It has come to my attention that the verb “flex” has returned to popular parlance.
This pleases me — and at least 100 cats I know — immensely.
First, a brief history lesson:
1999: “You trying to flex on me? Don’t be silly.” – Will “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It“, “Yes This Was A Real Song,” “No I Swear I Am Not Making This Up” Smith*
2020: “You trying to flex on me? Don’t be silly.” – Anemone Rosenberg
Like the Freshest of Princes before her, our tabby-and-white princess does not suffer fools kindly. The arrogant, braggadocious, and bodacious-in-their-own-minds have little place in Anemone’s ocean.
This, of course, means that Anemone’s ocean has little place for cats.
Cats, as we are constantly reminded, live to flex on us. They flex their considerable muscles — or, more commonly, their incredible girth. Flexologist extraordinaire: Archer the Enormous. They are proud of their size, their lumps and rolls and gluttonous glory. They will lavish you with the largesse of their largeness if your lap is deemed worthy of being flattened like a crepe.
The dainty ones flex their delicacy. Flexographer of the realm: Denni. They love their littleness, even if it’s little-old-lady chicken-legged boniness, and they will mince and minuet and make merry for your admiring eyes all day long.
But if cats are proud of their physiques, their favorite stuff to show off is the inner splendor that knows no limits. If they are 10% body, cats are 90% soul, and they have soul for days (by which I mean millennia, by which I mean “the length of an average pandemic times five”). Flexician nonpareil: Rosita. This becomes especially urgent when your cuteness breaks all legal limits and barriers (Rosita has obtained special permission to run for President in 2020 despite being under 35, feline, and not from this planet). When people are tempted to focus on your physical fabulosity, you must remind them, early and often, that your essence is invisible, unstoppable, and at turns angelic and exuberant.
Even the so-called shy cats savor the chance to show off. What to make of their slinky, tube-wriggling, human-heckling hiding and streaking if not a grand game? They are always a little faster, a lot smarter, and infinitely more prone to flexing than even the finest human.
All of which means Anemone cannot stand any of them.
Equal parts precious, precocious and prone to make you explode with elation, tabby Anemone is no stranger to flexing on you. Quite naturally, she’ll show off her sweetness and her humor, her bottomless affection for affection and her superskills at assisting you with paperwork/miscellaneous work/the wonderful work of medicating/torturing lesser cats. She is energy and grace; she is poetry in stripes; she is a whirling mass of happiness.
She just wishes she could show you her stuff several continents away from all fellow felines.
To Anemone’s credit, all this resentment rarely erupts in violence. Much as she very (very, very) clearly wishes to whomp every cat in creation over the head, she resists the urge. No; Anemone chooses the classier yet show-offier route of flying head-first into the hallway. Why annihilate your irritating neighbors (“AND I COULD IF I WANTED TO!” – Anemone, who insisted I add that) when you can just as easily escape them?
Besides, there might be a forever home out there.
One that will stick this time.
Until our little anthozoan finds her lasting sea, we’re only too happy to brave her flexing. We know when we’re in the presence of a superior being; we’re lucky just to be here.
Now excuse us while we let the cats put us back in our place.
*It was real and IT WAS AWESOME. And, yes, I am 975 years old.