I can’t believe I’m freaking blogging about a cat. But here’s the deal; I think my new cat might hate me. At the very least she is just tolerating me. I mean, after all, she didn’t get a say so in who adopted her. We didn’t get to spend all this time bonding, having drinks and dinner, discussing moving in with one another. I wanted a cat, and well – she IS a cat. It sort of happened to work to my benefit.
Now, less than two weeks in, I can’t help but wonder — where is this relationship really taking us? I don’t speak her language and the best I can do is tell true cat people how she has communicated with me and wait. They all laugh and nod that all-knowing cat behaviorist nod, immediately deciphering what it means. One even asked me what her astrological sign was. Cat astrology? For fucks sake, really?
She has definitely figured out I am not a cat person. Our communication is like that of two foreigners, one of them mute, and the other an idiot. I am, of course – the idiot. If you were to ask her that is.
Sometimes she fools me into thinking she likes me. She will sleep with me ALL night long. But before I get too confident, or start to think it actually means something, she sleeps in the guest room.
Nothing is more evident on me being a dog person, trying to impersonate a cat person, than when it’s time for play. When playing with a dog, you reach for a ball, and a common occurrence happens. The dog perks up. The human perks up. A repetition of throw, chase, return, repeat occurs. You always understand where you stand with the dog. Happiness ensues. The game ends when then human has had enough. Both dog and human are satisfied, but ultimately Human was in control.
Playing with a cat is completely different. I knew that it wasn’t entirely the same. But this is freaking insane. I feel like I’m living with child who wants to play, but for prideful reasons, or perhaps fear of looking silly – she won’t.
Sometimes when I pull out her feather on a string play thing (the only toy out of the half dozen I bought her that she will sometimes respond to – with me), she shows a spark of interest. No sooner is it there, than she suddenly remembers now is when she was supposed to clean her left foot. Or she recalls how absolutely mundane that toy is. Puh-leeze. As if. Sometimes, if everything is perfectly aligned in the Universe, she will come up and bat at it. Once. And then walk away. Letting me know she has entertained me enough.
I’m living with Regina from Mean Girls.
I tend to do a lot of self-blame, and thought I was stupidly buying the wrong toys until I came out into the living room early this morning and saw she had a festival in the middle of the night and every toy she had was invited. Just not me. My presence was simply there to serve an early brunch of dry food only, and then head to work to earn more money for more toys to play with in the middle of the night. Without me.
Last night I forgot to bring my phone to bed with me. I weighed the pros and cons of getting out of bed naked as a jaybird to run into the kitchen to pluck it out of my purse. It’s one of the joys since my daughter moved out. The freedom to fleetingly walk naked around the house. I decided to go for it. I scurried out in the dark knowing exactly where it was tucked away – on the kitchen counter. As I turned around to head back I spotted a large dark shadow in the corner. She must have had a huge toke on the fumes from her catnip mouse, or maybe it was the way the moonlight bounced thru the cracks in the window blinds and onto my ass, but she turned into Ninja Catwalker pouncing and chasing and as I scurried back to my room in both a bold and humorous manner. If other cats had been around I would have figured her to say to them, “Hey watch me make my Fat Lady run naked!” and then the other cats would sit around and laugh and point their tails in my direction.
Of course this was the issue I had with the cat I grew up with, the one who used to come at me every morning. I recognized the pounce and stealth they both used on me and before you know it, it was like a Viet Nam flashback and I sprinted back into my bunker – I mean bed — and rocked myself to sleep.
I feel like a man trying to understand a very high maintenance woman who will only scoff at him from to time for failing to understand the obvious cues she leaves for me. “WHAT? I don’t know what that look means!”, I exclaim to her in frustration. Then she’ll head butt my leg, as if she truly gets my frustration and I become a big ball of mush, in love all over again – until she bites me.
I don’t get it. If a dog bites you, generally speaking it’s because you’ve done something negative. You’ve hurt him, or he feels the need to protect something. I mean there are those psycho dogs out there who bite just because they can, but you know to stay away from them. They give you a growl, or something. Not this girl. She bites – well I suspect because she yearns for the taste of human flesh – but there is rarely a true warning.
That’s not completely true. I mean I’ve touched her. There’s my warning. I’ve petted her because she has rubbed every square fucking ounce of herself on me, practically screaming at me to pet her. Stroke her. Scratch the top of her head. “THE TOP YOU IDIOT!!” she screams at me in her silent way. And then it comes. The bite. It doesn’t break the skin. I’ve learned not to flinch, because she takes a flinch as a combative statement and she silently asks me “You want a piece of me, Bitch?!” Her ears flatten and her pupils turn into slits and she’ll try to bite me again. I’m pretty sure my firm, yet slightly shakey “NO!” isn’t holding water with her.
Did I mention she likes to do this most when I’m lying down in bed, nearly naked, where she could really make a meal out of me? I wondered if it was the prose position. Like she felt really big and badass, standing on my chest silently screaming to me “NO MORE CANNED FOOD FAT LADY!” All 7 scary, fluffy pounds of her, as she lays her little dagger teeth in me just enough to know she could take a finger if she wanted to.
I think ultimately, she is trying to dominate me. She fails to remember she has no job. These feathers-on-a-string and these Party House cat treats won’t buy themselves. Neither will the cat box scoop itself out. No I will. The boss. The big one of the house. Hell, I should bite her.
Fuck. Ultimately she knows she is running the show. I may own the place on paper but she is the real ruler of the roost. I can keep on collecting these aluminum cans of chopped, pureed, minced, and gravy-ed cat dinners, and she still won’t eat them. Sure she can mess with me once in a blue moon and eat a half a can, leaving me to believe I have finally figured her out, but she’ll snub her nose at the other 7 ½ cans.
She’s right, I am a dog person. But I don’t think you must be one or the either. I mean obviously she must, but I don’t necessarily think I can’t learn to be a dog person in a cat world. In her world. Who am I kidding. She is the boss. A tiny little furry pushy bitchy narcissistic boss. And I am nothing but her frightened little minion.