Today I formally rededicate my blog, for five days, to the formal explaining of why the fictional organization PAVTAC (People Against Violence Toward Annoying Cats) is a necessary delusion around my house. If PAVTAC didn't stop me, I would throw my cat out the window.
Today's Cat-head story:
When I was 22 years old, I graduated from college and got a job. It wasn't a great one, but not long thereafter, I got a promotion (a promotion!) that required me to move from Charlotte, NC, to Raleigh, NC. Now, I hated Charlotte, North Carolina for a number of reasons, but one of the biggest was that at the time, I was a terrible snob* and there just weren't enough educated people (read: yankees) there for my liking. So the promotion was a great opportunity for me. I could move to a place with three universities within thirty miles of each other and live among other people who talked fast and understood that not talking in line at the grocery store is not rudeness, but a sign of respect for other peoples' time and precious energy. Yay!
My boss, however, knew only that my parents lived in Charlotte, North Carolina, and that by promoting me and moving me far far away from them, he was dealing me and my family a tough hand. (He had no idea how I felt about the redneckery of Charlotte). So in order to make this up to me, he went out to Big Al's (Crazy) Pet-o-rama and purchased a pure bred smoke persian cat, whose credentials read only that he had been sired by a cat named Dude and whelped by a cat named Maven. The papers said nothing else except for "This cat is Persian. Take him home. Please."
So my boss gave me the cat, and I was excited. Here was a dog that I would never have to walk! Here was a dog that could not bark! Here was a dog that would never smell like a dog!
I named him Itty Witty and then I got him food and a litter box. And we moved to Raleigh, NC, a place half run over with people from New Jersey. A bunch of my friends from college were in graduate school at UNC, so I had a handful of fast talking yankee friends to drink big blue cups of beer with, and all was well.
Except not so.
Itty Witty, now named Cat-head, was a pain in the ass. He would not be picked up, held, petted; indeed, he would not behave in any even slightly social way. In addition, he could not or would not eat anything that I fed him except canned tuna. Even this appeared to make him queasy. So I put him in my backpack (he bit me several times) and brought him to the vet. I left him there for the day, thinking when I returned, I would pay $50 or something and he would have a diagnosis: allergies, right?
When I returned for him at 4:30pm, the receptionist immediately paged the vet. All she said was "She's here." Hmmm, thought I. This must be had.
A few minutes later, the vet emerged wearing leather armor all the way up to his shoulders. He was also wearing a mask. He handed me my backpack, pulled down his mask, and said, "We need to have a talk."
What he told me is that my cat's personality was so foul, so violent, so anti-social, that if he had been born human, we might have been a candidate for one of those crenelated face masks a la Hannibal Lecter.
Then the vet recommended that the cat be de-clawed on all four feet AND that I consider having his teeth filed if he was ever going to be a threat to other people. Then he handed me a prescription for cat valium and a bag of food that cost more than a my fantasy running shoes. And I also got bill for $400. (It cost so much because he had to be tested for fifty or more maladies that might explain his poor behavior. None did. Plus he had injured four people - until the vet sedated him, which was $85 all by itself).
The new food cleared up Cat-head's food issues, but it didn't make him any happier. He uniformly hated me and everyone who ever entered my domicile. And yes, I later had reason to regret not having his teeth filed. I'll tell you about that tomorrow.
*I now know better. I no longer dislike redneckery. Quite the opposite.