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Slim’s View: Cat Nipped

Slim Smith | Apr 12, 2012, 9:33 a.m.

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Slim Smith

I did something last week I never imagined I would ever do: I acquired a cat.

I suspect there may be something to this Mayan calendar business, after all.

Until last week, I always believed that there were basically two kinds of people in the world: People who had cats as pets and normal people.

Now that I have the blood coursing rapidly through the veins of the cat lovers out there, let me quickly assure you that I do not dislike cats, so Tiger (that’s the cat’s name) is in no danger of any sort of ill treatment. No, I guess my attitude toward cats can best be characterized as benign ambivalence.

I like cats in much the same way I like boats: I like boats. They are a great deal of fun. They are more fun still if the boat belongs to a friend. So it would be incorrect to say that I have a smoldering hatred for all things feline.

But deep down, I am a dog guy. I understand dogs. They are not too complex. Dogs, even female dogs, are like guys. You always know where you stand with a dog. There are no complicated relationships between a man and his dog.

Cats? Well, there is just no figuring out a cat.

Joy, the girl I am dating, has two cats, and she made it plain from the start that if we were going to get along, I’d have to be nice to her cats, pointing out that, “They were here first.”

Now, six months later, I’m on pretty friendly terms with her cats — Bella and Bama. Occasionally, as I’m trying to watch TV at Joy’s house, they’ll migrate over onto my lap where they strike a posture that suggests that, if I am on my very best behavior, I will be permitted to pet them. Until they tire of me, of course. It’s hard to keep a cat’s attention for very long.

And now I have a cat. I want to go on the record at this point: I didn’t decide to get a cat. It just happened, and here’s how.

About a year ago, Tiger wandered up into the yard of Elsie Price, who lives just down the dirt road from her youngest daughter, Joy. Tiger was only a month or two old, so Mrs. Price took him in and aptly named him Tiger — he is orange and white. He was happy there until last September, when Elsie fell ill. She died in November and, for the longest while, Tiger stayed there on her property. Joy or her sister, Joan, would stop by and make sure Tiger had food and water, etc.

Two months ago, Joy decided to have Tiger “fixed” and bring him into her home.

It seemed like a good idea … for approximately three minutes. After that, the fur began to fly. Tiger attacked Bella, which prompted Bama to attack Tiger. It went on for two months: Imagine the feline equivalent of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. That was Joy’s house.

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