Who’s The Boss?

This is my cat, Liam aka “The House Walrus”.

After I returned home from New Mexico last week I was lolling about on the couch with the kitty when I noticed a long angry raw patch on his left forearm.  I was horrified.  I immediately ran upstairs and checked the mattress for signs of bedbugs as I thought he must have been bitten by something and I feared I may have tracked them home from my travels.  I live on the 6th floor, no one has visited recently with their pet and I endeavor to keep Liam off the balcony and out of the hallway so I seriously doubted it could be fleas.  There were no signs of any infestation so I thought he may have broken into a cupboard and gotten something corrosive or sticky on his fur and had rubbed himself raw trying to remove it. I whisked him off to the vet at first light the next morning.  The doctor checked him over thoroughly and found no evidence of fleas or mites so he started asking if there had been any changes to the routine lately.  I mentioned that I had just returned from a trip but that it hardly unusual.  I have been back and forth to the US many times in the past few years and have left him with a variety of care givers.  When pressed I had to concede that this was the first time that I had not either dropped him at someone else’s house or had someone move in to watch him.  The vet harumphed and declared this as a “behavioral issue”.  He gave the cat an Elizabethan collar to wear, shot him with a long lasting antibiotic, handed me a spray pump to apply to the affected area thrice daily and instructed me to “spend more time with my cat” all the while eyeing me like I was an irresponsible parent.

Here’s the thing.  I don’t buy it.

My sister once described Liam as “the least neurotic animal” she had ever met.  He isn’t neurotic at all. What he IS is manipulative.

Liam is the boss of me and I make no mistake about it.  For instance, he has no interest in people food.  Unless it is mine.  I can leave a full meal on the floor.  Fish.  Yoghurt.  Pastry.  You name it.  He will ignore it.  But the INSTANT he sees fork travel to mouth he needs to eat whatever it is I am eating.  He is very good with his hands and can hook your morsel with astonishing agility.  (Willard has told me this is a wing chung move called “Fook Sau” which makes me wonder all the more what the little bugger gets up to when I am out)

He loves all people and is fearless of all other animals.  When Will and I brought him home at the age of five months we sequestered him from the two adult cats assuming they would try to establish dominance.  When we finally opened the door to introduce them all he walked up to the other two, hissed, swatted them both about the head and proceeded to eat all their food.  This is no shrinking violet.  Neurotic my ass.

Ironically I had spent the day just prior to discovering the wound working from home so Cat and I were in each other’s constant company for a full 48 hours.  I tried to convince the vet that perhaps Liam was trying to establish his turf and I should, in fact, give him more time on his own but the doctor would have none of it.  Point, Liam.

So now I am sequestered in a doctor prescribed cloister with a fat beastie who seems to spend the majority of his blissfully calm life sleeping, farting, demanding head rubs, breaking into my cupboards and trying to sample whatever small meal I have made for myself.  He can also wrestle off his collar at will and seems to do so only when affixing my with a stern feline glare after I have committed such atrocities as rinsing out the yoghurt tub before it has been thoroughly investigated or trying to bar him from the bathroom lest he fall into the full tub.  Again.

If you need me I shall be at home, tending to the needs of my poor beleaguered pet.  Game, set and match – Liam.


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