Despite her blood oaths to the contrary, my friend Dana has once again become a cat owner.
She likes cats, she really does. Dogs are too high maintenance and it isn't fair to keep one in as apartment. Cats on the other hand, are relatively easy to care for and despite being allergic to them, the feline personality and her own are disturbingly similar. She gets along well with cats, although they are frequently indifferent, disdainful and inattentive unless they want something from you-- she says it's almost like having a boyfriend.
She adopted two kittens -- 8 month old jet black furballs who were alleged to be littermates. She named them Annie and Ivan the Terrible (an inspired choice, as it turned out).
Annie is small and delicate -- quite the little princess. She's jet black with a white stripe along the length of her plumed tail.
Ivan, on the other hand, appears to be a co-dependent panther cub possessed by the spirit of Satan and suffering from at least two personality disorders. She has no doubt that in a former life, he was an SAS assassin. At 9 months old, this "kitten" weighed in at 14 pounds and easily reached her waist if he stood on his back paws. He is now somewhere in the vicinity of 16 pounds and is the size of a small dog. He regularly opens the fridge and rummages around for edibles and amuses himself by throwing her boots down the staircase in the wee hours and shredding her silk curtains.
Ivan falls into despair if she is not catering to him 100% of the time. To ensure her undivided attention, he has developed the habit of leaping without warning from the floor onto her head, usually from behind. Should she attempt to dislodge him (to treat the head wounds, for example that I personally have seen), he responds by grappling her by the throat and sinking his teeth into her ears. Her howls of pain incite him to further violence and on one occasion, she only got rid of him by stepping into the shower and turning it on full blast.
Walking from the kitchen with her morning coffee --a chore she once performed while still bleary with sleep -- has now left her feeling like a contestant on Survivor.
He hides under tables, bed or chairs -- and on one occasion, on top of the fridge -- and picks his moment. It took a heart-stopping week of being bloody and drenched in scalding coffee for her to begin wearing a sidearm (at first a small squirt gun -- now a top of the line Supersoaker with a 30 foot range) in order to discourage his ongoing assaults -- or at least to fool herself into believing that she was evening the odds.
Given his skill as an acrobat, lightning speed and apparent ability to render himself invisible, she's still going through a fair amount of Neosporin.
At bedtime, he is overcome with love. He insists on licking her face, usually right after he has washed his butt. While this is adorable in its own way, she now has a huge, weeping patch of raw skin on her nose, an area he has marked for repeated and meticulous attention. Should she attempt to deflect him, he will content himself with trying to remove her earrings with his teeth. Any efforts to place him at the foot of the bed will result in night-long guerilla attacks on any limbs she is foolish enough to twitch.
But at least she's not lonely anymore.