What Not To Do

In addition to the Loki-monster of whom you’ve all heard so much, we have another cat. Her name is Athena.

She is a good cat. In fact, were I to design the perfect cat, I’d use her as a base. She’s sweet, cuddly, cute, likes to lick people, dumber than a sack of lobotomized hammers, and other than a regrettable tendency to projectile vomit at the drop of a hat, is an excellent cat. While she lacks the supernatural docility of Loki–you can’t give her a bath, for example, and she does like to do this horribly cute demon-worm wiggle along the floor that will end in claws if you try to pet her stomach–she is still one of the best, sweetest, friendliest little cats I’ve ever known. (But god, so very stupid.)

But she does have this problem. She likes to sleep at the foot of the bed, on the floor, and occasionally she will look up and see the inviting motion of feet twitching under blankets, and ancient feline instincts will rise up in her fuzzy breast and she will attack those evil feet like the angel of death descending ‘pon the legions of the damned.

Thus every few nights, you will be awoken from a sound sleep by claws hitting your toes, a sort of this-little-piggie-went-through-the-iron-maiden experience, and you will sit up and bellow like a wounded gnu because A) it hurt and B) you’ve been attacked by a clawed arm from Under The Bed, and most of you probably know about my hang-ups in that particular department.

Generally, we’re pretty good about living with this. After all, we love the cat. But while James is in nictoine-withdrawal hell, we’d rather not deal with such indignities, and so we’ve been forced to take pre-emptive measures. You can’t lock her out of the bedroom, because she will spend all night trying to burrow under the door–she MUST sleep with us, or the sun won’t rise tomorrow–so we do the next best thing and put the cat harness on her, which tends to make her limp and wobbly and disinclined to move.

Last night, as we lay in bed, James says “We didn’t harness the cat.”

I sighed. I turned on the light. I made clucking-tongue noises and held out my fingers and said inane things to the cat, who eyed me with deep mistrust and lunged away. So I tackled her, scooped her up, and deposited her on James, who was getting out the harness.

During this escapade, due entirely to the way I was holding her, and through no fault of her own, Athena did an irritable kick-and-wiggle routine as I was dropping her. And a back claw that happened to be extended took Ursula across a portion of the upper female anatomy where a cat claw, shall we say, is not at all appreciated.

Ursula sat down, clutching herself. Ursula said a few bad words. Then she said a few more. Then she stated to repeat some of them. Then she stood up and paced around making “URNNNGHH!” noises. Then she checked the damage, discovered a two inch cat swipe, with associated blood. Then she ran through the lot of bad words again, with more adjectives this time.

I attempted to locate some antibiotic something or other to apply–the cat digs in the litterbox with those claws, for god’s sake–and all we had was CamphoPhenique. Well, it said it was for minor scrapes and abrasions. That counts, right?

As a public service announcement, I would now like to suggest to my female readers that if you have an enormous cat swipe across parts of the breast that they don’t allow you to show on TV, you do not put Campho-Phenique on it. My shrieking could probably be heard on the far side of the moon.

She spent the night cuddling up to James and purring, while I muttered dark things and wondered if you could get a tourniquet on that part of the anatomy. It’s a good thing she’s a wonderful cat.

Leave a Reply