October 31, 2008

Boggart (the pro and con list) (UPDATED...twice)

Remember the kitten? His name is Boggart but we also call him Little, and Yellow, and Lello, and Beelzebub, who, as it turns out DOES have many names. This kitten has grown up, mostly, and I am sad to report that he is NOT A GOOD CAT.

At least once on a normal day, and SEVERAL times on a bad day, I say to him “DEVIL FROM HELL’S BOWELS, do you not KNOW that I went online and found you withering away in an underfunded shelter on the state line between Alabama and Georgia, and they had MORE THAN THIRTY kittens there slated for death in MERE HOURS and I drove a hundred miles and change to get your yellow, sorry buttocks and I took you home and fed you and loved you kindly and allowed you to nurse frenetically on my ears when you were wee and frightened, even though it got my neck all CAT SUCKY, do you not KNOW THIS? Well? Well?”

Boggart will look at me as if he does know, so I will say, “THEN WHY ARE YOU SUCH AN UNREPENTENT BUTTHOLE?” Then he will do this little squirmy move that would be a shrug if he had shoulders to speak of and saunter away, tail held high to blatantly show me the very part I have just accused him of being.
PS. He is not the world’s best WASHER. I’m just sayin’.

I was STRONGLY considering drowning him yesterday, and I made a pro/con list where the pros were reasons to allow his continued existence.

PRO

1) Boggart is pleasant to look at. His orange and yellow stripes are very rich in color, and his white bits are creamy and fine. He has a pleasing, symmetrical face with very large, very round pumpkin colored eyes, tidy ears, and a Roman nose. I have always enjoyed looking at cats with Roman noses.

2) He… might be soft?

That was all I could come up with.

CON:

1) He is not THAT pretty. In fact, just now, he is downright SLINKY looking. Adolescence made his BACK legs grow out longer than his front ones. Fisher Price little people could SKI down his back if they were half as inclined as his SPINE is. His WHOLE back end grew ahead of the front one, in fact, rendering him slim-shouldered and pinheaded, and his big belly and butt dandle from his pointed front like a bloaty droplet.

EDIT: Holly in comments says she cannot imagine the bloaty-droplet-like aspects of his physique and asked for a picture. I tried to get a picture of him from the side, standing up, but every time I approached, he sat down and gave me this AFFRONTED expression:

thejerk.jpg

After Scott got home, I decided to try to capture his odd shape on film again, this time by by hanging him. He bore it with phlagmatism. SEE how he is pear or droplet shaped? Also...long.

dercat.jpg


2) He might NOT be soft. How could anyone know? He slithers away from all human touches with that exact AFFRONTED look you see above on his face. His body language perfectly mimics Alicia Silverstone in CLUELESS when she says, “As if!”

3) He VULTURES. By this I mean, he clambers and scrapes his way up to the highest point in the room (awarding himself extra points for damaging furniture on the way up) so he can LOOK DOWN on people in this superior manner. It is hard to tell if he is being SNOBBY or simply pragmatic, waiting for us all to die so he can eat us. We call it vulturing because in expression and posture, it looks like when SNOOPY would pretend to be a vulture:

snoopy%20the%20vulture.jpg

4) He attacks babies.

Granted my babies are 11 and 6, but they BOTH now sleep with their bedroom doors shut because if they do not, Boggart trots back and forth between their rooms attacking them in their sleep. He says that if they didn’t want to be attacked, they wouldn’t put parts of themselves under the covers and then MOVE those parts as if they might be deadly cobras, and furthermore, whence comes the day that the moving thing under the covers IS a deadly cobra and not a child-foot, won’t we be glad he killed it and saved us all, and in this light, he is JUST LIKE Rikki-Tikki-Tavi and a total hero and we should shut up and feed him on cream. When I point out deadly cobras are not native to Georgia, he stalks off muttering about zoo escapes and the elitism of those who had a luxury of a college education, and if we had only sent him to STANFORD he would KNOW where cobras live, now wouldn’t he.

5) He attacks grown ups. All our feet are equal opportunity cobra-be-ers.

6) He wants to kill the Mice Ladies. Really. It is his dream in life.

7) He sneaks up onto the kitchen counter and kidnaps whole, raw chicken breasts and drags them away and noms them to death on the carpet.

