If you know me (or just from reading my previous posts) you know I am inherently a dog person. I’ve always had dogs. One blue cattle dog for most of my life and then 2 German shepherds. This is the only time in my life I have been without one. I like animals in general and would blanket myself as an ‘animal lover.’
We have 2 cats at my parent’s house and over time they have grown on me. I like cats but don’t love cats. I want to be clear that I had nothing against cats until recent events of the weekend confirmed my suspicions…some cats are evil incarnate.
I would say I experience low levels of ailurophobia which is more commonly known as cat phobia. You can read about this serious condition here http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2004/nov/06/weekend.justinehankins
I identify with this and also experienced this as a toddler with the first cat ever known to me, “So, a child may be drawn to a cat or kitten by its cute, cuddly, toy-like appearance and then get a nasty shock when the bundle of fur turns into teeth and claws; or the parents may transfer their own anxiety about cats on to the child”
I don’t know what I did to deserve this treatment from Tom (other than the accidental falling on him whilst running down our drive way – he broke my fall, I was only 3) but Tom definitely did not like me.
This weekend I visited a close friend and her family. I throughly enjoy my visits there. It is a haven of ecclectic knick knacks, colour, art, books, warmth, good laughs and good food and drink. I hope I have explicitly stated how enjoyable these visits are. Her place just has a nice energy about it as does she.
She is also an animal lover but more of the cat persuasion (which wasn’t a problem until this weekend just past) they have 2 cats.
May I introduce you to the first cat, Brian.
Brian the pure, Brian the good. His coat is like that of Gandalf’s white beard resembling wisdom. If Brian was a human he would be like your best gay friend who helps you with your wardrobe, who tells you (in an ever so kind way) that you really do look a little bit too fat to be wearing that dress. Brian would phrase it with such a softness that it would come out as compliment about embracing your unique size.
Described by those who know him best as inquisitive, thoughtful, gentle – Brian defies all stereotypes of “cats are evil”.
There is no unpredictability with Brian.
He is polite and considerate. Never will you see Brian taking a swipe from a sneaky vantage point from underneath the sofa at your feet, never will you see Brian hogging your favourite spot on the couch, never will you see Brian having fits of random scratching psychosis.
What you will see is Brian reading books, studying up on technology and indulging occasionally in his artistic side.
There is a dark side to Brian of course which is his colourful night life but it is best we respect his privacy on this matter.
Brian however, has the unfortunate burden of living with Audrey. Audrey was taken in from a shelter and given so much love but perhaps it just proves that sometimes, just sometimes, love is not enough. Audrey’s unfortunate markings make her resemble that of a horrific dictator…look at her, shifty sideways glances. *shiver*
They say you can’t judge a book by its cover but I would say you certainly can judge a cat by its markings…
Let me take you back a few years.
I was visiting again and we had a lovely evening but we were all getting sleepy. I sleep on the most amazing couch (which probably needs its own blog of adoration) the cats roamed freely back in the day and that didn’t bother me too much.
This one night though saw Audrey snap, something inside her twinged, maybe she knew I was a dog person, maybe I was stealing her mother from her and her family, maybe she thought Brian and I were conspiring against her (and we were), maybe we had said a few throwaway comments about her fat underbelly and unusual markings, perhaps we went a step too far (but haven’t we all said things we didn’t really mean) whatever it was, it had festered within Audrey and she was at breaking point.
That night she made a mockery of my toes and my feet.
I can only recall the incident with visuals and liken it to this experience here
Random attacks at random times. No method to her madness. Sheer terror crept over me – my sleep pattern broken, my anxiety sky high, my heart and breath heavy with stress. Glued to couch for fear of my feet touching the carpet. I wanted to holler to my friend to wake her from her slumber and to stop being terrorised but my feet were tucked up behind my bottom to the point of cramping.
This moment has scarred me and left me with that sense of dread and fear that at any moment a swipe or a pounce attack could come my way and worst of all, when my friend was not around to witness it. I suspect that when I am at their house around Audrey I am often exhibiting movements of these dogs below. Petrified to make a false move they end up doing an awkward side step move like this
I broke the news to my friend some time later, and luckily for me a natural arrangement unfolded where Audrey would sleep with them in the bedroom. My friend is aware of my fear of Audrey so usually rounds her up prior to me settling on the couch so some normalcy returned and my ailurophobia subsided to it’s manageable low level.
I guess it was only a matter of time before Audrey would strike again.
This weekend she was being particular “funny” with my makeup bag on arrival. Going through my bags as she often does, displaying typical cat behaviour of curiosity. She had a nibble on my blush brush it was all a bit of fun…everyone thought “oh isn’t she funny”
After a night of food and giggles we all went to bed but not Audrey. Audrey had everybody fooled. Audrey pretended to go to bed with her owners. She’s been waiting patiently for over a year or so to attack me when I was alone and vulnerable – back on that same couch with unprotected feet.
What happened next can only be explained as Hurricane Audrey. I awoke to find her staring at me, licking her
weapons paws, in preparation of the assault. She launched herself at her scratching pole limbering up. With another defiant leap she was up on the cupboards making noises that humans find irritating. She circled the couch numerous times, stalking me, watching me. I curled my feet back into that cramped position. She dragged some socks and a cushion just because she could, like a killer dragging its prey. She was toying with my emotions. She took out Brian,(he is not the fighting kind) a scuffle broke out and he escaped into the night. Left on my own I panicked and I threw a cushion at her and she whizzed around under the couch, her vantage point. Next I hear rustling in my bag; she was going through my make up just like before. She took out my bronzer, my brushes and laid them on the floor. Her cutesy attempts before were purely just a practice run for the real operation. (I do have a good MAC collection)
Eventually after this the madness ceased and Audrey was applying her make up in the bathroom, I finally got to sleep in the early hours of the morning. Being the stealthy cat that she is, she would of staged it to look like she had been asleep with my friend the entire evening. I decided to leave the trail of chaos for everyone to see in the morning.
I try so hard to give her the benefit of the doubt, maybe she’s misunderstood. Maybe she wants to wear make up to cover her Hitler markings… could you blame her? Is she any different to any of us and our insecurities and imperfections.
Unfortunately, there is no turning back for me.
My decision is final.
She is DEFINITELY a member of this party…and I remain firmly on team dog.