Yeah, despise, hate, and abhor are strong words. But they are the result of experience, not just the borrowed prejudices of my Lab Jezebel (she also hates squirrels).
I haven’t always hated cats. Years ago, I was ambivalent about cats. But their demeanor was always a bit suspicious—the way they carried their heads aloft, arrogantly sneering at people and dogs. It seems to me that cats never got over being worshiped in Egypt. But still, I figured cats had a place in life, just not in my life.
Then I had more exposure to cats. We visited a friend’s house. Their cat pranced his way across the room and onto the table (Okay, it may be a Dutch cleanliness thing, but animals DO NOT belong on surfaces from which you eat!) Anyway, this cat made his way to Ariel (she was three) and sat down right in front of her. Then without any provocation, he reached out and slashed Ariel across the face with his claws. It took every ounce of my self-control not to grab the cat by the throat and twist. The cat owner apologized vaguely.
If cats weren’t enough, cat owners often are. Cat owners have told me that cats are great pets because you never have to clean up after them. Yeah, right. It’s because your neighbors have to clean up after them. I had a neighbor with seven cats. She didn’t litter box them. Nope, that would be too much work for her. Instead they used my flower beds as a litter box. I got to clean up after them. (I was pregnant twice while we lived there and the threat of toxoplasmosis made me mutter a lot of imprecations on my lazy neighbor and her “babies.”)
Or what about the neighbor whose cat waited outside people’s screen doors to run inside as soon as the screen opened. While we lived there, I heard a lot of other neighbors screaming at said cat owner. Eventually, the cat disappeared. Or maybe we moved. I hope it was the former.
My most recent cat experience has nailed the lid on the coffin of my cat attitude. We discovered on Saturday that a cat got into the church and had probably been there for the week we were on vacation. Do you know what damage a cat can do in a week? Every room was covered with cat urine and feces. Cal and several other men spent hours and hours cleaning, scrubbing, and steam cleaning. Did it make a difference? Not much. When I walked into the building yesterday, my eyes started watering from the cat-derived ammonia. The building would probably have been better off with a fire.
Then yesterday Cal got very sick. A doctor friend said it probably came on too quickly to be toxoplasmosis. It’s probably just whatever’s going around. I prefer to blame the cat.
Did I mention that the cat spent all day yesterday stalking the church building, trying to get in again. Cats are a plague. But they’re nothing that a .22 couldn’t handle. Heh, heh.
Actually, I’ve never fired a gun. But a girl can dream...
P.S. Hey, guys, thanks for breaking the 10,000 hits mark!