I am a cat person. I truly am. And if you want me to LIKE YOU, and you happen to be a cat, your path is easy. SO EASY. You do not have to do much at ALL.
---You COULD purr, you could look soft, you could play with string in an engaging fashion, but this is all BONUS activity and is not required.
--You have absolute license to attack people feet, truly you do.
--You may also rip up the furniture and torment the dog. GO AHEAD, I will say, you are CAT you DESERVE to destroy my new chair and eat my raw dinner and put salmonella on my rug.
-- I have opposable thumbs and gray matter, and so far my Mice Lady protection policy has kept them safe from his thumbless, smaller-brained predations, and I can FORGIVE the trying because I know they are in a safe house.
--It’s NICE if you are pretty, but Schubert is greasy, and one-eyed, and so clinically obese in his old age I fear his skin will split, and I ADORE him, so clearly beauty is not mandatory.

In fact, in this long list of cat cons, only ONE matters a whit.

Boggart doesn’t like to be petted. He reacts with equal parts DISDAIN and MUTE HORROR when faced with ANY physical contact. Sometimes, if he is DEAD ASLEEP, I can sneak up and gently scritch under his chin and he will purr faintly until he wakes up enough to realize that a HUMAN HAND is perpetrating these pleasure, and then he will leap angrily away and stomp off as best he can on his pointed little end parts.

I don’t know what to do with a pet I can’t pet. Is this part of being TEENAGER cat? Will he grow out of it? Will one day, when his shoulders develop and his pin head expands and he stops being all awkward and PIMPLY=SPIRITED, will he be a nice cat? He was RAISED well, certainly.

As of now, he is DEPRESSING ME with his constant rejection. I tell him, I’m going to be buying kibble and paying your vet bills and scraping YOUR POO OUT OF A BOX for 12 – 17 years THERE, BUDDY, so you need to man up and come across with a little snuggle. He says, I think…not, and prisses away, tail up, as if to say, Kiss this.

Posted by joshilyn at October 31, 2008 8:06 AM
Comments

Neuter him!! This is my Mother's answer to everything. If you already have, I don't know what to tell you, but I feel your pain. We have a stray dog which I make a pro & con list for daily , usually only one pro. I call him a stray but he has been with us since the end of August! People, in my parking lot at work,were screaming that a dog was attacking them. I expect to fight off a Rottweiler, a Doberman, or a wild hyena.He is a 4, maybe 5lb. mutt. He looks like a Chihuahua from one direction or a really tall Dachshund from another. He was skin & bones. He was so grateful to be saved. He was lovey. He knows how to walk on a leash, ride in cars. We went door to door looking for his home, in every neighborhood in this area. We answered lost & found ads. We had him scanned to see if he was micro chipped. Put up signs. He is still HERE. He only likes me. Okay, he LOVES me, HATES the rest of my family. He attacks if they come near me. He chews things. He steals the other dogs toys, treats, dinner. But the most horrible part of this whole filthy saga, even after he has been out to handle his business, he comes back in, looks at me & pees. I mop all the time. My husband has named him. Yes, during Hurricane Gustav, my husband decides he needed a name since he obviously is not going anywhere. My Mom says neuter him & he will calm down. I say if I do & he doesn't then I will be out a bunch of money for this devil dog. Gustav is lovey. Gustav pees a lot. Gustav is STILL here.

Posted by: Kimberly at October 31, 2008 9:46 AM

I'm not a cat person so I have no advice on the psychological development of the cat and probably would have voted for the drowning (kidding!). It is nice to know that I am not the only one who calls my pet terrible names. Butthole may be one of the nicer things I have said to my dog as I remove his business from the carpet my babies play on. Tell me again, who belongs to who in these pet/people situations?

Posted by: Em at October 31, 2008 9:57 AM

1. : )
Thank you. You had me silently (and not so silently) laughing again to the point of discovering that wheeze.
2. an Abyssinian will follow you everywhere. and then that becomes a con when she gets btwn your ankles and you dive headlong into a concrete wall.
3. bit o' trivia: the word in German is Arschloch.
4. cobras are danagerous. you *should* be grateful for the protection. (and it's darn funny when you see the protector skulking under the covers thinking s/he is invisible)

Last but not least, yes adolescence is a bear in any species I gather. So I agree w/Kimberly; if Yellow Beast can and has not yet been neutered, do so.

