El Gato Diablo. Or, The Devil Cat.

Hello Thursday! Meet my blog group, comprised of a fantastic group of ladies  who will dazzle you with insight on various topics.  After reading my post, check out their blogs as well. Just click on:

Froggie (Tracey): One frog’s distinct voice on the world around her.

Merry Land Girl (Melissa): Tales of a suburban mom who likes to talk about pop culture, books, Judaism, family, friendship and anything else that comes to mind.

Darwin Shrugged (Denise): Civilized Observations in an Uncivilized World

After having a particularly bad week with our four-month old cat, Chance, I requested that our blog group write about something they really love that others can’t relate to.

They used to be buddies. What happened?
They used to be buddies. What happened?

I’m fairly certain I’m the only one on Team Chance. My husband barely tolerates him. The guinea pig is frightened of him, and the dog? The dog emits a warning growl at Chance whenever he gets too close. The boys love him, but even they have their limits.

My friends say Chance is “evil”. Even the friend of mine who entrusted me with Chance when he was just a tiny little guy, no bigger than the palm of my hand, wonders what the hell happened to the sweet boy she remembers from just a few short months ago.

I don’t have an easy answer, because I don’t know.

I have deep-tissue pain in my left thumb, due to the constant syringe feedings when Chance was tiny. With every feeding, I held him a ton. So did the rest of my family. We cuddled up with him, he burrowed into our t-shirts or blankets. He was never neglected. I wanted to make sure I’d have a friendly, cuddly, wants-to-be-held kind of cat, you know?

And Chance was like that, for a while. Then he started to grow. Everything became an instant toy for him. Our feet. Our hands. I’ve read the online articles regarding training. We have plenty of toys to use as a substitute for our body parts, but Chance doesn’t care. My husband jokes that Chance has had his first taste for blood, and there’s no turning back!

When he was sweet.
When he was sweet.

Of course, I have a million excuses for him. I believe some of them to be true. He was an orphan, found at two days old. Most kittens have a momma cat to show them the ropes on how to behave when they are tiny, and who has Chance had? Well, me, sure. But he also has two rambunctious, rowdy boys who love to chase and play, and Chance gives back just as much as he gets! In some respects, he behaves more like a puppy than a kitten. He gives us “love nips”. Yes, that’s what I call them. Laugh if you must. The bites are playful, and nothing is safe. Ears. Noses. Chins.

He’s also a farm cat. There’s a strong domineering personality that surrounds Chance. Men and boys are adversaries. He attacks my husband’s feet and will keep coming back for more, even when we’ve told him NO firmly and he walks away. Yes, he listens, believe it or not, but a few seconds later he’s right back where he started. If my youngest sits at the table with his legs dangling around, Chance sees this as an opportunity for play. My youngest does not. It’s hard to explain to my kids how play fighting with Chance when it’s convenient for them using hands and feet is asking for trouble down the road. It’s cute now, but it won’t be cute when Chance is a 15-lb full-grown cat! I re-direct them into using cat toys, but it’s not the same for them, or for Chance. I swear, I feel like I’m raising three children!

The dog adored Chance, before Chance started to pounce and bite and behave obnoxiously, and the dog is no spring chicken. He’s 13-years old and wants none of it. He’s turned into a grumpy old man and can’t deal with any young whippersnappers.

I love Chance, despite the troubles. I see the good in him. He uses his litter box. He listens to me, for the most part, as much as any cat listens to their owners. He is very affectionate and loves to cuddle (primarily with me). He allows us to pick him up and hold him. The vet office doesn’t refer to him as “the little shit”, like they used to with my other cat, Tank. Chance behaves well and even takes his shots like a pro. And when the dog gives that warning growl, Chance will either walk away or lie down with his tummy front and center, showcasing his submissiveness to the situation. He’s no fool.

I really wish others could see what I see. Chance isn’t evil. He’s a baby who is still learning. I truly believe he will be an awesome cat when his kitten years are said and done, we just need to be more patient with him. If all else fails, though, don’t be surprised if you see me and my family on the next My Cat From Hell episode. We may need to get Jackson Galaxy up in here.

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2 thoughts on “El Gato Diablo. Or, The Devil Cat.”

  1. Sounds like a handful of a kitty. I hope he calms down soon. I’m sure he appreciates your patience with and faith in him.
    When I was younger, we had a beagle and my mom hated him but I loved him. My dad and sister loved him too, but I think I took him out the most and spent the most time with him overall whenever I could.

  2. So I read in a Jen Lancaster book that Martha Stewart “nips” her cats on the face to show them SHE is the boss. It allegedly works. Of course, when Jen Lancaster did it, her cat was NOT amused. So there’s that. Chance sounds like a kitten. Maybe a rambunctious one, but nothing he won’t outgrow … eventually.

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