Social media, being a product of the internet, has no animal more divine than the common house cat Felis catus. There are cat memes which are so often used to communicate the human condition that one might easily be lead to believe they do it better than is possible with human language.LolCats, Grumpy cat, cute little kittens, and cats dressed like humans looking annoyed; I've seen them all today.
With some people there is a manifest animal membrane through which one interacts with them. First it is their pets, then, if there is time, and there usually is not, there is a bit of human in their interactions. Some days I feel like there may be an animal membrane between me and my own thoughts.
While typing this the cat I named Lilith jumped into my lap, insisted on at least a few earnest ear scratchings, and then leaped off to prowl the halway.
In some mythology Lilith means “Night Monster”, and my Lilith insistently wakes me up most mornings. Purring with delight it punctures my skin with the needle-sharp claws it constantly sharpens on a few choice pieces of increasingly threadbare furniture. It always attacks just before dawn; pouncing on me from the shadows when I am most vulnerable.
AYD was almost named Lilith. In the Othijoth ben Sira Lilith is casually described as Adam's first wife. Made of the same earth as Adam; his equal. I've always thought that was an interesting concept which should have been much more fully developed.
So Felis catus is important in my life on many different levels. This makes it all the more disturbing that I am planning, at least by inactivity, to kill a cat.
It is not a mutant evil cat. In fact it is quite cute. Here is a photo of it staring up at a human in earnest.
There are people who have way too many animals. The “cat lady” is the classic type that defines that disorder. Some animal collectors find their homes awash in fecal material and sick animals. When the homes of these people are eventually decontaminated it is common to find freezers full of animal carcases. The animal collectors become so attached to their animal friends that they cannot let go of them even in death.
I have two cats, and I often think that is one too many. I have no room for a third cat. Cats, at least my cats, behave poorly in groups. My second cat is named “Yuki”. It is a Japanese name, and I usually pronounce it “Yucky”. It is a psychologically damaged cat, but otherwise generally functional. It is an obsessive-compulsive cat. I did not know Cats could be obsesive-compulsive till I saw this cat in action. AOD and AYD picked out the runt of the litter because it was “cute”. Yucky is not the cat whose untimely demise I am contemplating.
Lilith is also damaged; although more understandably so. I am also not planning an untimely end for Lilith. She was abandoned out near our house. A neighbor kid captured it, and brought it around to all the houses trying to find someone to take it in. Her family had refused to adopt it, and so did I. When they could not find a taker they turned her out, and warned it out of their yard with the hose. She ended up taking refuge in our back yard. This was summer.
For months I ignored it, and it would rub my legs and jump into my lap every time I went outside. When it became cold she would just stand at the back door looking inside. When it began to snow we fed it -”just a little 'cause it was so skinny”- and it would stand covered in snow at the back door waiting for more.
Eventually it was let inside, it was fed properly, and she went into heat. At some point this string of unfortunate occurrences became Lilith, and she is now portly, immunized, and fixed.
Summer is coming, and the soon to be late unrepaired male is busy marking the bushes. It rubs against one's leg when out on our porch. It is not skinny and cold since it has found the abundance of voles that this spring is producing, and it has also found the new cat-door to the garage. It has moved into the garage. I'm sure it has marked all sorts of things in the garage as well.
Our house backs up to the mountains. Deer sleep under our back porch. Coyotes and foxes prowl the fields my kitchen window overlooks. AOD and AYD clearly identified a mountain lion in our back yard one night; they were drawn to the frantic yelping of the two cats by the back door.
People often drop off their animals at the end of the road a few blocks around the corner from my house. I've seen many that I don't see for too long. I don't think they find their way home, but some might. Perhaps they are put in a sack and drowned at that point; isn't that the classic way to rid yourself of a cat?
Here is another picture of the cat whose only crime is managing to escape the very real perils of abandonment in the semi-wild. It is aware of the scary things it has sheltered itself in my garage to avoid. When it howls at night there is a hint of fear in its voice.
|Look at how saucy-eyed it gets when it is petted. You can almost see how loud it is purring.|
Perhaps the fear is just me. I hear how much I dislike the idea of being forced to take care of someone else's cute little furball of a problem. But it is not just someone else's problem; I could have turned the hose on it before it moved in. I could have sprayed it with one of those awful anti-animal sprays. I could have done something. Now I am planning this cat's death, or at least I am thinking about planning this cat's death.
Perhaps I should pack it up, and drive it to some distant end of some road. It might find a home; right? It worked for whomever put me in this position with this cat. It would almost be like I was not murdering it.
I will probably take it to some animal shelter, where it will get five days or so to be adopted, and then it will be gassed (or whatever they do).
Or maybe you want a new cat?