I live with two cats and a lesbian. Occasionally, I feel like yet another cat - this is generally around the times that my roommate thinks she's turning into The Cat Lady, so it works.

To truly understand how fitting this is, you need to understand my cats. Some of you have met my cats. A few of you (not tellin'; I'm a gentleman) have been slept on by them. For the uninitiated - my cats are extremely fucked up. I know that everybody with cats thinks that theirs are fucked up the same way that nobody ever thinks 'holy christ, that's an ugly baby' (never says it, anyway) but trust me: my cats are truly, honestly, fucked up.

Kitten (his name is kitten. It's a long and boring story) is huge, muscular and sleek. He looks like an alley cat but the softest, cleanest, whitest alley cat you've ever met, white that is except for his tail, his ears, and an irregular brown splotch on his back - those're tiger-striped, and he sheds like a vacuum cleaner filter.

Got the image? Now. Imagine this huge, soft, muscular cat, curled up into a tight little ball and sucking on his tail. He does that every night without fail and he refuses to sleep without it - I've tried to stop him and he gamely avoids my outstretched hand, twists around and ends up curled up into a little ball and sucking on his tail while cleverly pinning my hand to the bed. Imagine the cuteness of a non-ugly baby sucking on its thumb, but in cat form. It's unbearably sweet. And loud. And fur flies everywhere as he kneads on his huge, wet, occasionally unwieldy tail. Oh, and he talks. I swear he sounds like a dude. In particular, he sounds like a dude walkin' down Sixth Street in the East Village and trying to get people to notice him by either a. singing something loud and familiar ('I Wanna Be Sedated' seems to fit the scene) or b. talkin' on his cell phone that on close inspection isn't on, and on even closer inspection is made out of licorice. Exactly like that.

Cooper is a tigerkitty with a white belly and paws. But I think someone (ok, I) might've dropped him on his head as a kitten because he's a little...off. He has no sense of balance. He climbs to the highest point in the apartment and can't get down without breaking something. He never learns from his mistakes, repeatedly trying to jump up into my lap and hitting his head on the keyboard tray every single time. You can bend him, twist him, hold him by this shoulders, dangle him by his back feet or smother him and he doesn't squirm and he doesn't complain. He just takes it - know how you can tell he's pissed off? He's not purring. That's it.

He also tends to hang out under the drippy faucet in the tub and come out an hour later, practically screaming "Lookit me! I'm WET! Isn't it AWESOME? LOOOOOOVE ME!!!!" while trying to soak you with runoff in the process.

The point is, every once in awhile my roommate turns into the lady with the cats, and I turn into a cat. I sleep all day, get restless and feisty and insist on sitting by the window while she chases the other cats around with a broom, sweeping them out of her way and muttering to herself. When I'm like that, the real cats avoid the hell out of me until it's time to pile. And then, and only then, it's ok.

Ok, so maybe everybody's cats really are fucked up.