Totally Unprovoked

In my home, I am beset on all sides but fuzzy dumbasses. Tivo, the brown and grey one, is a miserable, whiny grump whose terrified of essentially all things. He also doesn’t like to be touched below the waste. He SPECIFICALLY doesn’t like to be touched at the base of the tail. Naturally, I find great amusement in poking that spot like a sort of “whine button” whenever he’s getting on my nerves. The first few pokes elicit a whimper, the second few get an angry whine and a “why aren’t you dead yet?” glare, and with the last couple of pokes you just get blood. Just an impossibly fast, brownish-greyish swipey blur and blood.

Tivo has injured me from time to time for no reason. Either because he is terrified of a shoe, or a box, or a shoe near a box or some other harmless juxtaposition of items he assumes I have arranged just so to cause him distress. Like I said: fuzzy dumbasses. These are the injuries I get angry about. But the tail poking injuries… I really can’t get upset with the cat for these. I am specifically provoking him and walking on the goddamn razors edge. GOD, I FEEL SO ALIVE! Wait, no. I mean foolish. So bloody and foolish.


potter and daughter podcast logo hijink ensue

When my Patreon reaches $2000/month I’m going to release a new podcast where upon I interview my 7 years old daughter as she reads through the Harry Potter series. It’s called Potter And Daughter! More details HERE.

Replay (the white and grey fuzzied dumbness depicted above) is less likely to cause a human, even a human provocateur, actual harm. He knows how to “play bite” where as Tivo only knows “do no stop until teeth touch bone.” Where as Tivo’s fight or flight response is set so far to “fight” that the knob is broken off, Replay’s is set to “find a happy place in your mind and go there. GO THERE AND NEVER LOOK BACK!” When he wanders around the house screaming at full volume, despite having a full bowl of food, a clean litter box, no desire to go outside and every possible comfort a fuzzy dumbass could ever desire, I find myself inclined to do the one thing he hates more than anything: turning him upside down and carrying him around like a baby. When I do this, he doesn’t actually attack me. His eyes sort of gloss over and he gets this look on his face that seems to say, “If I had a secret poison filled compartment in my tooth, I would be opening it right now.” But, he does stop screaming. So score one for the humans, I guess.

Posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , .


  1. Right now in my house there's cat drama because my flatmate's eight month old kitten got hit by a car, paralysing one of her front legs which then had to be removed. Now she just spends all day being depressed, staring listlessly into space or trying to bite herself. It's super sad because we can't really help her much … Basically all we can do is hope she starts to feel better. Which is not so great as a psychotherapy regime. 🙁

    • Having experience in that domain: they do get better with time. It took a year for ours, but I'm pretty sure it's the sudden appearance of a new cat in the house (that happened to actually be five cats in disguise) that made it so long. Still, I think the company helped him in the long run. Fortunately, he's a social cat.

      Show her she's loved, don't spoil her too much (because extra-good food and petting are going to be taken for granted), and accept that her personality was changed by the event. Patience is, indeed, key.

  2. Reminds me a bit of my younger sister who kept grabbing her cat and Lenny-hugging it then getting all scratched up to hell.
    We'd keep telling her she can't hold the cat that tightly and her response was "if I don't hold it that tightly, it can run away". Took about a month to get her to realize it runs away because she keeps grabbing and squeezing it.

  3. One of my cats (Harvey Charlene Dent, Warrior Princess) likes to walk around the house and yell at the walls for entertainment as well. She's also the one that looks like she's shy around new people, but I have to explain that the reason she's watching you from a hiding place is because she's trying to decide if and how she wants to murder you. Interestingly enough, once she's decided you are acceptable, she is extremely affectionate and likes to be held on your lap or hugged. When she does scratch, though, her claws are like scalpels. Like, literally – I have a scar from one of her scratches, and it looks like a surgical incision scar (smooth-edged line, healed really cleanly because they were so sharp).
    The other cat (Loki Tiberius Cat, the Norse Trickster Cat) is friendly to everyone, likes to be picked up and held on your shoulder like a small child, but likes to play rough. I've known him for almost a decade and he still managed to get a swipe in this morning during goodbye pets. He looks horrified and confused when you react to his claws – for all that he's quite smart in other ways, I think he forgets that humans don't have the same kind of protections from claw-cuts that cats do.

  4. When a cat goes to claw you HOLD STILL. Often they'll just grab you and hold on, what does the damage is you trying to pull away from it. Unless the back legs get involved, then you're screwed.

