Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Very Bad

It’s very strange how words, often spoken in jest, can come back and bite you on the arm - literally.
Last week when I replied to comments from ‘Susans’ I quoted Mae West with her famous words - “When I’m good I’m good, but when I’m bad I’m very bad!”. Now I don’t know who is the worst here but when Sparky’s increasingly aggressive behaviour towards me reached a scary pitch I had no choice but to return him to the cattery.
The first couple of incidents I just passed off as initial nervousness by him at being in a whole new environment with people he didn’t know yet, but as the week progressed he started attacking me, hissing and baring his teeth and lashing out. In the first major attack he managed to claw my forehead with deep cuts, just above my left eye, and in the second, while I was preparing a bedtime meal for him, he launched himself off the kitchen unit and bit me on my arm. I threw him off but still he was hissing and snarling, facing up to me. I don’t know what I did to provoke this but it left me badly shaken. Next morning when I came down to give him breakfast he was still bristling at me and made to go for my leg. I couldn’t handle this and no longer trusted him wondering when next he would turn on me. Although he hadn’t attacked Jacqui yet, apart from a bit of hissing, I couldn’t allow that to happen - she would freak out if it did and I thought it was only a matter of time. I decided there and then that I had to return him to the cattery which I did on Saturday. It broke my heart. I feel so sorry for him. We were told he had behavioural problems without specifying what they were and I just thought it was finding himself in a Rescue Centre cage with lots of strange people and noise - nothing a bit of TLC wouldn’t cure. So now I am without a cat again and don’t know if and when I will try again.
A sorry tale, and one that causes me a lot of sadness and pain, but another experience of life which I have learned much from.


vivien said...

oh that's sad - and bad - and you did the right thing.

some friends, years ago, adopted a wild cat - she had a lot of real wild cat in her and she was the same .... schizo??? they had to let her go too.

Do try again

Brian McGurgan said...

Kyoko and I were so sorry to hear about Sparky, David. I guess sometimes affection and attention are just not enough when long-term behavioral issues exist like this. I agree with Vivien about trying again - once you're feeling ready, of course. There are lots of quiet, gentle cats who would no doubt love to be adopted by such caring folks.

my croft said...

I am so very sorry to hear this, so sorry to have such a happy beginning turn so bad so quickly. This can be a problem with shelter animals. You don't know what kinds of trauma they may have experienced, so you can't know what to do -- or not do -- to help them. But you know that you have room in your heart for another cat, and this is a good thing to know.

Through my life, I found about half of my cats, and the other half found me. Ask at the veterinarian's or the meditation center. It usually doesn't take long to find someone who knows someone (or is someone) with kittens or an older cat who needs a good home. Or, like Leo and my gang of three, the right one may just saunter in and declare, "I've been looking all over for you. Got any tuna? beef? maybe some cheese? crunchies? something? How can you be painting like that when I'm so hungry?"

moreidlethoughts said...

Oh dear! I was looking forward to hearing of your adventures with Sparky, but not these adventures!
There always is a cat for the cat man; as My Croft says, one may happen along and "tell" you that you are the man.
(But I've had similar trauma so I think I know how you feel.)

Edgar said...

So sorry, David! That's very unusual behavior -- it's clearly the wisest thing you did. I don't know what the vets say, but I personally believe animals can have mental illness. It sounds like he didn't even recognize you.

daviddrawsandpaints said...

Thanks all for your understanding.

I think, in future, I'll just wait till the next stray moggy turns up looking for shelter and I won't turn it away. Otherwise I will just accept that my "pets" are the ones that do their stuff out there in the wild.
Meanwhile I need to get this blog back onto arty-farty subjects, so stay tuned - there are new developments coming to a screen near you soon.

Ambiguous Artisan (Clair!) said...

Ouch! And I thought my cat was evil (chosing not to shit outside but inside even though we have a perfectly good catflap)

daviddrawsandpaints said...

Not a happy tale, Clair. Anyway, nice to hear from you. Are you still blogging as the Ambiguous Artisan? You need to give me link again since I can't seem to find it!
And as for cats, ye would think yer wee pettums could hae just stuck it's bum oot the cat flap so as tae keep a clean hoose :o)