Happy Halloween! (Clearly Boggart's got the attitude to be a Pirate and Schubert already has the eye patch, I presume, so you should have a few less costume issues to worry about today.)

Posted by: Elizabeth J at October 31, 2008 10:07 AM

I have nothing to offer except a sincere THANK YOU!!! Because for the rest of the day I will flash on a mental picture of Boggart the butthole sauntering away, tail held high, nether regions not perfectly clean, with a bubble above his head saying "Kiss this!" and will laugh like a hyena. I need that laugh today, so thank you very very much.

Posted by: Deborah P at October 31, 2008 10:07 AM

It *might* be adolescence. We have two cats. One is an unrepentant lap-cat and has been from kittenhood. If there is a lap available, she will be in it; and GOD HELP YOU if you stop with the patting.

The other cat... well, she was VERY standoffish for the first two years of her life. The gradually, little by little, she got sweeter and sweeter. Just in the last month or so (she's now 3 1/2) she's started climbing into my lap. Of course, she only ever seems to do it when I'm just sitting down for a minute and have to get right back up again, but she's doing it pretty consistently and has also found her voice (she didn't MEOW for a year). Incidentally, I'm fairly certain she speaks Chinese, because now that she's found her voice what she likes to say is "min YAO."

So let's hope for adolescence and that Boggart will decide that it's cool to be kind.

Posted by: Aimee at October 31, 2008 10:52 AM

I had a similar experience with a Tortoiseshell kitty who entered my workplace with me one day in 1997. I worked at Social Services at the time,and she was a tiny little stick, so I assumed that she wished to apply for Food Stamps. I gave her some food, took her tiny self to the vet and spent a MINT getting her back to a semblance of health, then spent the next several years attempting to touch her. Oh, she was incredibly appreciative of the hand-feedings of baby food which she received upon request while she was starving, and sat purring on the Papa-San chair endlessly. Once she put on a pound, however, it became a challenge simply to be in the same room with her. I wouldn't have taken it so personally if I hadn't seen her snuggling up to THE DOG on a regular basis. She loved the dog, who had not done a thing for her except attempt to be INCREDIBLY rude to her nether regions with a large moist nose on a regular basis. This general disdain for the loving hand that fed her earned her the nickname HORRIBLE CAT BEAST, which was only slightly better than her actual name, "Itty Fitty," which, I swear, she herself chose.
Now, here is the odd thing. After I GAVE UP, decided that I would simply have to be a Good Christian and accept her for whom she is, and stopped making overtures of friendship, she...changed. It was not all at once, but it was noticeable over time. At first, I was thrilled. She SAT NEXT TO ME on the couch,and sniffed my hand politely when it was offered! Now, I am less thrilled. I cannot knit, I cannot read. If I do not pet, fuss over, and worship her as she strolls back and forth across my lap, she SITS on my yarn, or my book, or whatever I am trying to pay attention to. This is especially awkward during dinner. If I absolutely insist that she vacate my person, she walks to the middle of the rug, falls histrionically onto her side, then rolls on her back, writhing and squirming like a lap dancer working for tips.
Recently, as I was transporting Herself through the house with my ear pressed to her vibrating ribs and her kneading paws massaging my shoulder, I told her, "People are going to get the wrong idea about us, Horrible Cat Beast. They will think we are friends!"
To sum up: In my opinion, kitties will change their attitudes toward their person with time and ignorage. As long as we don't want them to.

Posted by: Jennifer at October 31, 2008 11:08 AM

Arg, teenagers. Of all species.

Can you post a picture of Boggart? Specifically, from the side - I'm having trouble visualizing the "big belly and butt [dangling] from his pointed front like a bloaty droplet", and really, it would be entertaining to visualize that. What a silly cat.

Posted by: Holly at October 31, 2008 11:16 AM

treats. withhold all treats. Then, when you catch him sleeping, pet with one hand and have super-special treats in the other hand and shove them in his mouth when he wakes up and keep petting until you run out of treats. Repeat often. If he'll lick and not bite, spread liver paste, kong paste, peanut butter, anything sticky and tasty. Spread it all over one hand in a thin layer and use the other to pet. Repeat multiple times a day. If needed, you can take it as far as he only gets fed from your hand, sitting on your lap, kibble by kibble. He'll learn that petting==good stuff.

