Oh so many reasons to dislike the cats in this world

By Steve Estes

Strictly Drivel

As if I didn’t have enough reasons to dislike cats, the cat that has been adopted by our commercial strip has given me more.

I don’t know if I’ve ever fully explained my aversion to cats. The reasons are many.

First, I find it impossible to deal with the attitude of cats. They will only show people attention when the cat is darned good and ready. You can’t show a cat any affection unless the cat deems you worthy.

Second, cats like to play, but they are also pranksters. The last cat we had, which my lovely wife talked me into bringing home despite my aversion to cats, would hide under the stairs and take pot shots at my feet as I walked up or down.

He usually connected, leaving small claw marks all over my feet.

Third, cats make me sneeze.

Fourth, I used to wake up in the middle of the night sweating like a workout king because the cat would be wrapped around my head.

Fifth, many years ago I let someone else talk me into bringing a cat home. That cat was the devil incarnate. It would jump onto the end table and knock off the lamp just because it wanted to. It would jump on the dinner table and sniff your plate. No amount of squirt-gun training ever broke that cat of that habit.

And finally, that same devil cat once burnt my house nearly to the ground. It was a beautiful white cat, and of course had free reign of the house. To do less would have offended the cat, and we know we can’t offend the cat.

We had a basement then. I had built a storage closet in the basement in which I stored all the hazard materials one finds around the average home. There was paint, paint thinner, household oil, cleaning supplies and other things we didn’t want the kids to have access to in any fashion.

The closet was built under the basement stairs. The stairs had open backs. The kids couldn’t get through, but the cat could.

One day shortly after I left for work, the cat must have decided that destroying the storage system in the closet was its plan for the day. It climbed down into the closet and proceeded to knock all the flammable materials off the shelves using the opening between the steps to gain entry.

It was wintertime. The basement was sloped to the drain in the middle. The gas-fired furnace was inches from the drain.

According to the Fire Marshall who investigated the fire, the cat knocked something flammable off the shelf that popped open on impact and ran down the concrete floor toward the drain, and the furnace. The furnace kicked on, super heating the flammable material and the flame licked its way back into the storage closet, exploding all the remaining flammable materials and catching the house on fire.

Thus was born my extreme aversion to cats.

But the one we have here must know that I don’t like cats. It stretches out on the concrete porch that fronts the building.

I walk by and the cat takes a swipe at my ankles, usually connecting and leaving gashes in my feet that often bleed.

The cat will sit in front of the door to the office, relaxing in the sun, and won’t move when people try to get in or out.

That attitude doesn’t bother me. I just swing open the door and if the cat is in the way—ooops—sorry.

But some folks won’t open the door to come in or go out because the cat looks “comfortable” and they don’t want to disturb it in its slumbers.

It will decide to grab some shut eye right behind wherever my feet happen to be on the porch. If I move, I step on the cat. Because I really don’t want true harm to come to any animal, I try and stop my progress. I’ve been known to nearly trip trying to avoid that cat, and I’ve been known to be unable to avoid that cat, stepping on its tail and earning a good paw swipe for my troubles.

The other day, the cat was sitting in the middle of the parking lot, in the middle of the day, soaking up some rays.

Because I know it bugs the ladies who work in these offices, I yelled at the cat to stand its ground, give no quarter, stake a claim on that piece of lonely asphalt.

The cat had been sitting there for nearly 15 minutes while people actually maneuvered their cars around it.

After I applauded his efforts and urged him to continue his parking lot occupation, he got up and just sauntered over to the porch where I was standing.

He bounded up the steps and took a swipe at my ankles. He connected. I bled.

It was only because I urged him to stay put that he moved.

This furry feline is not earning my undying friendship.

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