When I got married, there was a lot to look forward to. My wife seemed to be very nice (it turned out that she is fairly nice), she had all kinds of cool stuff we could share, and she would put up with all of the nonsense I participate in every day. There was only one thing I did not like about this major life change.
She came with a cat.
This cat spent a majority of his time staring at me with those hateful cat eyes. He would stare at me while I was eating, while he was eating, while I was using the bathroom and while he was using the bathroom. It was vaguely threatening and incredibly off-putting.
Over the last three years, I have tried to learn to love this cat. Then I gave up on that and tried to learn to kind of like this cat. That seemed a little bit too much as well, so the last few months have been spent learning to tolerate this cat. It has not gone well.
Then, today, like a gift from the gods, Yahoo! provided me with the answer to my problem. There on my computer screen was an article by Webvet telling you how to learn to love your partner’s cat. Knowing that Webvet was a very reputable source on all things vet and web related, I clicked, eager to heal my broken relationship.
I read carefully, taking mental notes on every paragraph. Fervently, I sat my laptop down and got to work.
The first step is to look deep inside you and identify the problem. This is a very easy step.
The problem I have with this cat does not come from a deep psychological trauma or a fear of felines. It comes from the fact that my cat tends to do things like bite you randomly and only wants attention at the least opportune times such as when I am using the laptop or going to the bathroom. He will sit on the back of the couch and passive-aggressively hit me with his tail over and over. If any cabinet is left open, he just climbs right in. Also he pees on rugs. That is unpleasant.
This does not include my normal issues with cats. They are not very friendly. They shed. They poop inside which is an activity that should be reserved for those of us who do not wish to bury our feces in sand. They sit on the stairs, making it impossible to go up or down them without a swift kick.
Having done this, I looked at step two.
“Sometimes the cat’s not the problem”
I’m sure this is true. There are sometimes when the cat would not be at fault. Let’s look at the TV show ALF, for instance. ALF, an alien, wants to eat his family’s cat. He thinks cat meat is delicious and wishes to feast on feline flesh. In that situation, it is clearly ALF’s fault that his relationship with that cat suffers.
I have, at no point, wished to eat my cat. Since I can’t think of another way it would be my fault, it is clearly all the fault of the cat.
After identifying the problems in our relationship, namely that my cat is big pain in every nether-region imaginable, I am supposed to take the next step to mend the relationship.
The first suggestion is playing games with the cat. The only game the cat ever seems to want to play is “try to eat the laptop cord.” That is a very dangerous game. I tried waving a feather toy in his face. He looked at me with his “I will kill you in your sleep” look.
With the games out, I moved to watching for the cat to rub his face on you. This happens quite a bit. I felt relieved, thinking that, just maybe, this cat actually does like me. Then I remembered that he always tries to bite my hand right afterwards. Suddenly, it seemed much more like an attempt to lull me into a false sense of security before disemboweling me.
Brushing his hair is supposed to bond us. Once again, he bites me.
One of the biggest things is to, after all of that, try not to take anything the cat does personally.
THE CAT BITES ME! That is, very clearly, a personal attack. HOW am I supposed to NOT take constant biting personally?! What are you not getting, Webvet?
After all of this, I do not feel any closer to my cat. I know that he will, yet again, try to bite me in the near future.
Well, I will that get that cat to love me if it is the last thing I do. I will turn this around. We will become the best of friends.
If that doesn’t work, he’s nine-years-old. Only seven more years until he kicks the bucket and our constant battling for house supremacy is over. Victory will be mine.
Don’t tell him I said that last thing. It definitely won’t help our relationship.
- Alf, armed (subtletitillation.wordpress.com)
- Protect self from biting cat, go to a behaviorist (sfgate.com)
- Once Bitten, Twice Shy: Five Ways to Stop Nibbling Your Nails (bellasugar.com)