February 23, 2010

My bipolar cat...

Fawn is writing an entry about Crook, our cat, and I figured I would, too.

To be perfectly honest, I didn't want a cat. I've never been a cat person. Cats have never made any sense to me. There are certain cat behaviors that I detest; like when Crook starts yowling to be fed at abhorringly early hours in the morning or when he jumps up onto the table or kitchen counters and knocks things off. Or when he rips up the door mats with his claws. Or when he paws at the door incessantly, meowling to be let outside even though he's not allowed outside. Or when he escapes outside and makes us chase after him. Or when we can't catch him and he brings dead (and half-dead) animals into the house.

We've tried to correct these behaviors, but nothing seems to work. The dog gets it. He's easy to train. If Crook gets it though, he sure doesn't let on.

I've heard people say that cats are trainable and I'm willing to concede that that may be true, but true in the same way that Sasquatches are real. Sure, people say they're out there, and I'd like to believe they are, but I've never seen one and I've seen very little evidence to support the case.

And don't get me started on litter boxes.

No, I just don't get cats. Dogs I get. It's easy to understand what's going on in a dog's brain. OK, maybe not the little yappy ones, but little yappy dogs are dogs in the same way that Pizza Pockets are actual pizza: They evolved from something totally awesome into a cute little over-processed package that bears some resemblance to the real thing but isn't.

All of this to say that I never really wanted the cat. I wanted a dog and we got a dog. Fawn wanted a cat so we got a cat.

As I've already mentioned, there are times when the cat infuriates me. Like today, when I was driving him home from the vet. I should feel pity for the guy, I know; he'd just had two vaccinations. But when he started foaming at the mouth, did he need to drag his cat slobber from one end of the car to the other? And when he started blowing chunks of half-digested cat food out of his maw, did he need to do that from one end of the car to the other? I suppose I could have put him in a cat carrier for the trip, but the last time we did that the emissions were even more putrid.

Then there are times when I'm happy to have him around. OK, I confess, he is cute. He is affectionate and friendly with everyone, including total strangers. He's very good with the kids and handles their loving abuse with exceptional grace. He's quick to purr and I like that. He is, undoubtedly, an attention slut. It can be a little difficult to type on a laptop while a cat is sitting on your chest, but he's warm and snuggly and who can resist warm and snuggly? He keeps me company when I'm up late, working. It's times like that when I really, really like him and am glad to have him around.

Darned cat. I don't know whether to hate him or love him.


Fawn said...

Love him! (

(And besides, he never needs to be walked.)

Jennybell said...

I'm allergic! So it has to be dogs for us, and little dogs, who don't shed much. I'm also allergic to bigger dogs like labs. Something in their hair and saliva makes me break out and itch like crazy. Cats make my eyes swell shut.

Marian said...

Nice try Michael! We know you love Crook. I'm not a cat person either, but I do love my "grandcat"! It's impossible not to. Of course, I don't have to deal with the early morning wake-up calls.
Hugs to Crook....Gran

Carolyn said...

Don't you know that you never own a cat, a cat owns you!

Dr. Julie said...

Well, you may not believe it, but my cat Virus (aka Minou) sits and lies down on command. He also comes when we call his name, and he'll fetch the ball. We think he's a dog trapped in a cat's body. :)

I used to be a dog person myself, and I settled for a cat when that's all my parents would allow. I still want a dog, but my cat turned out to be so awesome, I love him to bits.

Dog Hair in my Coffee said...

"He is, undoubtedly, an attention slut." Great line.
If all my cats were attention sluts, heck if ANY of them were, I might like them better. Don't get me wrong - I LIKE my cats. But I LOVE my dogs. And that is because dogs will soak up ALL the attention I want to give them, when ever I want to give it to them, and come back and ask for more. The cats? Eh. They can't be bothered to GIVE attention, or accept any, if THEY don't feel like it. I have cats who are perpetually self-centered - and with 4 teens at home, I already have enough of that without the attitude wearing fur as well. Give my my dogs ANYDAY.

Clare said...

Leah had a couple of cats when we met, but gave them up for me (allergies and cat issues). It is a decision I'm sure she regrets most days.

But on the topic of cat training AND litterboxes, friends of mine (who actually live in Whitehorse now) trained their (late) cat to poop in the toilet. I kid you not.

Fawn said...

We have some friends in Whitehorse (now living in Costa Rica) who trained their cat to poop in the toilet. I didn't realize until they were doing it that there's a whole business of selling products that help you train your cat go on the toilet, though they used a home-made device they called "Cat-catraz".