There are things I like, things I'm entirely indifferent to, and things I hate. Being a naturally vituperative fellow -- I would have made a great food critic, like that Antono Ego in Ratatouille -- I'm going to start with five of the things that I hate.
(1) Crazy cat people who have 28 or 57 or 105 cats in their home, which always seem to be less than 750 square feet -- every inch of which is ankle-deep in cat poop. What is the matter with you people? We cats like to be clean, we like to have our own territory, and we like to have some peace and quiet once in a while. We're not pack animals like dogs and ponies. Lions are the only cats that live in prides, and while you can saddle us with those godawful lion haircuts, we're not descended from Simba or Kimba or Marimba or whomever. So don't stuff 87 of us into a dirty old house, 'mkay? Get an aquarium and some fish. Then we'll do lunch.
(2) The veterinarian. You remember when you were a little kid, and you were just minding your own business, and your mom took you in the car, and you thought you were going to the park or the zoo, and you were all happy and excited, and you wound up in a cold white room on some weird bed-table, and a man in a white coat smiled at you, only it was more like an evil leer, and he promised that "this will just be a pinch" and OW WHAT WAS THAT and WHAT'S SWIRLING AROUND UNDER MY SKIN and MOMMY THAT HURTS, and Mommy just said, "It's OK, baby, it's for your own good"? Do you? It's like that for us at the vet, only for our entire lives. It may be for our own good, but we don't have to like it. By the way, I don't see you going to the doctor for the annual checkup or to the dentist for those semiannual cleanings like you're supposed to, h'mm?
(3) The cat carrier, because the only reason I've ever been stuffed in there is to go to the veterinarian. Not once have I ever been taken to the park or the zoo or even the pet store.
Staffpurrson had to go to War College to design this tactical op. First, he has to trick me into leaving the bedroom, because if I manage to get under the bed, it will take him at least 20 minutes with the mop to get me out from under there. But I'm also a sucker for breakfast, so I usually make it easy for him by following him to the kitchen. Then he runs back and shuts the bedroom door, and I'm toast. Then he chases me around the living room until I finally make a fatal error and literally back myself into a corner, at which point he snatches me up and carries me to the bathroom while my hind legs spin like helicopter rotors. Then he dumps me in the bathtub and closes the shower doors. I immediately go into yowl mode. (Not a full-throated yowl, mind you -- more of a smooth tenor whine.) Staffpurrson, his heart hardened against my tortured ululations, brings the carrier into the bathroom, upends it with the door at the top, and shuts the bathroom door. He opens the shower doors, grabs me under my front paws when I try to make a leap for freedom, and starts to stuff me into the carrier. Naturally I go spread-eagled. But after years of experience, he knows how to maneuver one hind leg inside and then the other, followed by the front legs. Using his hand to keep my head down, he slams that barred door shut, and my yowls subside to a resigned whimper that will continue unabated for about half an hour while he puts me in the car, drives me 10 minutes to the vet, and sits in the waiting room.
Staffpurrson used to have to wear an old leather jacket and work gloves for this op because I'm quite skilled with the hind-leg shivs, but I've mellowed enough in my middle age that he can wear civvies without being gored. I'm ashamed to admit that the last time we did this, I was feeling genuinely poorly and didn't even try to stay out of the carrier -- he just patted my heinie and I walked in. I believe they call that Stockholm Syndrome.
(4) The Dyson vacuum cleaner. I don't mind loud noises that much -- they just get my attention. But vibrations always bother the hell out of me. (I will whine nonstop whenever I'm traveling in a car.) So when I see Staffpurrson haul that Dysonsaurus out from the closet, I'm gone. If he starts in the living room, I hide under the bed. When he approaches the bedroom, I hide in the corner of the bedroom behind the computer desk. And when he finally brings it into the bedroom, I hit the wormhole button and blink into the living room and burrow underneath the canvas slipcover on the sofa. I'm a touch claustrophobic so as a rule, I do not like to burrow under blankets or towels -- but this is the one and only exception. And I will stay there for at least 15 minutes after the Dyson has been turned off and stored in the closet again. I've learned to tolerate the Roomba robot vacuum cleaner, because it's low to the ground and doesn't move fast enough to catch me, but that Dyson belongs in the Tenth Circle of Hell.
(5) Serial killers, who almost always start their careers by torturing, mutilating, and killing cats. When you humans catch them, why do you even try to rehabilitate them? Just send them straight to the rendering plant. Believe me, you'll save yourself a lot of grief (and human lives) that way.
Road Trip - Going Home
1 month ago