Putting the cat in the doghouse

By: Joe Weaver - Contributing columnist

I’m mad at the cat. I probably shouldn’t be, but I am. It can be argued that I should not be angry at the cat because when he was doing what he was doing, he was just being a cat. He was doing cat things and cats do cat things because they aren’t people so expecting them to do people things is pretty unreasonable. It would be equally unreasonable to expect the cat to take out the trash or mow the lawn. I really don’t think he cares about emptying the dishwasher, though he has been known to go in ours when we leave the door open. I would have liked for him to have taken my car out and filled it with gas the other morning when I didn’t want to, but cats cannot operate motor vehicles. He also doesn’t have pockets because he doesn’t wear clothes so there is no place for him to carry money. Gas stations have a policy about not giving fuel to penniless nudists, I believe. I’ve never seen a penniless nudist at a gas station, but I have also never seen a cat driving a car.

I know that still doesn’t explain why I am angry with the cat. I’m getting to that, so you will just have to be patient. Have another sip of coffee or a forkful of eggs and I’ll get around to why I am mad at the cat in a bit. A lot of people, maybe yourself, regard their pets as members of the family, and they are. I’m not disputing that. Somewhere along the line, however, we wind up treating them like children and truly believe we are communicating with them in a manner in which they comprehend. Our cat probably doesn’t understand a word we are saying and since he is a cat, he probably doesn’t care one bit what we are saying or why we are saying it. Cats are like that, they say.

Back to our story and why I am peeved with the feline. The other night, as my wife and I were getting ready for bed, I had pulled the blankets over me and awaited the arrival of Cooper, who always sleeps at my side. I don’t know why he does it, but he does. It’s a nightly ritual and we both are kind of used to it. Instead of jumping up on the bed and curling around a few times and plopping down in a space that pushes me to one side of the bed, Cooper leaped from the floor and clawed and bit into the fleshy part of my hand. The heel, just below the thumb. He held on for a few seconds before I shook him loose.

(This is where I would put what I shouted, but this is a family newspaper and I won’t put those words in the paper. I once said these words aloud and my wife told me to shush as not to shock the sailors, longshoreman and bar hooligans.)

There was blood. I don’t like bleeding, especially when I am trying to get to sleep. A cat scratch and bite really smarts. No, really. It hurts like aitch ee double hockey sticks. There was, as much as I hate to admit it to you folks, a name or two taken in vain. I apologize publicly for that and I hope that doesn’t lessen your opinion of me.

Cooper is now in the doghouse. Figuratively, of course. I’d say he is in the cathouse but that is something altogether different and I would like to keep this no closer to the gutter than it already is. I’ll probably talk to him in a couple of days, but right now I’m a little miffed. I don’t really want to offer belly rubs and ear scratches to a man-eating panther. He’s not a mean cat. He’s not vicious at all. He’s actually quite sweet. At 20 pounds and almost four years old, he’s big and young and likes to roughhouse. Maybe I’m not so quick anymore and can’t back away from his rough and tumble play.

I imagine the silent treatment will last about another day. Cooper will come around and be silly and sweet and I’ll probably get tired of playing with the catnip mousie by myself, anyway.

Baltimore native Joe Weaver is a husband, father, pawnbroker and gun collector. From his home in New Bern, he writes on the lighter side of family life.

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Joe Weaver

Contributing columnist