Photo credit: bellasproofs2
Squirrels don’t like cats which I think is obvious. It has to do with the way cats are always trying to catch, kill or maim squirrels. However, even my human alter ego is not fond of cats. The reason for this is ……..Cujo.
In the following story, none of the names have been changed to make sure that the guilty are fully embarrassed. There was a time when I shared a small apartment with this dude, Frank, and his cat, Poney. Poney is your typical calico tabby who had been quite used to being the queen of the house with all her needs taken care off and pampered. This living arrangement worked well until that fateful day when Frank called me into the kitchen to introduce me to this cute kitten he had rescued from the local pound.
He called him some sugary sweet name like Prince or Peaches. I cannot remember what it was caused he was soon dubbed Cujo which suited him so . But wait, I hear you protest! “Cujo is not a cat, but a mad dog.’ Believe me when I say that I have not met a cat or a dog before or since which was more psychotic and deserving of the name, Cujo.
Cujo was a very young kitten, barely a quarter the size of Poney. He had the red, orange and white colors of a tiger and had both a tiger’s ferocity and appetite. He also introduced fleas into the house and despite dousing him in powder, I would be tormented by itchy bites for weeks. Frank was oblivious to this, entranced as he was by Cujo’s playfulness and energy. Poney and I both knew there was something evil about this kitten.
Poney was the first victim. Cujo plotted to get rid of her. Despite Poney’s size, Cujo took to bullying her at meal times. At first, we would feed them both from separate bowls in the kitchen. That did not work as Cujo would chase Poney away and eat both portions. We then tried distracting Cujo by feeding him upstairs and then feeding Poney downstairs in the kitchen. That also failed because Cujo would actually run up and down the stairs to deprive Poney of either. Then, I locked him in my room while Poney fed in peace and I was rewarded by a well sculptured, steaming mass of cat poop on my bed. Poney loss some weight before we found the solution of locking Poney in a kitchen cupboard with her food where Cujo could not get to her. Apart from meals, Cujo continued to persecute Poney, chasing her from all her favourite spots in the house.
Cujo then decided to move up the food chain and targeted me. His campaign started by regular poop bombardments on my bed. After the fifth time, I declared my room a high security area, a cat free zone and made sure my door was closed 24/7. Frank apologized for his kitten’s antics but remained bewitched.
One evening, I was in the kitchen and had a frying pan on the stove and I was frying up a batch of my famously delicious Malaysian Fried Rice. I had fried all the spices, onions and vegetables and had just added the rice. I was stirring the mixture to ensure it cooked without burning or sticking to the bottom of the pan. Cujo jumps up on to the dishwasher which is some distance away but at the same level as the stove and from that vantage point shows interest in my culinary efforts. I wave my spatula at him and tried to shoo him but he ignored me. Then, in a flash, he jumped across and into my frying pan!!! To my surprise, Cujo landed with all four evil paws on my fried rice, stood there and began to eat the meal. That was the last straw. I threw away my delicious smelling fried rice which was now marked by Cujo’s paw prints, laced with some of his red hair and I suspected, also fortified with grit from the kitty litter. Defeated, I left Cujo to rule the kitchen while I went out into the cold autumn night to buy my dinner from the Chinese takeaway.
Cujo, probably decided that at this point he was just one step from being the top cat in the house and started to turn his attention on Frank. He started with sudden playful bites on Frank’s ankles. Frank adapted for awhile during which he would walk in a funny high-stepping manner to make his ankles a harder target. Frank liked to lounge around the house in his terry-cloth robe with nothing underneath. This made it a painful experience when Cujo invented the game of jump onto the robe and start climbing with all claws employed. Even then, Frank was stoic and refused to condemn the cute kitty. Cujo then escalated his campaign by leaving poop on Frank’s bed, in his shoes and on the morning newspaper.
One winter evening about 2 months after Cujo entered our lives, I came in from the cold into the warmth of the kitchen. Frank was standing by the dishwasher in his robe, drinking tea and the newspaper. Poney was curled up on a chair. Everything was peaceful. Without looking up from his paper, Frank said, “I went to the pound today and told them I had found this abandoned kitten and I gave them a donation and asked if they could find it a good home.”
Life was sweet after that but I often wonder whether Cujo lives on, tormenting some other poor household. Sends shivers down my spine.