Wednesday, April 12, 2006

When Fluffy White Things Attack

When anyone knocks on our front door, our two cats run in opposite directions: Nina dashes upstairs to hide under the bed, and Piper runs to the door to see who it is. But don't let Piper's eagerness to greet our guests fool you: she doesn't actually like people. Oh, she used to. Complete strangers could come over to our house, and she'd harass them until they petted her. I'd always been told that Siamese cats were "weird," "unpredictable," "mean." After we got Piper, I answered such comments with, "Pshaw."

She's always been weird, but in a fun way: she tolerates all the shit we do to her out of boredom (she's an excellent dancer), and she licks the coffee residue out of Eric's dirty mugs (at first, he thought she liked the half and half, but now we know she'll drink it black, too).

But about a year and a half ago, the weirdness suddenly got less fun. Our neighbor's (now ex-)girlfriend came over to feed the cats while we were gone one weekend, and told us afterward that Piper had hissed and snarled at her while she was here. It was the first time Piper had ever done anything like that, so we decided the cat was simply an excellent judge of character. Then Piper spent an entire party at our house sprawled in the middle of the living room floor, twitching her tail and holding her ears back. When anyone came near her, she hissed. For a while after that, she was fine if only one or two people came over at once, and if they didn't spend the night at our house. People who slept here had to do so with Piper staring at them. In September, she bit Eric's brother's girlfriend in two places when the poor girl reached too quickly for her cell phone at seven A.M. So we try to keep the cats locked upstairs when people are here, but the door doesn't actually latch, and Piper can push it open. Once she frees herself, she's capable of making grown men cower in corners, fearful for their limbs.

Last night, our neighbor stopped by for a few minutes, and we let him bring his dog, Monty, in the house.

Piper and Monty have met a couple of times before, and the results were surprisingly peaceful.

But apparently, as she's gotten to know him better, Piper has decided that Monty deserves to die. Last night, after taking a few seconds to smell him and confirm that, yes, this is that douchebag who acts like her butt is his to sniff, Piper fluffed up her tail to about three times its normal circumference and let the hair on her spine stand straight up, thereby transforming herself into the creature we like to call "Stegopippy."

Initially, Monty was undaunted. After all, he shares his house with two cats who pretty much hate his guts, and it doesn't keep him from sniffing their butts. But Piper soon had him backed into the office, where she stood in the doorway and snarled at him. After she batted at his face a couple of times, Monty lay down on the floor and watched Piper out of the corner of his eye. No amount of coaxing and calling his name could persuade Monty to move a muscle, let alone walk past the cat into the next room. Once or twice while the dog lay there, being very still, Piper rubbed the side of her face against his nose in what is usually a gesture of friendship and might have been reassuring and cute if it hadn't reminded me of the way male serial killers sometimes subdue female victims in movies.

When Monty finally worked up the nerve to run past Piper, she leaped at his hindquarters, hissing and growling. I think I actually heard her jaws snap. Unfortunately, Monty ran too far, and had to go past Piper, who had followed him, one more time before he could get to the safety of the front door. She did the same kung-fu jump and made the same demonic noise as before, and I think Monty was grateful to leave the house with any fur on his tail.

But here's the point of this story: I can't wait until we get a dog.


Blogger Jessie said...

I've never been to your house yet. Unfortunately, after that story, I'm not sure if I ever will.
:)- (just kidding)

If you want to borrow our dog, your cat problem might be over for good. oh my god, I can't believe I just said that. Someone please shoot me.

Is this what grad school does to people??????

4/13/2006 1:36 PM  
Blogger Loralee Choate said...

I have to say that I am a cat person, but that is mainly because they are lower-maintainance and lack "Dog Breath".

My cat Wilbur is much the same way, alas. But I wouldn't get rid of her for anything in the world, either.

4/13/2006 2:16 PM  
Blogger Amber said...

My cats don't have dog breath. They have butt breath.

And I can't imagine getting rid of Piper. After she bit Eric's brother's girlfriend (who was only 17 at the time), I was afraid her parents could throw a fit that might lead to bad things happening to the cat. But they didn't mind much, and actually thanked us for taking their daughter to urgent care.

Jessie, I hope you come over someday. After what Piper did to Natasha...and Jonathan...and Erin, when they were over, we'll figure out a way to keep her locked up somewhere.

4/13/2006 2:52 PM  
Blogger Amber said...

But you can't bring Anu.

4/13/2006 2:53 PM  
Anonymous eric said...

Anu is always welcome in my home.

4/13/2006 10:48 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home