I vault out of my armchair, dodge out of my room, and pound down the staircase and through the front door, a dark curse on my lips: Fuckin’ Black Cat.
I loop around our unnecessarily large yard while spastically waving my hands above my head and emitting a noise that sounds like an enraged yodel. The display works: as I round the house, I see Fuckin’ Black Cat loping off in the distance, deterred from shedding the blood of our cat, Thelma, for another day.
When my girlfriend got Thelma, I had no idea I would turn into a cat-lover. I had straight-up HATED cats for the majority of my life, considering them to be unempathetic assholes, an opinion reinforced by living with a most unpleasant cat for years.
My heart was opened to felines by befriending a couple of my friends’ cats in the years prior to getting Thelma, but I was still resistant enough to the species that when my girlfriend, Jody, went to Animalkind in Hudson one day to select a pet, I did not go with her.
“Ha!” I thought at the time. “Now I have no ownership over this thing, so I guess no emptying the litterbox for meee!”
I still don’t empty the litterbox often (sorry, Jody), but I’ve come to love the Thelma. She’s friendly, and cuddly, and greets us at the door, and loves bits of turkey and OH MY GOD KITTY!!
The majority of cats, however, ARE assholes: look no further than Fuckin’ Black Cat.
He’s such a piece of shit. He skulks into our yard a couple times a week and sneaks up on Thelma when she’s doing something benevolent and wholesome, like eating grass, then straight-up jumps her. TOTALLY unprovoked, TOTALLY on Thelma’s territory.
Thelma was the runt of the litter, and Black Cat is massive, so it’s more of a bullying situation than a fair scrap.
I’ll occasionally be on my balcony and see Black Cat sliming around our yard, RIGHT in the middle of the day, since he’s too shiftless to get a job.
“Hey!” I’ll yell. “FUCK you, Black Cat! Go Away!”
…and the asshole will just STARE at me, like some little punk, until I dash downstairs, only to find him vanished.
Because of Fuckin’ Black Cat’s semi-weekly assaults, Thelma is only allowed outside when one of us are home (which is pretty often – I write most of TOHV here), and we keep our ears vigilantly perked for the aforementioned screwing-demon noises.
Jody’s worry is Fuckin’ Black Cat will scare Thelma off her territory and our pet will be doomed to wander Columbia County forever, homeless and dirty and unloved. I personally think Thelma is way too bad-ass to be pushed out like that; she’ll ask to go out a short while after an assault. Either way, Fuckin’ Black Cat is a dick, so a couple months ago, the two of us acquired a water gun.
It’s really more of a water assault rifle, some Super Soaker rip-off we originally purchased to be the prize for our adult Easter egg hunt. Grinning with vengeful malice, we filled it, pumped it until it was about to rupture, and placed it near the back door for the next attack.
When I next saw Black Cat, I slammed out the door with a primordial scream and started firing at it. Unfortunately, the gun was purchased from Wal-Mart, and its weak stream spurted so slowly I just ended up running through all the water I was spraying and soaked myself.
A few days later, I was heating up a pot of Tom Kha Gai in my kitchen when I again heard Thelma being jumped. My eyes flew to the leaking water gun, then jumped to the warm soup.
“FINALLY,” I yawped while running out the door. “YOU’RE MINE, MUTHAFUCK-”
I slung the soup at Fuckin’ Black Cat, but (of course) missed, instead pasting the side of our house with coconut milk. Shit.
The next step, which Jody and I have discussed at length, would be to get an air rifle*. However, I’m afraid that:
A) Black Cat’s owners, whoever they may be, might see us aiming what looks like a firearm at their pet
B) I might somehow hit the cat in the eye, injuring or killing it
So that plan is right off the table. There are other ideas out there, like getting a proper water gun and filling it with hot sauce (Oo! That’s a good one!) or – I dunno, moving.
Either way, if you see me running down the road, screaming and waving my arms above my head like a territorial chimp, know that I have not snapped.
I’m doing it for Thelma.
*I have been informed by Jody the toy weapon I was attempting to describe here is actually a BB gun, not an air rifle. I thought they were the same thing. Y’know, because you pump a BB gun up with air=air rifle. My mistake.