Everybody needs a little love. Ever since the dawn of time, domesticated animals have served as the perfect candidates for outsourcing human feelings.
In general, I don’t even like animals much. Most of the cats I know are subject to ridicule and bad mouthing (especially behind their backs, and even at the expense of their owner’s feelings).
But I, like millions of others, have moments of weakness and loneliness. A few weeks ago, I got to thinking, probably while drunk, about how nice it might be to have a little fury kitten traipsing about my apartment, snuggling up to my guests, sleeping on the couch and playing with little kitty toys.
So acting quite impulsively on this most base impulse, I rushed down to kitty death row, and purchased what seemed at the time, the most lovely, mellow, little beast in the lot.
For the first few days all seemed well, the kitten, Trout, did all the things I had hoped for. He was warm and snuggly, playful but not destructive, dependent but not overbearing. He was beautiful.
Then things began to change. I came home one night from work to discover that Trout had taken a ruthless liking to my favorite philodendron, breaking from its seasoned, lush body delicate limbs of godly growth. I observed him jump into its inanimate, helpless stalk and slide down, claws extended, tearing away at its green flesh.
He showed such wanton disregard for the life of this perfect creation that he even began to urinate in the soil, digging into the dirt with his devilish claws to rain his poisonous piss into its helpless roots. And the wickedness did not stop there, he then turned his fiendish attention to my second favorite, slow growing stag-horned fern, tearing it limb from limb like a beast in the night.
Wherein the life of a child, young babes learn to communicate and express their needs, little kittens learn to attack. Trout is now reaching this phase of development. Like a little demon mercenary, he uses the cover of darkness to move forth with his fiendish plans to destroy his master.
As I lay sleeping in the sanctuary of my bed, he moves on me with ravenous little snips at my ears with his tiny, razor sharp teeth. He enjoys the sport of batting my necklace with his little machete claws, each swipe threatening to break the skin. His most effective, and terrifying attack to date came when I awoke to a mauling of scratches directed at my man junk. I’ll never forget the maniacal look in those beady eyes that just stared as me as I screamed. It’s like a nightmare, a horrifying dream from which I may never awake.
Last week, in a fit of either madness or rage, he pounced upon my girlfriend’s face leaving blood tracks on her skin, and my suicidal-looking arms earn me looks of compassion from strangers on the street.
Being new to the game, and realizing that Trout is perhaps still getting used to his new environment, I let these first treacherous acts slide. I rearranged the plants so that they would be out of his reach and pulled the covers over my head as I slept, but his reign of terror did not end.
Less than a week into our sordid relationship, I began to notice a troubling trend begin to take form. Trout seems never to stop eating, he constantly waddles his little cat body to and from his food dish, munching constantly on the tiny, disgusting-smelling pellets.
But the pellets smell like roses compared to the aromatic A-bombs he produces five times a day. As I daily dispose of his shit-pucks, I find it amazing that such a cute little fur monster could be capable of producing such a hideous, eye-watering stench, but more incredible still is the fact that I, a reasoning human being would actually chose to be this little beast’s shit collector. Why would any of us willingly play this tortured game of man and beast?
Though Trout’s shortcomings may be many, I too will admit that I am not without guilt. There was last weekend when I accidentally locked him in the hallway, all night long. Poor bastard spent all night out there in the hall, nowhere to sleep, nothing to eat. It must have been hell for the little guy.
And there was the time I took him to the vet and they shoved the thermometer up his ass. He probably blames me for that, especially since I had to hold him down. I guess he suffers a bit, too.
And really there’s a lot of give and take in our relationship. There is the cute way that the little bugger folds his tiny paws when he sleeps. And there’s the way that he’s sitting on my lap right now, all calm and peaceful like, as I defame him in the public sphere. (I’m sure all 17 of you probably won’t vote for Trout next term when he runs for Kitty-Congress).
All in all, I think I am a pretty good master, and I suppose Trout’s a pretty good cat too. I guess at the end of the day there will always be a lot of cats left over and a lot cats that have been murdered, too. So I suppose I’ll go ahead and let old Mr. Trout be one of the lucky ones – for now at least.