Posted by: P at October 31, 2008 12:24 PM

Hmmm.... could it be an orange cat thing? Our orange guy doesn't like to be petted either. He will bite your hand and/or seize your hand with many claws. Now as a young man (He's 7 or 8) we can pet his head safely. Go beyond the shoulders and you will get bit. He's an ankle biter, too. He'll sneak under the table or couch and wrap all his claws and teeth around any leg he finds. Some of his better nicknames are "resident evil" and "agent orange". And I have said to my hubby that he's waiting for me to die so he can nom me.

Posted by: Laura L at October 31, 2008 12:41 PM

Some cats do calm down as they age, which could make it easier to pet him. The other possibility is to get him a cat for which he feels even greater disdain than what he feels for you. This happened with our cat; he wasn't so cuddly until we got ourselves a couple of kittens. Now we seem pretty good by comparison. At least we're calm. And we protect him. Then again, the new kitty could be completely adorable, which would at least give you something to pet in lieu of Boggart, so there is that.

Posted by: Caryn Caldwell at October 31, 2008 1:16 PM

Orange cats are crazy. I'm learning that the hard way (just adopted two orange kittens).

Posted by: RockyCat at October 31, 2008 2:16 PM

He's orange, he's a teenager, and he's a cat. The only thing worse would be if he were a tortie...but then he wouldn't be a he, so never mind.

Go with Jennifer's advice above. The whole concept of "reverse psychology" had to have been thought up by a psychologist with a cat.

Other than that I would go with lots of play time for him if anyone has time. He needs to be getting worn out chasing little toy mice. It would be best if Schubert could exert himself to play with him, but I'm guessing that won't happen. :)

Fit the kids out with thick socks and thicker covers and teach them to make vicious "bed rats" under the covers when he gets them. Once he learns that those rats are fierce he will be less likely to attack them.

The mice ladies...well, here I make myself an enemy of the Casa Kudzu crowd. I do not do the pet rodent thing, and I think combining cats and rodents is just asking for some natural selection to happen.

Posted by: Beth at October 31, 2008 2:25 PM

How is it that cat's seem to have several names, where dogs usually only have one?

I'm siding with the ignoring group. :)

Posted by: JulieB at October 31, 2008 4:41 PM

The pictures help, he does seem to have an odd shape, maybe he has a hormone/chemical issue & makes him aloof!! It has been brought to my attention that I have been blinded by the love of Gustav and failed to mention a few obvious cons!!
1. He can jump the fence. My oldest son was tired of being attacked & put him out the front door. Gusty jumped back into the yard & came back into the house with the other dog. He leaves anytime he wants. Parties with the ladies? Visits old friends? Maybe he has another family he is stringing along?
2. This last con is most disturbing to my family, he constantly licks his man parts. ALL DAY LONG. Truly amazing. This causes everyone to use great caution when around him, no one (NOT even me) wants to be licked by him after a day of man part licking!! He needs help. He needs a new home. I can't bear to part with him because he is so lovey. Maybe Gustav could teach Bogart a few things about being friendly!!

Posted by: Kimberly at October 31, 2008 6:19 PM

I went through EXACTLY the same thing with my cat. He is a beautiful, massive, Turkish Angora with soft, luxurious hair that you can't help but want to pet, yet he was absolutely repulsed by human contact for the first 5 years of his life. He's six now, and over the last year, he's slowly grown to love it. He's even started to purr - something he'd done so rarely before, we thought he was borked. Of course, it always has to be on his terms - don't even THINK about picking him up. Still, it's nice that he's somewhat loving now.

Posted by: Eighmee at October 31, 2008 8:00 PM

I have seen this happen usually with female cats oddly enough and its been the male ones that are the lovable kind. My terrible teenager cat went through a short period of he only wants to be petted on his terms...but then he is very much a momma's boy and will snuggle up with me and try to help me do my homework by doing the best thing he knows how...LAYING ON TOP of it and smiling.

I suspect Teenager cat is just being a teenager. As he gets older he'll be more appreciative.

