shampoo to 3 parts water). That gets rid of the said problem. I also trim her butt fur with scissors. You need to do this perhaps once every month. This is best done as a two person operation. May be you can ask a friend or your mom to help you.

    Is Steve’s poop is runny or is he in any distress when he goes to the litter box? You just want to make sure that there is no obstruction in his gut due to hairballs. This happens to my orange kitteh every winter and last year it was so acute that she had a health scare because of it.

    This year I have been giving her Laxatone twice a week and so far no problems, I haven’t even had to give her a bath and her undercarriage is clean as a whistle.

  40. 40
    C.V. Danes says:

    I’ve had dogs my whole life, so never considered myself much of a cat person until my Maine Coon can into my life.

    I might be biased, but Maine Coons are probably the most awesome of all the cat breeds :-)

  41. 41
    Elie says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    One note to add.. my cat bill started having very smelly and runny poop that would get better and then return. Turns out that he had feline inflammatory bowel disease (FIB). This is no joke and is a life threatening situation. Ultimately, Bill shed some of the lining of his intestines and we didn’t think that he would make it.. he was in the hospital for several days. He ultimately pulled through, but was never fully the same, though he gamely pushed on for another 4 years. It affected what he could eat and digest and I had to keep up with him elimination regularly.

    Anyway, John and others, be very careful if your cat exhibits chronic or intermittent smelly diarrhea that may get better temporarily then returns. Please have that checked out…

    That is all

  42. 42
    kc says:

    Great pics. Props to the photographer.

  43. 43
    kc says:


    Oh, so sorry!

  44. 44

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