When I was a teenager, my great-grandmother had developed Alzheimer’s. She came from money — beer money, literally; her family owned the Keer-Gruber (no relation to John) brewery in Newark, NJ in the 1800s — and, when she was young, her family had a chauffeur.

So, in her later years, after a Tom Collins or two and some time spent watching Tom and Jerry cartoons, and trying to pet — and getting bit by — Max or Black, the housecats — she would eventually turn to me and ask, “James, would you bring the car around?”

I’m not sure how I replied. I probably said, “Sure.”

(The chauffeur’s name was James, yes.)

Max the cat was named for Maxwell Smart, naturally.