If you read of my folly last week in promising to care for my daughter’s beloved family pet, my grandcat, you’ll know of the adversarial relationship between said cat and me. I can confidently announce to you this week she is as batcrap crazy now as she was all those years ago.
“Adversarial relationship’ is a euphemism for something just short of all-out war. Today (Monday), for example, I breezed confidently–but not carelessly– through the front door, calling a cheery greeting to what appeared to be an empty ground floor. No beautiful long-haired feline to be seen. All quiet on the western front.
I strode directly to the smoky grey fluff ball’s feeding corner in the dining room, admittedly glancing over my shoulder as I went. The food dish looked nearly untouched, but the water dish was in need of replenishing, so I did a quick 360 to survey hiding places all the way around me, and bent quickly, scooping up the plastic bowl and bee-lining to the kitchen sink.
Maybe it was the sound of rushing water that stirred my antagonist. Whatever it was, she was behind me, having made not a single sound of any kind in her murderous stealth, as I turned back toward the dining room. A lesser man would have shrieked in a Barry Gibb falsetto and flung the water-filled bowl in an involuntary thrash. My falsetto was nowhere near the legendary BeeGee’s range…it was though, decidedly terrified; and the contents of the water dish arc’d gracefully across the room, but I never lost my grip. At least not on the bowl.
Bengal tigers look friendlier than this hideous house cat, even as they swat your head from your shoulders. No T-Rex ever had a wider mouth or a more vicious display of huge knife-like teeth than this 8-pound psycho cat. And the cat has the advantage of much more fearsome arms than a T-Rex. The demon before me was standing on solid hind legs and flailing furiously with both buzz saw front paws, hissing loudly and staring bloody murder from her hate-filled eyes.
The urge to leave in a mad rush was fighting with the obligation to take care of my grandchildrens’ pet. The grandkids won out. I spun on one heel and refilled the dish, turning and stomping toward the slavering man-eater in an attempt to back her down. For a precious few seconds it worked and I slapped that bowl down like a lightning bolt and got my exposed forearm back before she counter-attacked.
In that moment my eye caught sight of a small gourmet cat food packet open and empty beside the food dish. I retreated skillfully to the kitchen searching the cupboards for a stash of similar delectables. There was a moment of recognition in the grey ghoul’s eyes, and a building lust for the special treat transformed her face. Not to anything beautiful and gentle, oh no…there was the crazed and mindless need for her addiction in that face and she would have it RIGHT NOW!
In my haste to live a bit longer, my fingers became sausages that lost all sense of grip or function. The filthy lid refused to peel back! I think I may have created a new River Dance routine as I leaped frantically side to side to avoid the sabers that were aimed at my extremities. Finally the stinking lid peeled away and I flung the open packet at the drooling rows of death dealing fangs.
It landed on the floor…face down.
Cats–or at least this cat– can’t figure out how to turn such things over to get at the contents. Or it was just a trick to get me to stoop down and extend a hand to flip it upright. I’ve made too many costly mistakes with this beast to have not learned anything. There is a tiny lip on the underside of these little boat-like packets, and the Yankee ingenuity with which I am only sparsely blessed kicked in. A gently placed toe of my shoe on that lip might –with a sharp snapping motion–flip the little bugger upright.
Success! And the savage beast was overcome with a ravenous desire for the treats within. She hit that little cup like a great white shark hitting a fishing boat filled with Robert Shaw, Roy Scheider, and Richard Dreyfuss.
Hard to believe, as I sit here at the keyboard, that I got away without any need for a box of bandages or a hundred stitches on various body parts. Of course Monday is a long way from Sunday, and I saw only two more treat packets in that cupboard…
Contact Lloyd Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org.