I used to have a cat named Richard. Richard was insane.
No, really, he was insane.
I had to leave him at the vet overnight for blood work. I warned the vet technician, “He’s a bit difficult to deal with.” She poo-poo’d me. Everyone thinks their cat is a special wild snowflake. Back up and let the professionals deal with your “wild” cat.
Ok then. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.
The next time I dropped him off for blood work the receptionist called out the alarm to the rest of the staff, “It’s Richard! Richard is here!” The vet technician appeared, face intent and focused, wearing heavy leather gloves that went up to her elbow. She stuck a piece of masking tape that read “DANGER!” on Richard’s carrying case.
Respect. That’s the word for it. They finally showed some Respect.
When we’d go away on vacation we tried to hire young adventurers to feed Richard: you know, people who juggle balls of fire or bungee jump. They all turned us down. Too risky. My mother-in-law was forced to feed him. She would arrive armed with a cookie baking sheet as a shield against the hissing, puffed up Richard. You’d think he’d be grateful for the food but if there was ever an animal to bite the hand that feeds it, it was Richard.
One day my dad visited and had let down his guard. Big mistake. He walked through our narrow hallway within cat-arm’s length of Richard’s claws. Richard was immediately affronted and quick as a viper, slapped my dad’s leg as he walked by. My dad was wearing jeans but Richard’s swipe was strong enough to draw blood through the jeans.
And let me tell you something. There are people who like cats and then there are Cat People. Here’s the difference between people who like cats and Cat People:
My dad immediately apologized to Richard for upsetting him and then rhapsodized about how strong Richard was. “That’s a strong cat! He managed to draw blood through my jeans! What an animal!”
Richard died a few years ago. Diabetic shock. We were all pretty upset.
But now we have Cat and just two days ago we got Myles. Cat came to us declawed, but Myles has his claws. After playing with Myles, Boy12 came up to me bleeding on the thumb and said, “Poor little Myles. I was playing with him and he scratched me.”
An hour or so later Boy9 comes up to me, a scratch on his hand, “I was playing with sweet little Myles. I’ll have to be more careful next time.”
Cat People adore the cats who torment them and take all the blame for any bloodshed. Cat People don’t hit cats or toss them outside if they get a little scratch. Cat people unconditionally love their terrible sweeties and recognize their awesome magnificence.
No, the relationship between cats and Cat People is not a healthy one, people, but one little purr and it’s all worth it.