Thursday, June 17, 2010

And I Wonder Why the Cat Doesn't Like Me

An unanticipated caregiving challenge has been the necessity of adjusting my life to serve not only my mother's needs, but those of her cat.  It isn't that I don't like cats, it's just that this particular animal, dubbed "Kitty" by my mother, does not particularly like me.  I feed this cat, groom her, and talk sweetly to her to no avail.   Kitty treats me with disdain.

To make matters worse, a sort of sibling rivalry has developed between Kitty and me.  If ever I make an even faintly critical remark about cat hair on the couch or claw marks on the woodwork, Mom defends her pet vigorously and chastises me for my complaints.  "She's just being a cat," Mom says, "And she's a wonderful pet." 

The only time Kitty is accepting of my presence in Mom's apartment is first thing in the morning, when she perhaps feels lonely because Mom has been asleep.  At night Kitty must miss the steady dose of endearments and admiration that Mom lavishes on her pet during the day.  And so, when I appear early in the morning, I find a higher level of feline acceptance than at any other time.  I take this opportunity to stroke Kitty's soft fur, and have found that if I take a strip of duct tape and run it lightly down her back that I can remove a lot of hair that otherwise would end up on the furniture.  The animal seems to enjoy this process, arching her back and purring.  

But this morning Kitty was distracted by a goldfinch that landed in Mom's feeder just outside the window, and made a sudden and unexpected turn just as I stroked down her back and tail with my strip of tape.  Somehow the two ends of the tape stuck to one another around her tail.  I quickly attempted to disentangle it but succeeded only in pulling it tighter.  Alarmed at the tugging going on at her back end, Kitty let out a yowl and lept from the window seat.  She ran under Mom's bed and I could hear her thrashing and meowing as she attempted to pull the tape from her tail with her teeth.  

There ensued a fifteen minute rodeo as husband John and I chased the cat around Mom's apartment.  Poor Mother was still in bed and asked, "Now, what's the problem here?"  As I ran past brandishing a large bath towel with the intent of wrapping the cat in order to avoid being clawed, I tried to explain.  Mom closed her eyes tightly and appeared to be praying--probably for the cat.  

I finally captured Kitty who, to her credit, neither bit nor scratched me.  I handled her swaddled form to John, extracted the tail, and used fingernail scissors to free her of the sticky tape.  

Somehow I think that my early morning quality time with Kitty has come to an end.  


  1. I hope you don't mind if I laughed, Linda. Definitely WITH you, not at. I can just hear your mom "Now, what's the problem here?" Here's a hug for poor kitty. And you. And your mom. ((((((HUGS))))))

  2. Oh dear! What an experience!

    As soon as I saw the photo of Kitty I was reminded of the cat my husband had when we got married. This cat hated me. I had come in and taken all of her master's attention away.
    She did all manner of nasty things.
    She soon had to go and live with Warren's parents...because I wasn't leaving and there wasn't room enough for both of us.

    Becky K.

  3. I had to laugh at the vision in my head of you chasing Kitty. Reminds me of a time when my husband was young and he had a bottle of what they called 'high life' (sort of like formaldehyde, has a 'freezing sensation). His Dad told Elbert not to put that high life on the cat but as soon as his father went out the door Elbert gave the back of the cat a dose of it. The cat yelled, ran across the bed, under it, through the screen door and right past Elbert' Dad. Guess who got a whipping?

  4. I am laughing so hard I have tears coming out my eyes! Oh my!!!!!