My cat may be completely bipolar. Sweet, loving and a cuddle bug one minute, cross him and if he were human he’d spit in your face the next minute. Peter (aka Petey Pie, Peter the horrible, Pete-Pete and $%&?!!) has been in our home since he was 5 weeks old. One reason I think he’s a little kooky is that he was taken away from his mother too young. At only barely 3 weeks he and his 3 other siblings were taken from her. Then at 5 weeks when we took him in, he was raised by our dog. Sometimes I think he think’s he’s a dog. Maybe that’s why he’s a little off, but in any case, he’s very lucky some days that he’s still in our home.
Now, before I start, I know a lot of what I will mention are cat traits. They are fickle beings, and anyone who says cats have no personality have no idea what life is like with one. Their personalities are so different, and if you’re real lucky like we are, you get a cat with multiple personality disorder. He takes attributes of cats to the extreme. The main one being his ability to go almost Cujo in an instant. I’d say our boy is great 80 % of the time…maybe 70%,..um 60%? If you ask my sister, she’ll tell you never, never is when he’s a good boy. Now that’s just not true, but he does have a few screws loose. He can be sweet as pie, rubbing up on you for attention, snuggles up on your lap while you’re watching TV. Loves being pet and rubbed. Stop petting when he doesn’t want you to, or continue a little too long and be ready for him to show you how offended he is. He won’t just get up and move away. He will sit on you, swat you, grab your hand in his mouth and bunny-kick you with his hind legs. Pick him up off of you and put him down, and within 15 seconds, he’s stealthily launching an attack back up on top of you. (We learn to cover up with blankets when he see his eyes glaze over with the death stare. Walk by The King and block the patch of sunlight he’s laying in and he may grab you and latch on to your leg or foot, with his mouth. What this has taught me it to be very speedy. Also, he lives in the moment and doesn’t have any baggage. When he likes something or doesn’t, there is no hesitation in him letting you know. He doesn’t hem and haw over the goings on in his life, he deals with them head on. (He really should get a hold on his temper but who am I to argue with him)
The next thing he does which drives me up the wall, is become an alarm clock when he has not been fed when he feels he should. Since he’s a baby, he ate any food that wasn’t nailed down. Carrots, Broccoli with lemon juice, potatoes – anything. Of course, he had that typical cat ‘tude where when you went to remove it from him he let loose that “This is MINE” growl, and don’t you forget it. Food is a huge motivator for him. As he got older, he tried to train us, as animals do. Not going to get up at 5am like you used to and feed me? Well well well, it’s now 5:15 so I will just jump off of your tall dresser and land on your stomach like someone dropped an anvil from the ceiling. That’s not going to work, ok. Maybe I’ll step on your face. Hmm, I see you put all of your change in a nice pile on the table. One by one I will paw each aside and then shoot it off of the table like I’m practicing for the NHL. All 20 coins, don’t worry, I love to practice. All that recycling you’ve got ready to go to take outside. I will rip the cardboard to pieces, putting the dog to shame! If all else fails, he will go into our daughters room and I swear he wails directly into the monitor. What this behavior has taught me, is to just get the hell up and feed the bastard, or, sneak him into the closet he likes to cat nap in and close the door. I mean really, doesn’t “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you”mean anything to him?? Also, it has shown me what a pain in the ass you can be if you let food control your life.
The last big thing he does is chew plastic. He’s got it bad for any type of plastic casing or wrappers. He gnaws and chews. We of course run and find him, and I pull everything I can out of his mouth, but 15 minutes later, here comes the puke. Fortunately he has never gotten sicker than just throwing it up, and I’ve seen cats much sicker from it. This behavior also happens when he’s not getting attention or being fed when he wants. Mostly the latter, because when he wants attention, we don’t hesitate when he’s not being a jerk. This leads to where he purges. Can it ever, EVER be on the wood floor for easy clean up? Nooooo! He finds any carpeting he can, even if it is a small corner of rug where he keep our shoes in the entryway and Blah! Out it comes. His favorite place is our living room area rug, which is a pretty blend of browns and slate blue. Perfectly hidden and I swear places right where we will step on it. My lesson: remove any damn bit of plastic possible. I think he needs Plastic Eaters Anonymous.
Now despite all of the above, our Peter has his “Petey-Pie” moments. He sleeps right by my side, every night, no matter what. That only changed briefly when our daughter was born, he wasn’t in our room while she was for the first few months. Then when she started sleeping in her room, he slept on the chair in there every time she napped. While I was pregnant, he never, ever left my side. Ever. Always laid his head on my belly and purred so loud and strong our daughter had to have felt it. When we come home, he greets me as great as any dog could. You hear him come thundering down the stairs the when he hears the car door lock. He’s certainly loyal, even though he is constantly pushing our buttons. While other cats may be in our future, for now, Peter is like having about 4 or 5, and with 9 lives each, that’s about 36-45 lives. Each personality reminds us, and others we talk to about him, that cats aren’t always the solitary, independent creatures people think they are. Despite the crazy, I don’t think we’d want him any other way.