A $350 catfight
April 4, 2012 § 16 Comments
When Dave’s mom died, we inherited a dog and two cats. The dog and one of the cats have died of old age…well, actually the dog died of old age. The ancient Himalayan cat was eaten by a coyote. Please don’t tell anyone, especially our young relatives, whom we’d like to protect from such gruesome horrors for a little while longer.
Mom’s last surviving legacy is an exceptionally old farm cat. His name is Chief, he’s the age of Alexander, and he lives outside. He prefers outside living, which we whole-heartedly endorse (mostly due to his failure to observe the Rules of the Litterbox, the first rule of which is to actually use the litterbox, which he has conveniently and routinely forgotten) . When this cat has to come inside (i.e. when it is freezing outside, and the weatherman warns that animals will DIE if they are not allowed to sleep indoors), he demonstrates a considerable lack of good manners, pooping all over the mudroom, yodeling at two o’clock in the morning, and using the dogs as his personal transportation device. In general, Chief makes it fairly clear that he would rather be outside.
We gave up on trying to train this cat long ago. In the beginning, after Dave’s mom died, I took pity on the poor thing, and rather naively invited the supposedly bereft creature indoors to watch movies on television and sleep on our bed. After pooping on Dave’s pillow, beating up Alexander, removing the inner-section of every single window screen, stealing bread from the pantry, clawing the chairs, and attempting to eat Addie’s ear while it was still attached to the actual dog, this cat demonstrated that his preference is to be an OUTSIDE cat. And there he has remained, for almost 4 years since Dave’s mom left him to us in her will.
Yesterday however, everything changed. The cat and I have a little routine when I come home from work, which is he pretends to sleep in the middle of the driveway, while I pretend to run over him with my car. Yes, I know this little game is very irresponsible on my part. Yes, I know that even though I am married to a racecar driver who has given me countless hours of individualized instruction on defensive driving and how-not-to-run-over-cats, I should know better.
Before you embark upon a train of graphic imagery that involves a pizza-thin cat, smashed to thin-crust flatness under the wheels of a 2010 Volkswagen Jetta TDI, I’d like to assure you that I have never driven over this cat or any other cat, intentionally or otherwise (even when I really wanted to do so, which has actually happened several times since inheriting this cat).
Yesterday, as I entered our driveway, our inherited cat lay temptingly in his usual spot, which happens also to be my car’s usual spot. Usually Chief jumps up when I’m about 4 feet away, and then runs to the side of the driveway, where he waits for me to open my door and give him a few pats on the head (this feigned subservience is another one of his plots to trick us into thinking that he is a calm and nice cat, leading – so he hopes- to us inviting him indoors, where he can kill and eat one of the dogs, and then poop in the dogs’ food dish).
Last night though, Chief decided not to jump aside. I, of course, stopped without hitting him. Subsequent investigation, where Dave and I attempted to investigate why the cat was not inclined to move off of the driveway, revealed that Chief was full of small puncture holes.
The vet says that our cat’s injuries are due to a fight with another cat, as evidenced by Exhibit A, in which we discovered another cat’s toenail embedded in our cat’s upper thigh. After cleaning up the damage, charging us $350 for antibiotics and the extraction of the toenail, the vet released the cat to our custody, where the semi-conscious animal spent 12 hours peeing on his back feet and sleeping it off in the mudroom.
The vet has given us strict orders to keep Chief indoors for eight entire days, until he is back to his old self, which I needn’t remind you is defined as wild and undisciplined. I’ve thought about putting the cat in a decorative basket with a festive ribbon and a few colored eggs and then leaving him on the neighbor’s porch as an Easter surprise, but I’m afraid he might eat the neighbor’s Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs.