Wednesday, June 24, 2009
True confessions: A tale of two cats and disaster
If you are familiar with cat behavior you know some of their quirkiness. Cats will get excited with attention and petting and if they are excited they will grab you with their teeth or claws. A dog wags its tail. People think this is a friendly gesture but a wagging tail really just says that the dog is excited. The dog will bite your hand just as easily as lick it depending on its personality and characteristics (hmmm, just like some people when you say hello in the morning). I had one cat that tended to growl a lot. I had another that liked to jump on your shoulders, curl around your neck, and pull on your hair if you gave it a chance. These are sweet things if you like cats, but annoying if you don't, or when you are busy or not expecting it. Nothing to be afraid of, just good to know. If you don't know you can misinterpret the behavior.
My mom was kind of this way with the cats, but there is more and it is worse than that. I think my cats were this way with her. You see it was because they were familar with her in a way that they never would be with most strangers. It was a phenomenon I can't explain but I am sure she confused them. Yes, I am sure this is it.
She is the same height as me and has similar mannerisms and characteristics, so they used to do things to her, I mean treat her in a manner that they would do with me. The results were horrible. I still feel bad about it.
On one occasion she was sitting at my kitchen table and Georgette, the fat grey cousin who looks like a little Russian, was circling her legs and rubbing. Mom was ignoring her. Well trying to anyway. The cat stretched up on her hind legs and with her front paws, ever so lightly, pricked my mom's leg with her nails. Well she just wanted my mom to notice her, but mom got startled and freaked, and tried to kick her off. Of course THEN the cat freaked and hugged my mom for dear life and dug in with all her claws full throttle. She put a terrible scratch on mom's leg that wouldn't heal. Eventually mom had to go in and have the spot removed by a doctor ...melanoma or something. I felt awful and after that my mom always reminded me to put the cats out. Which i did most of the time, EXCEPT for one other visit.
It happened again, but with a different animal. Our orange cat, the youngest, smallest and most playful had gotten in the house and was on a stool, looking for attention. The cat was my baby.
I was in the room, and so were some other people, but for some reason the cat was focused on my mom. The cat was formulating a plan and I could see she was ready to leap. She wanted on my mom's shoulder's and she has never done this ever to a stranger. I have no idea what the attraction was except that maybe she resembles me.
This cat has always been shy of strangers. Mom was about 10 feet away and you could just see the cat calculating. My mom was talking but then she noticed too and she started to back up slowly and this look of horror took hold of her. I tried to get in the way but not soon enough. Mom was turning, and the cat was in the air. Because mom was moving the cat couldn't get the perch she wanted so with front paws first she hit my mom on the back and latched on with claws engaged. My mom did this twirly screaming thing and in seconds the centrifugal force sent the cat flying the other way. The look of horror on my mother's face when she realized what this cat had in mind will live with me forever.