Harrison, our son, was home for the weekend. Toward the end of his visit, he took me to the edge of the back porch and pointed to the right. “See those gray blobs?”
They looked like small cow pies.
“Notice the tails?”
I rushed into the house to confront the sack of fur curled up in the living room.
The cat slowly raised his head and squinted. Now, Kate—.
I stood my ground, refusing to break eye contact.
You used to think I was a girl.
Harrison brought the cat home in 2004, the summer before he left for college. He was told by the litter’s owner that the kitten was a girl. I did not know how one goes about sexing a fluffy kitten, and didn’t care. I had a full time job, three other cats (yes, three), a kid in high school, another getting ready for college, and a host of better things—like laundry—to do.
After dropping her at the vet to be spayed and discovering she actually had to be neutered, Little Sister morphed into Little Mister.
He’s not an overly affectionate cat. He will never sit on your lap. He’ll stand on it (or your chest if you’re lying down) and ask to be petted. He’ll insist on a round of pets whenever he gets up from his day-long nap. He does cuddle in bed at night—at least until one o’clock in the morning when he wants to go out and at three o’clock when he wants to come in until five o’clock when he wants to go out again.
If you show too much interest, he’ll dust you off like a hung over A-list movie star ignoring an autograph seeker.
From the time Little Mister was teensy, I sensed a feral quality about him and insisted he sit in my lap and endure petting whenever he was fed. Without that training I don’t think he’d be as domesticated as he is today.
Over the years, he’s dragged home smatterings of torn up critters, usually of the mole or mouse variety. But this past month, he’s become rat obsessed. He’s presented us with at least 10 of them. He leaves them in the Easter lily bed to the right of the back porch—an area we now refer to as Rat Hollow.
The first several rats sent my goose flesh flaring as I donned rubber gloves to grab their tails and drop them into a plastic bag for garbage can burial. Since then, my traumatized brain will not allow me to look at Rat Hallow. Thus, the last three decomposed to the consistency of cow pies.
Laine, our family cat expert, says that Little Mister’s recent bountiful gifts of rat corpses are signs of gratitude—he likes us and wants to make sure we’re well fed.
I have a difficult time believing that he gives one hoot about us. I think he hypnotizes me into feeling deep affection towards him. He draws me in by allowing a petting session. He’ll lick my hand and rub his head along it multiple times before jumping to the floor, which leaves me feeling used. I’m pretty sure he could suck out my soul as I lie sleeping.
Laine says some cats are just plain killers. They hunt not for food or for sharing with their owners. They kill for the thrill. This seems in line with Little Mister’s recently completed personality profile on The Big Five Personality Test. He got high marks for being closed minded, disagreeable, and high strung. He failed miserably at being conscientious.
Uh-oh, he just hopped on my desk and is reading this.
You only weigh 13 pounds. I’m not afraid of you.
Let me give you a pet, my sweetheart. You know I love you.
Of course you do. If you didn’t, I’d steal your soul.