Sunday, December 14, 2008

boundaries--everybody's got 'em

Yesterday afternoon, my mom dropped by for a visit. I invited her to sit down on the sofa for a visit and as soon as she did, Oscar hopped up on her lap. Oscar isn't known around the gardens as a sweetheart, a snuggly, purring ball of fluff. No, Oscar is the cat with the overgrown case of cat independence.

Anybody who has been around that cat for more than ten minutes can tell you that there is never any question about how Oscar is feeling. If Oscar could speak English, he would refer to himself as Oscar, as in "Oscar does not want to be held just now, so put him down before he slices you open." But Oscar doesn't need words to express his feelings. He has his twitching tail, his laid back ears, his low throaty voice, his tightly wound muscles, and if all else fails, he has claws and teeth. Once the tail starts to twitch or he starts to moan, anybody with a lick of sense pushes away from him as soon as possible.

But you know my mom. As soon as Oscar jumps up to allow her to scratch around his ears, she immediately scoops him up and rolls him onto his back, which, of course, triggers the low growling yowl for which Oscar is so well known. His tail is freakin' out, his ears are as flat to his head as ever before seen, and he is clearly yelling, "Put Oscar down. NOW." But not my mom. No, she tells Oscar to settle down, stop being such a tough cat. And then she does the unthinkable. She grabs Oscar's face with her hand. And shakes his face. While she tells him to stop all of his fussing.

Of course Oscar immediately stops yowling, stops his twitching, and begins purring, encouraging her to shake him some more. NOT. He became even more enraged and before I could say, "Uh, you better let him go," my mom yelled, "HEY--you rotten cat!" and Oscar was dropped unceremoniously to the floor and then stalked under the table to stare back at her.

She didn't notice Oscar was still staring at her because she was examining the back of her hand where Oscar's teeth left four wounds, slicing open her fragile skin, leaving it bleeding and sore. She looked at her wounds for a few seconds and then asked if I had some neosporin and a bandage. And then she said, "Well, I can't really blame the cat, I was teasing him. Rotten cat."

I called her this morning to see how she was feeling and she said she was fine, but she should have tossed that cat down after he attacked her because he needed to learn a lesson about biting.

1 comment:

Skybird said...

Did mom clue in on Oscar's lessons for her?