I usually don’t pay much attention to our cat, even when she wants me to. I simply ignore her as much as possible. She can rub up against my legs all she wants, but I pretend not to notice.
It’s not that I don’t like Skitty. I do. I just don’t want to be holding her when she goes from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde. It can happen in the blink of an eye.
She can be comfortably purring in your lap one moment and raking her claws down your arm the next. Her mood change happens so fast the only thing you can do is leap from the couch bleeding and breathless.
Lately, though, I’ve been trying to give her a bit more attention. My heart’s been going out to her. After three years of living with us, she’s just now figuring out that she’s a feline living in a house where canines are king. She’ll probably start drinking soon.
The last time you heard from me our cat’s dignity was being put to the test. Her troubles started with the death of our elderly dog. My wife was taking his passing especially hard and being an inveterate dog walker wasn’t helping. With all the other neighborhood dog walkers parading past our house., she must have felt like a smoker going through withdrawals.
It was our nine-year-old daughter who came up with a solution of sorts. She saw the difficulty her mother was having adjusting to life without a dog and suggested the two of them squire the cat around. A cat’s got four legs, right?
Just imagine the horror. Skitty will probably never be able to show her face outside our house, again. You can be sure the other neighborhood cats saw Skitty on a leash and are feeling more superior than usual these days.
This unfortunate state of affairs only lasted a couple of weeks, but the trauma isn’t over. My wife and daughter are no longer walking Skitty because a new dog has come to live with us.
His name is Rodney and we got him from a local group that rescues abandoned dogs. He came already neutered, house trained, and very friendly. At only nine months old, he’s already huge and he hasn’t even finished growing yet. Right now, I’d guess he weighs more than both of our children combined.
The day I picked him up, I stopped by the pet store before bringing him home for the first time. I knew my wife would want to take him for a walk right away and I wanted to find something that would prevent him from dragging her through the neighborhood. I had visions of her bouncing down the street like the cowboys you see on TV who get their boot stuck in a stirrup after keeling over in the saddle from a gunshot wound.
Yes, he really is a HORSE and yes, he was really excited while we were in the store. So much so, that while the sales clerk was trying to help me pick out an appropriate harness, I felt something warm trickle down my left leg and pool in my sneaker.
“Really?” I said looking Rodney dead in the eye. “How would you like it if I peed down your leg?”
Is that a sign of affection?
We’ve had Rodney for a couple of weeks now. He’s not peeing down my leg anymore, so I’d say we’ve all adjusted very well. Everyone, that is, but Skitty.
Now, cats may be known for their curiosity, but they have nothing over Rodney. And what he’s most curious about is Skitty. The poor cat can’t seem to find the space and privacy she cherishes. Everywhere she goes, there’s Rodney sticking his nose into her business.
So no, she’s not adjusting well. She’s been arching her back, hissing and whipping her claws out whenever Rodney gets too close.
I know it will take time. But if being leashed and dragged around the neighborhood against her will didn’t drive her to drink, I think she’ll eventually come around.
In the meantime, I’m locking up the liquor cabinet.