Monday, April 29, 2013

Walt Disney was onto something

When I was 17 and in my grade 12 year, I babysat for a single mom up the street from my parents while she worked the night shift as a nurse. At some point during that year, they adopted a cat. That's is the first time I can distinctly remember hating cats. It might have all began there. This particular cat would push a chair - placed in front of kitchen cupboards for the sole purpose of keeping it out - with its head, crawl in, then hiss and sharpen its claws when you tried to pull him out.*

*I realize I keep switching pronouns. It was likely an it, but may have been a he. I never looked.

I would keep the guest room door open at night so I could hear my little charge if he cried, and that cat would run into my room, claw at the carpet loudly enough to wake me, then dash out. At one point, I woke up and found myself staring into its large yellow eyes. The cat was just sitting there, watching me sleep. Undoubtedly plotting my demise. Because that's what they do. That's all they do.

My feelings for the feline race has not changed in the past decade or so. I have to be careful here, because one of my dearest, oldest friends in the world has owned several cats and has loved them. And I love her. I'm sure hers would never attempt a coup. But I'd also still caution her to sleep with holy water on her nightstand.

And then this weekend. Another good friend was visiting family in another city and texted me photos of herself after the family's adopted cat unleashed a holy reign of terror on her.
This did nothing to improve my relations with cats. In my defense, I know I'm not the only one who feels this way. Let's consider the following an informal case study of cat bias in the Disney film franchise.

The Siamese Cats, Lady and the Tramp
Evil little pricks these ones were. If you don 't believe me, watch the clip below and tell me if you can't still sing "We are Si-ah-me-eese, if you please" in 10 years. Some years I forget my own anniversary, yet I haven't seen this movie in more than a decade and I can still remember the chorus.

The Cheshire Cat, Alice in Wonderland
Would you ever let something that smiled at you like this curl up at the foot of your bed at night? No, you wouldn't. You would call a priest.

The Aristocats
Kindly old widow leaves her entire fortune to a gang of cats instead of her trusted butler? Please. Let's not pretend they didn't carefully manipulate and execute their master plan from day one.

Lucifer, Cinderella
If I had a cat, I'd give it Satan's Christian name too.

Yesterday Mr. T and I had the following discussion regarding my friend's grievous injuries (grievous because she couldn't wash her hair for three days due to the lesions on her scalp, and she still can't deep condition):

Me: "I promised A. I would aim my car at a random cat on the street to even the score."
Mr T: "That's so mean. What if it belongs to a little girl like Shooter?"
Me: "Then she should have made a better decision and gotten a puppy."

Conclusion: My opinion about cats isn't likely to change anytime soon, and in the meantime. I am going to buy my friend a Betta because at least when they go rogue, they only destroy their own kind or self-harm.

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