Friday, March 19, 2010

Living in Fear

The following blog contains content of a graphic nature. Reader discretion is advised.

My friend Alan has dubbed my cat "Hatred". I prefer to call him "Pippin" (after the Hobbit, not the Broadway musical). Pippin has earned his nickname by being just about the surliest creature alive since the day he was born. In fact, when I chose him at the vet's office 8 years ago, I chose him because I was intrigued by the kitten that had to be separated from his litter-mates due to his asshole-ishness. He had another name there. Adolf. Partly due to the little white "Hitler" mustache on his otherwise black face, and partly due to his dictatorial temperment. He came out of the womb a true tyrant.

Pippin has been known to hiss and swipe at strangers who foolishly stray too close to him. He's savagely bitten me for changing the trash (I was making too much noise with the trash bag). He once brutally destroyed a poor, wayward chipmunk who found itself lost in my basement apartment, creating a mess so devastating I never did get my damage deposit back. Did I mention he's de-clawed? It's the de-clawed thing that is why he currently lives with my mother. Once I moved in with the Tofu Muchacha, it was determined that Pippin wouldn't be safe around her 2 adult cats (Sammy aka "Human Face" and Zoro). They have claws, and go outside, and Pippin isn't used to creatures who may stand up to him. Frankly, I'm skeptical that Pippin would be dominated, claws or no. Even my mother's ridiculous dog is no match for him, despite being 4 times his size.

In spite of Pippin's straight-up meanness, I'm not afraid of him. I never went to sleep thinking that if he wasn't fully fed that he'd rip out my throat. I never thought that if I turned my back he'd murder me. I didn't live in fear of the vengeful wrath of Pippin the Cat. "Hatred" is no threat to me. He's a known quantity. His anger and violence is right on Front Street.

The Tofu Muchacha introduced me to her cat named Zoro (with 1 "r"). He's this beautiful, elegant, and amazingly graceful black and white cat. When I first met Zoro, I recall thinking he was the sweetest cat I'd ever met. He lives to be patted. He will just come up to you, squeak, and put his head under your hand. Purring the whole time. To the outside eye, Zoro is the perfect cat.

Then I was left alone at the house for the first time. There I was, sitting on the couch watching TV, and I hear the familiar swing of the cat door. I look up, barely register what I'm seeing, and go back to the show. Then I do a Finlayson-esque double take. There's sweet, innocent, squeaky Zoro standing there staring at me. Bird in his mouth. Flapping, squawking bird. Zoro took a nice loooong look at me. Making sure he had my attention. Then he lets the living bird go. In the house. Don't worry... Not for long. The bird took a last-gasp dash toward freedom (straight at the ceiling) and Zoro leaped 4 solid feet into the air, grabbed the bird with his mouth and claws, slammed it to the ground, and then straight up fucking murdered that thing. Right in front of me. Making sure I knew.

I don't sleep well. I sleep with one eye open. I reflexively cover my throat with every creak in the floor or stray sound.

Every couple of weeks or so, Zoro decides that he needs to remind me exactly what would be in store for me when I get out of line.

Zoro has killed or maimed all manner of creature in my presence. The Tofu Muchacha actually bought me Critter Catchin' gloves for know... because of all of the critters he catches and subsequently tortures in the house. Better not to get rabies when scooping the half-paralyzed squirrel, or the insanely terrified chipmunk, or the bunny who, if not saved by me, would be providing Zoro a Bunny-Brain Feast for him sooner than later.

Things had gone quiet for some time (Winter-time and all), but the other day I heard the wails of a bird outside. When the Tofu Muchacha looked, she saw nothing. Then the next day she was walking through the yard and found this:
Please note the cell phone for the sake of perspective.

Oh no... I don't sleep well.


Anonymous said...

Ha Ha Ha.... except that Pippin now has a few names... Sylvester and also Silly Ass, his preference. And he is a mean ass cat too, I still will not even try to pick him up. And Cooper just wants to love him and Sly just swipes at him for no reason.

When is this trial over?

C said...

that used to be a cardinal.... >sigh<...ever hear of the Cats Indoors campaign?

Beefy Muchacho said...

"Anonymous" - Pippin only has one name. You can call him whatever else you want, but the name remains the same.

C - I'm aware of the Cats Indoors campaign. I believe there are valid points on both sides of the discussion.