Posted by: Lia at October 31, 2008 10:12 PM

It has taken us almost four years for our rescue kitties to begin to think about maybe snuggling. The Whack Job -- formally known as Geordie -- will run at the least sound and he is terrified of everything. But at night, under the covers, we apparently don't look so scary and he'll let us cuddle briefly.

But just yesterday, for the FIRST TIME EVER, he got up on Lillian's lap and stayed and purred.

The Queen of Everything -- formally known as Isis -- will sit next to me and purr but no one must ever ever ever pick her up. We have scars.

However the sitting next to me business only happened once it got cooler outside, so come spring there's no telling.

I think it's a combination of being rescue kitty, which makes for neuroses of many sorts, being adolescent, which can last for several years, and being haughty cat, which has no known cure.

Good luck, Peach!

Posted by: Fran at October 31, 2008 10:25 PM

We also once had a psycho kitty I called "she-beast". If you patted her lower than her head she'd rip you up BAD. But after a couple years, if the weather was cold and your lap was disguised by a blanket, she'd come curl up on it and allow patting to go as far as her back. Unfortunately, though we live hundreds of feet off the road, in the woods, she managed to get hit by a car when she was only 3 or 4, so who knows if she would have evolved further.

Posted by: Brigitte at November 1, 2008 8:37 AM

When my loving cat (and I mean loving, she took up residence on my lap as soon as I formed one) died, my family got me two "replacements". Ha. They are not even in the same species. It took four years for one of them to even look me in the eye. He now is demanding when HE wants attention which is usually not when I, the master, want to give him attention. Cats are wonderful/weird creatures.
And I think lots of them are shaped like that. Small heads and big butt ends.

Posted by: donna lee at November 1, 2008 10:03 AM

It's definitely not an orange cat thing. I have an orange cat with similar body shape that is the sweetest attention hog there ever was.

He is acting much more like our Siamese, who does not like to be held, but will allow us to pet her in her sleep. It took a couple years, but not she will come sit in laps, so long as you don't try to pick her up and cuddle.

My advice is this: Does he like being brushed? Sometimes cats who don't like to be petted love being brushed. Taking time to brush them kind of simulates petting so the cat can earn your trust. Eventually he will learn to like being petted.

Posted by: Haley at November 1, 2008 10:45 AM

I have encountered all the problems you are describing from 2 of my 3 cats. First...there was Chef. We rescued Chef from the Lawrenceville Animal Control on his 'death day' as I like to call it. He had the feared red dot on his cage when we arrived...and therefore made our choice quite easy in which cat we were to rescue. He was a beautiful solid black kitty..about 8 weeks in age (the people at the pound told us he was 6 months and in fact a she..shows what they know)...anyhow...we brought little Chef home with the highest of hopes of an ever so thankful cat that would love us and grovel at our feet for saving him from an untimely death...but if you know cats..you should also know that this was a far fetched dream. Chef...upon bringing him home chose to hide from us during daylight hours. This was alright we thought..he's had a rough start to life..he just needs an adjustment period..we were happy to wait. I say during daylight hours because at night..he would in fact come out and roam about the house...knocking things off shelves and the counter..and also, just as you described...trying to MURDER our feet or any body part that chose to even THINK about moving in the bed. This went on for 3 months. 3 MONTHS! We could not pet him..for he could not be found during the day...and any movement at night we were convinced would equal instant death for us...so certainly no petting to be done. Then suddenly..one day..he chose to join the daylight world...he made himself seen. Every now and then...if you didnt make sudden movements of course..he would allow momentary petting as long as you promised not to tell anyone else. And slowly but surely he became more and more affectionate...convinced himself we were not of the devil and settled nicely into his 'pet cat' role. We were all eternally happy about this..and I will say that 10 years later he is a fat lovey dovey old man cat that plants himself on you at any chance and drools incessantly until you make him move.

