We love our pets, really we do. It’s just that we’re not above having fun at their expense, as is obvious from Zoe's most recent pic.
A few weeks ago Mrs. Bee (my friend/neighbor) and I went yardsale shopping. Among the spectacular deals I found was a kids’ book for Little Bee to read when she comes over to my house. As you can see in the pic, the book itself is shaped like a kitten, and the story inside is illustrated with photographs of real kittens. It’s adorable, and Little Bee seems to dig it. And it was only twenty-five cents. I do love a bargain.
Poor Pim, on the other hand, is certain that we’ve gone off the deep end and added another crazed animal to the family. When the book is lying flat, he has no problem with it. Stand it up, however, and he crouches into a defensive position, ears back, growling.
Unfortunately for him, this is not the first time this has happened. At one time we were the guardians of “Flat Cat,” a lifesized cardboard cutout of a cat. How & why we had it is another story, but during Flat Cat’s tenure with us, we found that he was very convincing as a real kitty, at least to Pim. We’d stand Flat Cat up, and Pim would immediately begin with the growling and defensive posturing. We’d lie Flat Cat down, and Pim would suddenly be just fine, as if a switch had been flipped.
Such is the case with the new kitty book. It remains a bit of a mystery, since in times past Pim has gotten along fairly well with other cats, provided they aren’t trying to kick his ass. One autumn, we had a real, live foster-kitten for several weeks. While Pim wasn’t all that interested in being friends, he was more than willing to live and let live. So it seems odd that he would be so hostile toward cardboard cutouts & books with cat photos on them.
The best explanation I can give—and I think it’s a pretty good one—is that while the book looks like a real cat, it doesn’t act like one. It doesn’t smell or move like a cat, or come over to sniff Pim, or even blink or avert the gaze. It probably comes across as fairly threatening in kitty terms, as must have Flat Cat.
Of course, we have had some fun with the kitty book. It turns out that if you get the book close enough to Pim, he will hiss & spit, & bat at it mercilessly, even to the point of knocking it out of your hands. At one point, we maneuvered the book just right so that Pim was able to sniff it and figure out that there was no threat, but the next time the book came out he reverted to the hissing and such…apparently he will never trust the kitty book.
Pim is a passive-aggressive guy though, and he let us know when he had had more than enough. He made his anger known by peeing in a couple of key spots around the house. This is a fully housebroken cat who NEVER has accidents. No, if he does his business anywhere other than he is supposed to, you can bet that it’s deliberate.
We learned our lesson and put the kitty book back in the box with the other toys, where it cannot torture Pim anymore (until Little Bee comes over to read it—bwuahaha!). As for Pim, it appears that all is forgiven. He has had his revenge and moved on.
Editor's Update--04/20/06--I just discovered more evidence of Pim's revenge this morning. Now we must kitty-proof the house to minimize future attacks.
The moral of the story: When Pim gets pissed off, things get pissed on...