    I love cats, the cute little fuzzy murder machines that they are. When I was growing up we had a big, lazy, not-so-smart half Siamese named Horace who was a consummate people lover; he could detect a lap from 100 yards and he'd hang out in the front yard waiting for people to walk by so he could rub against their legs and get attention. When he passed we discovered that three of our neighbors had beds and food bowls for him; he wasn't just our cat, he was the neighborhood mascot. You simply could not provoke him into irritability and he had little use for toys or chasing things, unlike our other cats.

    Big, slow, lazy and friendly was Horace. He was the Big Hero 6 of cats.

    Then one day a new neighbors german shepherd got into our yard and started chasing a little female tabby named Tigger. Our sheltie ran back into the house scared of the bigger dog… it was as big as me and I didn't know what to do. I'd never seen Horace move above a slow trot, not even for treats, but he suddenly appeared out of nowhere as beige streak of fur, fury and claws aimed directly at that dogs face, which he latched onto and started clawing. The poor thing managed to shake him off and ran for it (no permanent damage to him, thankfully), with Horace swiping at his heals up to the property line. It never to venture into our yard again. I had newfound respect for Horace after that, and he got extra food that night. It was like watching Big Hero 6 turn into Stich in the face of danger.

    Also after that Tigger started bringing live little garter snakes into the house and leaving them on the kitchen floor, as some kind of thank you I suppose? My mom was not pleased.

    • When my cat reaches for you with his front claws, he is attempting to grab your nearest limb to pull toward his mouth in order to chomp down on it. You do NOT hold still when my cat is reaching for you with both front paws, unless you WANT to be bitten – and he will draw blood, on purpose.

      If he curls up on the floor and rolls around, looking cute, it is a trap. He wants you to scratch his belly so he can grab your hand with all four feet and take a bite.

      • haha yes the Belly of Doom. LokiCat only exposes his belly when he wants to fight – you'd think it's a submissive gesture, but it's really just the best way to get all four sets of claws in position. My boyfriend is always like SO FLUFFY I WANNA PET THE BELLY but he knows better. Except the one time he decided I WANNA PUT MY FACE ON THE FUZZY BELLY no honey that won't end well don't do the thing I'M GONNA DO THE THING so he scooped Loki up, belly-side up, and face-planted into his fuzzy belly so that all four feet could only grab the back of his head. He counts this as a success, but y'know, he's never done it again…

    • We had 4 momma barn cats that surrounded a wandering (but extremely friendly) doberman that wandered in from the neighbor's horse paddock. They surrounded that poor dog and began what I can only describe a the weed-wacker tornado of claws and unleashed hell on him. Every direction he turned he got a face full of hate and rage. He finally quit turning in circles and leaped over them, never to be see by us again. The kitties grumbled and yowled for a few minutes then went back about their day.

  5. One of my cats just acts like an entitled dog, which seems to be the norm with felines that I raise from kittenhood. The other, which I took in as an adult stray who was screaming bloody murder outside the gate at work during a torrential downpour… well… he's much more feline in his personality and willingness to maim.

  6. Have you thought about mentioning it to a vet? Both times I've had cats who were irritable when you tried touching their backsides or lower back they had medical issues.
    Little Ramses the cat had sensitive bowels so he's now on a light laxative for the remainder of his life to prevent the food from damaging his bowels and making him poo out blood. And little Blitz the cat had a urinary infection.
    After I sorted those issues, they were completely fine with me touching them near the tail and a lot more cheerful overall.

  7. Clearly that cat was in the wrong. I can give you the card of an excellent attorney who can help you sue that cat and win. Why, he once got me $50,000 when I sued a carton of orange juice for choking me one breakfast!

  8. My cat has recently decided that my forearms, hands, and ankles are chew toys. Twice in the past 24 hours, she has raced across the room to attack my leg, at which point I've stared her down until she backed off. Then as soon as I turned my back, she made a biting motion in the direction of my leg…this continued until finally she rubbed her head against my leg as though trying to convince me that had been her intention all along.

  9. One of our cats had psychological issues after eating rat poison, being kicked by chavs, having his tail run over by our neighbour etc.
    Hardly surprising with what he's been through, but he used to pretty much wash non-stop and by god was he loud when he did it!
    He was a brilliant cat, but he just loved sitting on your head at X in the morning!

Leave a Reply