THEN there is Hootie. Hootie is a MASSIVE black with a little white cat...long pretty hair...that is extremely soft. The black and white pattern is not asthetically stunning by any means..its a rather common patter on cats really...but his sheer size is something that always catches the attention of people and we take pride in that. Hootie is a kitten of our late cat..Buffy...who was one of those cats that always gave you a look that implied she knew she was smarted than you..and she gave this look with such conviction that she would make you wonder if this were maybe true. Anyways...Buffy had babies..5 of them...all were beautiful little kitties..really they were..and Buffy was a fantastic mommy kitty. My little Hootie though..despite havin g a good mommy in Buffy..he got underweight...wouldnt eat properly..I dont know why but either way the little thing was skin and bones. So much so that my ever so sweet father referred to him as 'walking death' instead of the much kinder name Hootie that we had given him. But we would not let our little Hootie die...OF COURSE we could not have that. So we bagan nursing Hootie all during the day 8, 10, 12 times a day and we would stay up at night and make sure he ate and was okay and not getting picked of by his much fatter siblings. For weeks and weeks extraordinary care was taken with Hootie...and finally Hootie put on weight...he even got fat I will say.. and he was beautiful...with his lion mane-ness look..and when it came time to get rid of the kittens ALL agreed that our bond with Hootie was FAR too great to get rid of him and our brood would have to grow by one. At least...OUR bond to Hootie was great....for him...not so much. Hootie became rather passive with the humans in his life. He would stay outdoors most of the time...sometines for 2 or 3 nights at a time. He HATED to be petted...REFUSED to be held...and never ever slept where we could find him. It was as if we had offended him beyond our wildest dreams...when in fact all WE had done was save him from deaths doorstep and fall in love with him and ALWAYS comment on his beauty...SHAME on us right?

This went on with Hootie all through what we call his teenage years...until finally...one day...he remembered our goodwill toward him..and FINALLY started showing some love. He is still a very independant cat though..will not be held and isnt a 'lap kitty' in the least. But he does LOVE to be petted...he loves it so much in fact that he will attack you...SLICE hands, fingers, and even legs wide open to let you know that NOW would be a good time for petting.

My point here is that Boggart will most likely grow out of this phase. It's as if cats reward persistence. Or like they want to see exactly how commited you are to wanting to be their petter. Or...and this is the theory I go with.....some cats make you BEG to let YOU pet THEM so that when the day comes that this is allowed THEY seem like the good guy. Cats have a way of manipulation that is amazing.

Posted by: Gerty at November 1, 2008 10:59 AM

I don't think it's an orange thing either - through the years most of the orange kitties I've been around have been pretty mellow.

Does he get to go outside? (I know this opens a whole can of worms with some people.) But, my three resident felines have a cat door and full outdoor access and they get to burn off excess energy, they don't climb drapes, attack babies, etc.

We do have to deal with occasional gifts...frogs, birds, and even CHIPMUNKS.

P.S. The other plus to the cat door is that the litter box is in the garage - Vivi, Ben & Oscar bypass it and use the great outdoors 99% of the time.

Posted by: Nelson's Mama at November 1, 2008 12:49 PM

Most orange kitties are usually very mellow and sweet.

I know a lot of people keep their cats indoors exclusively, but we now live in place that we are able to have cat doors so our kitties can go in and out as they like. They are so much happier than the cats than I've had in the past - and my house and furniture is happier too. Nobody climbs my drapes, they don't shred the couch and they don't pick at the door facings.

The biggest plus is that the litter box is in the garage and Ben, Vivian and Oscar bypass it 99% of the time and opt for the great outdoors!

The CON with our plan is that they bring in gifts, shrews, mice, frogs, snakes...and CHIPMUNKS.

May Boggart is feeling a little cooped up and needs to get out and burn off some steam.

Posted by: Nelson's Mama at November 1, 2008 1:06 PM

Ah, I see. He IS droplet-shaped. Thanks for the photo!

Posted by: Holly at November 1, 2008 1:34 PM

This is totally teenage cat shape and 'tude. My own dear Possum just shunned me for two months straight and suddenly is back to nursing my earlobes, removing my facial skin with unstoppable licking in the dead of night, and then falling asleep while drooling copiously in my eye sockets. Prend courage! You too will be sopping up cat drool with your sheets again soon!

Posted by: Sara at November 1, 2008 9:33 PM

How heart rending. You so loved and adored the thought of a cute, loving, cuddly kitty and worried for it's safety around the pirate cat. Boggart the Butt will come around and be annoyingly lovable....someday. Patience tulip, patience.

