From my Examiner.com article:
This is my first humor commentary about cats and, naturally, it is based on the misadventures of one of my own furry hellions. For this inaugural piece, we explore the battle that was Max versus The Ball Thief.
Max, short for Maximus, is a three-year-old male tuxedo my wife and son rescued from being given up to the SCPA. At the time, we thought Max was a girl, and we consequently named the kitty “Hope.” After several months of suspecting this little sweetie was not a girl, my wife performed a highly sophisticated, scientific inspection whereby she flipped the cat over and examined its nether regions for protruding items that were not embedded or otherwise acquired through non-natural means. After a moment of reflection in which the kitten licked itself and something became highly visible, it was easily determined that “Hope” was gone and “Maximus” had arrived.