Sunday, May 14, 2006

No More Cats

I read on a cat care website somewhere that cats and children are an awful combination and should be avoided at all costs. Based on the fact that as a child I drove the family cat insane, I knew this to be true. Therefore, when Pot moved in, I wasn't at all upset when the cats started leaving one by one.

Two cats did stick around though: Mother Pridi and one of her kittens. Pot loved the cats... especially the kitten. Unfortunately, he had no idea how to be gentle and no matter how much I told him to chill out with the rough play, he wasn't easing up. It really hurt my heart to see the kitten so scared.

I know the sign of a cat that is going crazy from experience. The kitten was definitely living in a paranoid, frightening world populated by constant torment from all angles. Last night, I decided that for the cat's sake I would put it out in a field and let it go fend for itself. Pui talked me out of it, promising me that she would talk to Pot, and that things would get better.

Tonight, while making a sandwich, I saw Pot do something to the kitten that was triple as bad as anything I had seen to date. I exploded. In a voice louder than I knew I had, I berated Pot, standing over him where he was crouching next to the kitchen table, abusing the cat. I yelled in Thai, I yelled in English. I yelled. To finish it all off, I gave him a smack on the head.

Pot didn't cry. He didn't even move. He was petrified with terror.

I gave it about 2 minutes' thought, and put the kitten in the travel basket, drove it out to a field and deposited it.

It was originally my frame of mind to save the kitten from abuse, but driving back from the field, I realized that I did it for my sake as well: I don't want to be angry like that again. More accurately, I don't want my anger to get outside of me like that again. Not having to see the kitten be abused by Pot anymore is getting rid of at least one reason that I (and Pot) will have to go through an episode like that again.

Here's hoping.

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