Angelic looking, isn’t he? The cat, not the actor. Hmmm … well, remember this. Appearances can be deceiving. I admit, he looks so sweet, like butter would melt in his mouth. And he is so elegant, he has such noble bearing. But he’s trouble. With a capital “t”. Yes, Trouble. Has been, since the day I got him. Just not happy unless he’s getting into mischief.
Like my others, he’s a rescue. When my first cat died, at 18, I contacted a rescue group in my neighbourhood, but they didn’t have any cats at the time. Then, about three months after I adopted one (the late, great, Miss Zazu, the diva to end all divas), the rescue called.
They’d found a very pregnant, feral, ginger female. They took her in, cared for her, and waited. It didn’t take long for her to have a litter. A huge litter. Sundance was one of six or seven teeny tiny ginger babies. I could come and pick one out, but would have to wait another month before I would be able to take my chosen kitten home with me. They were still far too young to be taken from their mother.
He was the cutest, bravest little thing I’d ever seen, making himself right at home the instant we walked through my front door. Even at two months old he didn’t let Zazu intimidate him, or boss him around. So she mothered him, instead. It also didn’t take him a nano second to figure out that he’d just landed in Nirvana. There was a big, soft, down-filled cushion, with his name on it, right there on the living room sofa; and a new, human mother who was the softest touch in the world. All his.
No wonder he spent his first twenty minutes in my house rolling around the floor, with a huge grin on his face. No wonder he didn’t give a damn when I didn’t let him go outside.
“Are you crazy?”, I’m sure he was thinking. “Out? Why in the hell would I want to leave here, even for a short stroll? Are you kidding? You go out and chase mice. Me? I’m happy right here, on this nice, comfortable chair, in front of the window, where I can enjoy the afternoon sun.”
Until he’s bored. Because you know, there’s only so much lounging a cat can tolerate.
So that’s when I might find him grinning down at me, from the top of my bookcase. My it-almost-reaches-to-the-ceiling, six-shelf IKEA bookcase. Don’t ask me how he got up there. Or worse, it’s when he might have jumped off the top of that bookcase, landing directly on me. Intentionally. He’s also very fond of the top of my fridge. The warming drawer in my oven. And even the dishwasher, if I take too long to stack the dishes, or remove them. I’ll shoo him out, and he’ll jump right back in. Back and forth. He always wins.
Mr. Sundance will only drink water from a tap. Although once, he did lift the toilet seat, and drink from the toilet. I swear, I watched him do it. He knows how to open cupboard doors and, on more than one occasion, I’ve heard him mewling and mewling because after he jumped into the cupboard, the door closed and, for some reason, he was unable to get out.
And yet, for all his mischief-making, he’s a total suck, really only happy when he’s on top of me. Or when he has my full attention. So you can imagine how much he hates it when I’m reading the newspaper, or a book. Or when I’m working on my computer, or on the phone. It drives him nuts. He paces. Back and forth. He lays down on the paper; and my keyboard. He swats at me with his paw. He shrieks at me. Whines. He kneads my arm. Bangs into me. Brushes against me. Butts his head against my arm, or my chest or even my face. He sits on me. Then gets off. Then sits again. Up and down. Up and down.
He is relentless. Until I give in. Which I always do. Which he knows I will do.
But the other morning, the little bugger went one step too far. I guess I was taking too long to respond. I kept brushing him away. I had a deadline, and I was working. Totally engrossed in my work. Refusing to pay attention to him.
So he bit me.
On the chin. Brazenly. Gently, but brazenly. Defiantly. He just waltzed right up to me, and pushed his little face as close to mine as he could get it. And then he bent his head and sunk his little teeth into the tip of my chin. For just a minute. Just to prove his point. Unrepentant, he stared at me for a second or two; and then jumped off the table and stalked off, self righteously. Hugging himself with glee, no doubt, because he’d had the last word. Metaphorically speaking.
He most definitely got my attention.
All I could do was laugh. I’d been bested my own, little ginger-coloured beast.