Monday, November 5, 2007

These cats play dirty

A cautionary tale:

This is Annie.

Annie is one of my two kitty-babies, and has been with us for over 2 years. She fears nothing except dogs, and is sure that the entire house is her domain, even though Mark & I pretty much keep to the top floor of the house. Our other kitty, Blackie, sticks close to us, but Annie is the adventurous sort.

This is Alfie.

Alfie is one of my parents' two cats, and has been with them for many years - ever since his Auntie Laura saved him from some mean neighborhood boys who were beating him with chunks of winter ice. Alfie is at least 4 years older than Annie, and had been in our home for a good 3 years + before we ever got Annie & Blackie. He should be the alpha male in this abode.

You notice I emphasized the should. While he is every bit as intrepid as Annie, which is commendable at his advanced age, he becomes inexplicably timid around both my girls. He actively seeks them out - as he is doing fruitlessly in the above picture - yet the best he's been able to manage when he actually gets their attention is to become a white furry punching bag. Annie enjoys this immensely, while Blackie takes the whole thing very seriously, and gets all worked up about it. Blackie views Alfie the same way Lou Dobbs and Pat Buchanan view illegal Mexican immigrants. No laughing matter for her... But I digress.

Annie has developed the habit of wandering downstairs to where Alfie spends most of his time, and just loitering provocatively until he notices her. I like to call it "kitty entrapment". All he has to do is wander a bit too close to her and WHAM! The typical attack is characterized by a flurry of blows to Alfie's face, until he loses his balance or cowers in fear. Usually, this is the end of it, at least until he comes back for more (which he always does).

On a few occasions, though, Annie has chosen to deliver a parting shot to Alfie as he tries to escape her wrath. And this is the truly interesting part: as Mark has witnessed several times, Annie will wait until Alfie has turned his back on her to run away, then she advances to deliver an uppercut to his most sensitive of areas.

Yep, that's right. My darling little Annie has mastered the feline nut punch. And with a true uppercut motion, too, which almost seems impossible. And yet we've all seen it. And, sadder still, Alfie keeps coming back for more.

Maybe it's his history of abuse as a child - I mean, kitten - that has caused him enough self-esteem issues to allow him to live in such an abusive situation. But he keeps going back.

I guess you can't help everyone. And if you have male genitalia and are ever invited to Casa de Raymond, be on guard for Annie the Nut-Punching Supercat. She starts out sweet, but I make no guarantees. It's every man for himself around here, baby!

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