My Dear Reader,
Cats and I have never gotten along. I think that this probably has to do with the fact that as I was growing up, my family seemed to be constantly at war with them. Since several of my family members are allergic to cats, including both parents, I was given very strict instructions in regards to felines: I was not to pet them, touch them, or go anywhere near them, and most importantly, I was never to allow them on our property or in the home. Somehow or other, I started to get the impression that if I went near a cat, my parents would die. I admit that I had a somewhat overactive imagination in those days (which explains why I was convinced that my kindergarten teacher was trying to kill me*), and I'm pretty sure that I alone am responsible for this notion. I'm sure because of the way that my aversion of cats evolved into this kind of holy war, where I felt that had a meowing nemesis that I needed to somehow defeat for honor, freedom, and glory.
Of course, the media that I was exposed to wasn't exactly helpful at this point. Take, for example, Cinderella, where the main villain is a cat named after Satan.** I firmly believed that this was a philosophical statement about the inherent nature of such creatures. Add to that the multiple movies I watched about various small creatures whose lives are threatened by a cat, and you'll start to realize that cats tend to be demonized by our culture. As I grew up, I met others who held a similar view, one of the most notable being my philosophy professor, who taught us that the Problem of Evil boils down to the existence of cats. So it made sense that I took this treatment of cats to heart, right? I mean, they try to kill my parents and ruin the lives of angelic heroes and heroines who were minding their own business. And they caused pain and suffering to enter the world. So once again, I'm the real victim here.
So I find myself fairly lucky to be an adult, because it generally means that I only have to deal with cats when I want to, which is never. I mean, the only reason that I would have to even be around one is if I had a friend who had a cat as a pet, and I have gone to great lengths to ensure that I don't. Victory is not without sacrifice. The only time that I ever have to be in the vicinity of any animal of the feline persuasion is when a stray happens to meander into my apartment complex, but they generally leave me alone when they realize that I'm not inclined to give them anything to eat. Except for this one cat who has recently been terrorizing my neighbors.
That's right: I said "terrorizing." It is also correct that I said "neighbors," or in other words, not just me. You wouldn't think so to look at it, since it is small and furry, but this creature has it out for humanity. It darts into homes, completely unwelcome, rubs every inch of itself over every surface, and then darts back out, only to spend the next twenty-four or seventy-six hours meowing outside so loudly that any domestic tranquility is immediately forfeited. It's a menace to society, I tell you, and if you aren't convinced yet, you should see how that cat tried to kill me in my sleep last night.
No, I am not imagining things this time. I was asleep, doing nothing but dreaming about Jane Austen novels, when I was awakened by a loud, unnatural noise. And there the cat was, meowing loud as ever, and banging its body against the window. My window. Which I had left open. It was like the feline version of a mixture between a nervous breakdown and an exorcism, and it was trying to get into my room! It was pretty frightening at four in the morning, especially since I still have only one usable arm, and if my roommates hadn't burst in and saved the day, that cat probably would have nervously exorcised itself all over my face, and my roommates would have awoken to find nothing except for a few strands of fur and my mangled corpse. I was saved by the fact that they were already awake because the monster had attempted to attack them first, and their windows were closed. The next morning, we found claw marks all over both of our windows, and that cat was still meowing outside of our window. What it was trying to accomplish by frightening us to death in the dead of the night, we will probably never know. My guess is that the creature suffers from a multitude of mental diseases. All I know is that I was right all along, and that cats were out to murder my family. Funny how that works out.
Now, please excuse me while I purchase a copious amount of lemon juice with which to douse the outside of my residence.
Regards, best wishes, and dogs,
*Call it crazy, but I still think that my kindergarten teacher is out there somewhere in a secret lair planning her next ghastly and extremely criminal mission and laughing maniacally.
**I know some people to this day who honestly think that the villain is the stepmother, but if you put the two next to each other, which one would you expect you lunge at you and bite off an artery?