Meet Tenacious C.
I’d never been a cat person, but if we don’t have a cat around we get a lot of mice from the corn field behind our house. Since then, cats have grown on me.
Even though they tend to be assholes.
Our first two cats, Ninja and Ghost, were pretty cool, but they had that feline aloofness many of you are familiar with. Ninja showed an “I own you” rather than “I need you” attitude. Unfortunately she wasn’t ninja enough to dodge a car in the street. Ghost, meanwhile, fought everything that moved, and he killed a whole lot of birds. He disappeared, and I assume he picked a fight out of his weight class.
Then we adopted an older cat from my in-laws, and she was a crabby old lady. She made a decent lap cat, but she couldn’t be bothered to chase things anymore. We figure she was about 21 when she died in June, so she had a good run.
A local shelter offered free cat adoptions (including neutering) in July, so we got the little guy pictured above. So far, he’s a little different. He loves being around us, being handled, and sleeping on or near us. He played a lot when he came home, but once he got over a cold he’d picked up at the shelter, he turned into a coked-up toddler.
I’m sure I could regale you with standard tales of kitten cuteness, but here’s what’s been different for me with this guy:
- We’ll hear something scurry behind us, then turn around and there’s nothing there. Then we’ll hear it behind us on the other side. Again, nothing. It’s like living in a horror movie.
- If something moves, he’ll attack it. If something is stationary, like a chair leg, he’ll attack that, too.
- Eating is now take a bite, drop the cat on the floor. Take another bite, drop the cat on the floor.
- Cooking is now stir what’s in the pan, block the cat from jumping on the stove. Stir what’s in the pan again, block the cat from jumping on the stove again.
- We’re dicks for not sharing whatever’s in the cup we’re drinking from.
- Nothing tests your power of concentration like a kitten attacking your toes on the third rep of a heavy bench press set.
- “He won’t be able to climb that.” Yes he will. Except my barbell tree. That’s his Kryptonite.
- Onions are toys. (I’m waiting to see if this changes after he bites one.)
- Cats learn from their mistakes after all. After one disastrous leap, he knows to make sure the toilet lid is down before he jumps up on it.
We’re going to try to keep this guy indoors, see if he outlasts his predecessors. Our vet agrees. He says, “Letting a cat outside is like letting a teenager out after midnight: nothing good comes of it.”
Fair enough. Here’s hoping he’ll be teaching me new things about cats for a long time to come.