CHAOSTOCOSMOS

Friday, 1 July 2005

Bad Cattitude

There are very few creatures on this earth that I can't get along with or can say I dislike - except the type that slither and crawl and, then it's generally the ones who do so on two legs that bother me most.

Cats usually present me no problems whatsoever.

Normally, I find it easy to build a rapport with them. (Maybe this is because we share similar tastes for leisure and moral outlooks?) In any case, enough of them have chosen to live with me over the years.

We also get frequent visitors because there are a lot of wild cats around. Even those who could claim to have a semblance of a home are treated like farm cats, not pets. They probably don't get meals (expected to go self-catering) and are certainly never allowed in houses.

Most of them will humbly request a meal here and I am happy to oblige, provided that their presence does not cause any anguish for my own cats nor cause any undue noise about which the neighbours could complain.

I am amazed actually that my cats are generally very laid-back about the majority of callers. I even suspect them of encouraging one or two.

But there's always got to be one who has to "prove the rule" though, isn't there?

We have a "stripy tiger" (tabby) hanging around at the moment, causing mayhem, with much wailing and gnashing of teeth. I only have to let my poor cats out for a moment and he's there, ready to ambush them.

Yes, I'm sure my cats could hold their own, but why should they? They are normally very tranquil, but this is keeping them on a state of alert and even causing them to have little arguments amongst themselves.

And, if it's all the same, I'd rather avoid the vet's bills, thank you.

This cat is exceedingly pushy and filled with bad cattitude. I doubt he belongs anywhere. That should make me want to love him, but I just cannot find a way. I can't seem to find the way to get rid of him either!

On Wednesday, he'd got himself between Mico - my eldest and therefore "man of the house" - and the back entrance. Mico is a big cat, but he's always been laid-back (as you can see) and a gentle giant.

He's more cut out for minding kittens than taking off his jacket to give someone a thump, but that would never make him hesitate in trying to do his duty ... and he promptly got a bloodied ear for his trouble.

There was noisy caterwauling and that sparked the dog off barking ...

The easiest way to put an end to that was to take the dog out with me to sort it out. And, do you know, even with 55 lbs of Rabid-Rottweiller bearing down on him (well she was loud and, he's not to know she's a big *pussy cat* really), not to mention an angry human ... that tabby was still in no particular hurry to depart. The cheek of the boy!

Poor old Mico was rooted to the spot, paralysed with fear.

Eventually, I got him to come to me and off we went to the bathroom to dab iodine on his ear. Come to think of it, that probably caused him the most angst. "Oh no, not that stinging yellow stuff again!"

Anyway, while I was applying the TLC, we had a little chat, as you do.

(I mean, as you do if you're at least half mad, and I plead guilty.)

Of course I hugged him and told him I was proud of him for being a very brave man, but I also said he didn't have to be a hero nor prove anything to anyone. (I could tell you so many stories that would show he's already proven it, over and over, anyway.) Then I told him that all he needed to do was to come indoors and let "mummy" deal with it.

Yeah, yeah, I know what you're thinking, this woman has finally cracked. That is not a point upon which I am willing to argue, because I'd lose.

The point is that in order to get across tone and intent to a cat (which I am certain they do understand), it helps if you use the actual words.

So, what happens Thursday morning?

Balu was sitting on the windowsill behind me and suddenly growled, loudly. I knew that meant our unwelcome visitor was around. A second later, who do you think walked through the door and into my office?

Yup, Mico. You have to smile. Did he learn English?
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