Monday, June 26, 2006

biting for food

Our cat is an interesting one. He's not like your average, independent, spiteful feline. His name is Toby. I have heard that male cats are easier to get along with but Toby takes the cake. He plays fetch like a dog. He will come when you call his name. He likes to snuggle. He is perfect for cuddling with because he is fluffy. Not overly fluffy like those white cats you see on cat food commercials. He is semi-long haired so the fluffiness is just right.

So why all the fuss about a cat? Well, for all of Toby's great qualities, sometimes he is a little too smart for his own good. There are times when my wife and I are sleeping that he knows just what to do to wake us up. And he doesn't wake us up for no reason. It is usually because we forgot to fill up his food bowl. So when Toby gets hungry at 3am and there isn't anything to snack on, he comes at us with his masterful waking tactics.

The first theater of operation is the window blinds. He knows that they are just within his reach. The metal blinds make just enough noise against the glass window and wooden frame to wake us up. Its not terribly loud, just annoying. Its the kind of annoying you can't sleep through. Well, what usually happens is that I get up and pull up the blinds to the point where Toby can't reach them. Then I hop back in bed and fall quickly back to sleep. Toby tries a few more times at this tactic but soon realizes he can't reach.

So he moves to his second theater of operation, the "sneak attack". Toby hops up on the bed and slowly walks his way up between me and Missy. He makes sure that he walks on both of us at some point so that we feel his presence. Then he does a few 360 degree turns as if he is some airplane coming in for a landing. This creates just enough movement to nudge us awake. As Toby lays down he chooses his victim. Its usually my wife. This might be because Toby knows I have less sympathy for him. He gently curls around my wife's head almost to the point of suffocation. Then he begins moving his two front paws in a "kneading" motion as if he is a master chief and my wife's neck is soft pastry dough.

If we still don't get the hint that he is hungry, he goes to his third theater of operations, the "frontal assault". Much like in the sneak attack, Toby finds a way to snuggle up in-between me and my wife. Then he gets his face really close to one of our faces. And at first he gives a few "kisses", as my wife calls them, by licking our nose. But then, just when you expect another cat kiss, he takes a bite. His fangs come out and he bites down on your nostril until it hurts. And if you don't take action, the biting continues.

Like I said earlier, Toby is one of the greatest cats that I have ever been around. He is playful and kind and has the personality of a dog. He is easy to take care of and his hair is perfect for petting. But when his bowl is empty, he gets like me when I am hungry. He gets mean. One such occurrence happened last night and it got me thinking.

I think this is the way people work when it comes to love. When our bowl is empty we start biting at people. Its not that we bite people because we don't like them. We bite at people because we need them to fill up our bowl. We need their love. I have heard it said that the people who are hurting the most, hurt others the most and are hurt by others the easiest. I think this is true. Without a bowl full of food or a heart full of love, our fangs come out. And much of the time, we probably don't even notice it happening. We just want to be loved. And we will do just about anything to feel loved. Even if it means biting a nostril or two.


At 4:22 PM, Blogger brendar said...

If I had a cat I would name it Pluto.

At 10:03 AM, Blogger Dave said...


Brendar, you rock.

At 11:53 AM, Blogger brendar said...

I would also gouge it's eye out and hang it from a tree!

At 3:45 PM, Blogger brendar said...

I love cats.

At 3:54 PM, Blogger Mark said...

You are so loving and warm. Its almost unbearable.

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