Posted by: Cele at November 2, 2008 11:42 AM

Another hopeful tale: my sister's cat took many years to get even a little cuddly. By the time she was ten or so (I didn't say it was short-term hope!), she would lie next to one to be petted, and in the last couple of years of her life, she would even lie on one's lap.

Let's hope Boggart gets sweet sooner, but I think you will, indeed, have to wait until he offers. And maybe he'll get better at washing, too.

Posted by: Diane (TT) at November 2, 2008 12:40 PM

This is JUST what it's like to have your sunny-hearted firstborn boy turn 13. Just so's ya know. Complete with musings about keep/don't keep.
*mutter and sigh*

Posted by: Kira at November 2, 2008 10:05 PM

Having just gotten a kitten who is about to go into the throes to teenagehood, I say this: they're not necessarily being mean. they're just VERY BUSY. Dollars to donuts he'll grow out of it and be sweet. If not, there's always the van, down by the river. (KIDDING.)

Posted by: Alice at November 3, 2008 11:19 AM

I am so glad I found your blog. You are hilarious! I appreciate your sense of humor; it cheers me up about life in general. I am still laughing about your comments over turning 40, which I just did also. I live in the Atlanta area, too, so we have a lot in common. haha.

My last cat was pure evil and unfortunately, I named him Sweetie. It was so embarrassing to admit what his name was when we went to the vet and he behaved like the demon he was. Cats! They're just lucky they're cute.

Posted by: Debbie at November 3, 2008 2:09 PM

Now I feel bad for dissing the orange cats! Just to clarify-- we all love Carmel. He can be a sweetie, but he can also be nasty :) We theorize he doesn't know how to interact with people too well. His previous owner teased him. A lot. We got him from my brother in law.

Posted by: Laura L at November 3, 2008 4:47 PM

1. if you manage to sneak in a cuddle, offer a treat before he stalks off.
2. wait for cold weather. When your lap is warm, he will love you.
3. age bring affection. After a decade of regular food, our grey kitty now allows affection to be shared. briefly

Posted by: mom, again at November 4, 2008 7:41 AM

Have you tried not liking him? Or declaring, "I am allergic to cats" everytime you step foot in the house. Ignore him. Cats love people that ignore them.

Posted by: Catherine at November 4, 2008 5:31 PM

As usual, I'm late to the party, but I vote with the 'keep trying' faction. We have six cats and they are all attention sluts regardless of personality (and two of them are torties, and one of the torties is half-Siamese). I attribute that to the fact that I can't see one of them without petting them. Eventually, even the shy ones get used to it.

You might also be interested in this, posted on my veterinarian's site:

http://www.catdocmaine.com/purrsonality/intro2.html

Scroll down and "take" the test for Boggart. This thing nailed the personalities of all six of ours.

As for your kids, give them water pistols. When Boggart attacks them under the covers, give him a squirt. Very effective!

Posted by: firefly at November 4, 2008 5:52 PM

Coming to this late, but that look you call affronted in the first pic of Boggart? That's the look I call "psychokitteh" when I see it on little cat Bodie's face on this side of the pond. It usually precedes the cobra-ing of feet, arms, knuckles and any exposed pieces of flesh (he doesn't require them to be moving). Bodie can be petted for all of about 10 seconds before he starts attacking anything within reach (the only way to save fingers is to con him into attacking his own tail - which is surprisingly easy to do). I'm hoping it's a phase. Right now, he is draped across my left wrist purring his heart out, but that is only to lull me into a false sense of security before he starts chewing on my knuckles.

On the lack of affection issue - elder cat here (Harvey) took a whole seven YEARS before he'd trust me enough to occasionally pick him up. Now he is the cuddle monster. He did like getting his petting during the seven years of not allowing anyone to pick him up, but only when he felt like it.

I've always taken in rescued cats, and they all seem to go through that "attack everything and refuse love" phase, for some it lasts longer than others.

Persevere, and look forward to the day when Boggart sits curled up on your lap as you type, delivering the occasional affectionate head-butt and nuzzle when you need them, when you have to wait a while for it, you'll never take it for granted.

My knuckles are now under attack so I'd best sign off and hide them up my sleeve to keep them safe.

Posted by: Rompompom at November 4, 2008 9:16 PM