Saturday, October 15, 2011

Cats. And how they freak me out sometimes.

My cat was being a total wang this morning and would not let me get her into the carrier so I could take her to the groomers. How do they know the difference between a friendly cuddle and one that is tricksy and a ploy to get them to do something they wouldn't normally do i.e. enter the confines of a carrier to be poked and prodded at? I often believe cats can read minds. In fact when I was considering adopting my cats I did a lot of reading up on what to expect as a cat owner and at least three books mentioned that a somewhat effective way of teaching a cat to do or not to do something is to think and visualise what you want the cat to do or stop doing. It really freaked me out when I read that just because why is that advice from cat experts? Why am I just now learning about the psychic abilities of cats?

I had a cat growing up. He was named Catsy. Yes, I know, I know. He was all white and we adopted him as a kitten from what sticks out in my memory as the white trashiest house in Louisiana and that is REALLY saying something. I have this memory of picking him out of a litter that was in a dilapidated cardboard box in the front lawn. In actuality it was likely just a normal house and the kittens were cared for but memory is a tricky thing. Back then and down south, people rarely neutered or spayed their pets. I don't know why. It just wasn't/isn't done that often. A lot of shelters up here in NY will make trips down south to bring up the excess stray animals for our shelters. Anyway, I loved Catsy with all of my heart. I adored that cat. The problem with him was that he was a bastard. That cat hated us and he was feral and mean and he would scratch the ever loving shit out of us at every opportunity. He had the gait of an alley cat and the indifference of Saharan lion, chillaxing in the desert. He hated being pet. What fucking cat hates being pet? Catsy, that's who. One time my mom tried to pet him as a last ditch effort for you know, a purpose to having him at all and he cut a gash so deep in her lip that she not only had to get stitches but she still has a scar. I honestly don't know why my parents let us keep him, he was that mean. But we all, my mom, my father and my sister all developed an attachment to him. But to this day I honestly think I loved him the most. Does this speak to my constantly seeking out affection from people who are indifferent/mean to me? Or am I watching too many episodes of "In Treatment"? What do you, the viewer, think?

Catsy lived with us for many years up until we moved out of our home after my parents split up. We couldn't take him to NY with us and both my mother and sister told me that on the last day when we got our stuff out of the house they called for him but he didn't come. He was an outdoor cat, he had no patience for being indoors. I always got the sense we were his hotel. So we had no choice but to leave. Catsy became just another casualty of that sad, sad time for me and I have felt guilty about that ever since. In my heart, I know he was likely totally fine since he didn't really like us much and spent most of his time outside, killing animals and burying them under our house (the John Wayne Gacy of cats mayhaps?). But still, that was one of my first hearbreaks. I hope he psychically knew I didn't want to go.

And in keeping with the whole cats are weird, psychic, creepy yet adorable animals, about 6 months ago I saw a cat that reminded me of Catsy, all white and sleek, arrogance written on his face. I was flooded by memories of him and felt this incredible guilt (a feeling I'm really adept at frankly) and I was thinking about him and how I missed him and hoped he either made his way with a new family or at the very least was able to live off the fruits of his hunting. As I sat there thinking about him and feeling terrible I had my front door open with just the screen door closed. A neighborhood cat who I know well came walking up right to the door and he just plopped right down in front of me and did that stretchy thing on his back that cats do when they want a belly rub. And he just stayed like that for a few minutes as I pet him and then flipped himself over and lifted his nose up to me and off he went to find some adventures. I don't really know what to make of this, if anything so what do you, the viewer, think? If someone had told me this story I would have said "What a lovely, comforting coincidence." But since it happened to me, I think that cats read my mind and I may need an intervention soon.


  1. I remember we all thought "Catsy" was a female. But he was a male with anger issues. Not even female hormones helped. I remember I unofficially changed his name to "Harry" and gave him Bronx voice to go with his attitude.

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