To show his gratitude to his faithful friends, fans, and followers after his 100th blog post, feline tai chi master Kat Tai-Dai Mau has set aside a few hours to answer questions from readers. Some questions concern tai chi, obviously, while others are more personal. To break up the task, since the mail volume is so high, Tai is addressing the more personal questions first. Note that although he relies heavily on his human assistant, Allen, for routine clerical tasks that he is too busy to handle himself, he always answers mail personally. “Humans are useful up to a point,” he believes, “but you just never know what nonsense they might say.”
Q: Do you practice tai chi every day? A: Almost. Most days it is a full regimen, but once in a while I have an off day and just do some stretches and stuff.
Q: What about yoga and the gym–do you do that every day too? A: Oh, no, that would be too much–just a couple of times a week.
Q: Do you get along well with your human? A: Most of the time. He has some weird ideas about things, but he provides food and affection regularly and flushing the toilet for me when I want fresh water.
Q: What about other cats–and dogs! Do you get along with them. A: Depends on the cat. I love my friends, of course, J, and Rikki, and Belinda, but sometimes other cats can be kind of bitchy. (Note to friends: I did not mention any of you, bitches.) Most dogs are all right, but I don’t like aggressive ones that charge me or those little happy ones. (No offense to anyone, just being honest about my preferences.) Randy is a great friend, of course.
Q: What’s your favourite food? A: Hmmm….It’s so hard to narrow it down. I need lots of protein, of course, and I eat boring dry food when I’m hungry enough, but I love pretty much any fish or poultry. I supplement that with an occasional rodent, but I don’t eat much red meat. And as an occasional treat, I do love a lick or two or yoghurt or vanilla ice cream. Those are my guilty pleasures, I guess.
Q: Do you have to modify your regiment to cope with really hot summer days? A: Yes, I drink more water, try to get outdoors early in the morning and late in the evening (though my human won’t let me stay out all night for some reason), and take three hour naps between movements.
Q: What languages do you speak? A: Well, cat is my native language, obviously, and I also speak dog pretty fluently. I understand some English–I’ve had to learn because my human is hopeless at cat–but I don’t really speak it. Sometime my human speaks to me in what he calls Italian, but it sounds exactly like English to me. Humans just talk funny, I guess.
Q: Do you like to travel? A: OMG, no! I take short trips only when absolutely necessary, howling the whole time. If I ever have to take a long trip, I will have to be HEAVILY medicated.
Q: Are you religious, and if so, what religion do you practice? A: Not really. I am vaguely Buddhist, I suppose. There is, of course, a certain “spiritual” element to the practice of tai chi, but I shy away from that word because I don’t want to sound like a hipster. I’m more of a philosopher than a theologian, in any case.
Q: This is maybe too personal a question, but are you, you know…gay? A: Well, I do feel a certain attraction to other toms (somewhat more attracted to them than to queens–I use that term in the feline sense, not in the human one–humans, trees, flowers, bushes, dogs, raccoons, and inanimate objects anyway), but I have to admit that the whole neutering thing kind of lowers a boy’s sex drive.
T. Allen Culpepper