I’ll fill this with cat cards so you’ll keep reading. But I hate cats.
That’s no surprise to people who tell me I need to stop being so mean about cards that have cats. But I have my reasons. A few points:
First, be grateful I post them at all. You’re sick, and I harbor guilt and shame for enabling you.
Second, cats have no souls or inner goodness and don’t deserve respect, so your outrage is fundamentally misplaced.
Third…ok, maybe I should just explain where all this ire comes from. It’s a good story, so settle in.
After college, I “babysat” an ex-girlfriend’s cat for a weekend. The cat and I had never been on the best of terms to start. It was one of those semi-house cats that would disappear for days because she always let it out in the morning. She never worried if it stayed out for a night and showed up again sometime the next day. Once, it was gone for over a week, and only showed up once we’d gotten around to printing up flyers for the apartment complex (and this was before everyone had their own color printer, so it was an expensive and time-consuming ordeal).
To me, that’s just selfish ingratitude, and I always thought the thing was stuck-up.
But even when it was around, it would jump on me and hang on for no good reason, and it’s claws were sharper than other cats’ claws, or at least that’s how it felt when it was cramming its toe-razors into my thigh.
It also smelled like a cat. And by “cat” I mean urine. I blame the ex-girlfriend for that, more than the cat, I guess.
But any of that is ultimately forgiveable and no reason for hate. I accept that. But then…oh, then. Let me change tenses for no good reason:
It’s the weekend I’m supposed to watch the cat, and I bring Cuddles (not its name) to my small one bedroom apartment, not really knowing what to expect. It seems a bit peeved at first, but we stay out of each other’s way. I feed it extra treats to make sure it knows I want a truce, and it pays me back by sleeping all day while I write. Things seem to settle into mutual, quiet disdain.
Around bedtime, I realize I hadn’t quite thought this through. At my girlfriend’s apartment, it would sleep on the bed with her. But it never liked it when I stayed over and would always paw at me in the middle of the night. (That was one reason I didn’t stay over that often, which is probably one extra nail in the relationship coffin.) But it’s my apartment, and I don’t share my bed with creatures. I make sure it has a very cozy pile of blankets in the corner it’s been hanging out in all day in the front room, and close the bedroom door.
That lasts maybe five minutes. Then the scratching begins. And the mewing. This cat had wanted nothing to do with me all day long when I could have given it attention, and now, when I shut the door, it’s lonely. But it’s a creature, right, and it will get bored…right? No. I last maybe 15 minutes before I open the door and resign myself to a night of bad sleep.
Of course it hops on the bed and waits for me to nod off before it starts pawing at my leg, using just enough claw to cut through the blankets and sheet.
We wage a battle of silent wills until it finally curls up and leaves me alone. I’ve won, I think. So I sleep.
…for maybe three hours. And then it happens.
Around 2 in the morning, I hear a cat sound. Not a regular meow, although it’s obviously coming from a cat. But this meow is something deeper, something angry. And I’m groggy, the room is dark but hazy because of moonglow shining in off the snow. I hear the sound again, this time quieter, and I can’t see the damn cat. It’s not on the bed. I roll over to look over the bed and underneath…no cat. But I hear it once more, this time with a hiss.
I lay back down, sleepy and pissed, and look up…and see two yellow spots with black dagger-slits, things that careless people who can’t recognize windows to a true soul might call “eyes,” suspended some three or feet above my face, hanging in mid air.
Understand that I was in grad school with no spare cash. The only things I had to decorate my apartment were left over posters from dorm rooms, books, and this one huge printed wall hanging that was basically a sheet with some cheap, trippy bad-head-shop fractal crap I’d picked up for next to nothing. That’s what hung behind my bed in lieu of a headboard.
And right in the middle, somewhere above my head and below the ceiling, is the cat, hanging on that sheet. Upside down. Head looking straight down at me, teeth barred, and angry like Krampus on a humid April day.
How long had that goblin been hanging there, looking at me? What made it want to climb the goddam wall in the first place? Why right above my sleeping, defenseless head? The only conceivable reason was to create precisely this reaction in me, to bring about this panic, to crawl inside my comfort zone and blast it to pieces like a pipebomb. The only reason for what I’m staring at is hateful, spiteful evil.
I scramble up, throw a pillow at the thing, and panic because it had jumped off, and now I can’t see it. But I can hear it. The sound of hissing moves around the room in irrational ways. And the moonlight off the snow upsets my vision, so I can’t focus. I stumble around, finally turning on the lights, and I see it sprint into the other room.
I only have one option. I open the front door and wait for it to leave. I wasn’t staying in the same walls with that creature. Hell, I wasn’t gonna breathe in the same room as that thing. It would find its way back to the girlfriend eventually, and any lie I had to tell about how it had gotten out would be a small price to pay to escape the evil demon hovering above my head while I slept. I finally see it sprint out into the moonlight, not even glancing back.
Although I finally got back to sleep, I woke up once thinking I heard a scratching outside my window. I didn’t bother to check because I was afraid it would be spelling something out like “Tuna fish or die!” or “REDRUM!” in the snow.
But that sealed it. Cats torment humans. It’s their purpose. All the cuteness is a show, and you’ve all been fooled and suckered. So I’ll keep posting these cards in the hopes that one day you’ll see through the facade and face the truth. And I’ll keep posting them for myself because, to me, they’re scarier than any image of Krampus ever will be, and, I admit, I’m a horror fan. So please realize that when I post cards with cute little cats on them, I’m posting that which is the spawn of all evil as far as I know it. When I post a cat, I’m posting a reflection of Satan’s soul. If you think it’s cute, that’s your problem.