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The monster that eats cats


This story has a happy ending, I’ll let you know right now. I wouldn’t tell it to you otherwise.

A few weeks ago, our neighbor came flying over to tell us she’d spotted Charlotte, our dear old kitty, in the bottom of her garden in a very bad way.

Dear god, was she ever. So much blood and fur. Her head was so messed up and bloody I thought she’d lost part of it. I was pretty sure I saw an ear in the grass. She was alive, though — panting hard and shocky.

It was a Sunday (of course). I scooped her up in a towel and Uncle B called around until we found a vet on duty.

She’s fifteen. Learning that visibly changed the vet’s attitude but, do him credit, he gave her a thorough exam (including the usual few expensive tests) and hooked her up to an IV overnight. No broken bones, no internal bleeding, no apparent brain damage (still has both ears, thank goodness). But she wouldn’t stand or respond, except to scream when moved. She tore a bloody strip off a careless veterinary assistant.

The only injuries he could find were two deep, horrible holes with long gouges in the top of her skull, like something with big canines clamped her whole head in its mouth and tried to pull her down into the ditch we found her by. I believe now that our neighbor startled whatever it was – which was more than lucky. No-one goes down that end of the garden much.

She began to purr the moment she knew she was home, but that’s all I could get out of her. For almost a week, she wouldn’t move or eat or focus. I forced water on her with a pipette several times a day (she could swallow okay) but otherwise let her be. I was sure she was starving herself on purpose, the way animals will when they’ve had enough.

But after four or five days, she would lick food off my fingers if I offered it. A couple of days later, she used the litterbox (I was never so thrilled to see a cat turd in my life). A few days after that, she staggered out of the back room and refused to return to her sick bed. She’s unsteady and a little loopy, but she’s positively back and absolutely her old self.

The pic is old. I took some new ones this afternoon, but you have to get close to see the scars, and why would you want to? She looks just the same otherwise. A little skinnier.

We’re so very grateful to have our old girl back. And with that happy thought, we wish you all the best of weekends!

July 14, 2017 — 9:34 pm
Comments: 32

So close…

I’ve been playing Mad Jack Keepaway all evening, so no good content from me tonight. That boy is a nutcase.

But have a gander at this. Charlotte is a jealous goddess, so this represents real progress.

We went from: aware he exists, refuses to come in the house. To: aware he is in the house, runs as fast as possible from food bowl to front door and screams to go out. To: aware he is in the house, can curl up and sleep quite happily in the same room unless he hoves in sight, then much hissing and yowling. To: sleeps in the room with him quite happily, hisses and bops him one if he gets too close.

Sooner or later, they WILL curl up together, because cats are heat-seeking missiles, and other cats are soft and warm.

sock it to me

December 4, 2013 — 11:58 pm
Comments: 9

No bunnies were harmed in the making of this post

Don’t worry; bunny is fine.

Charlotte’s been losing the battle of dental attrition for ten years now, thanks to a wicked bad case of Feline Dental Resorption. Last year, the vet removed her bottom fangs, leaving her with just the top two. As in, at long last, two whole teeth left in her whole furry head.

Last week, we noticed one of those has vanished. She is now Charlotte Einfang. Must take her in to make sure she hasn’t got a root left behind or something.

Anyhow, she let out a little self-congratulatory meow and her prey took the opportunity to scamper off into the hedge, apparently unharmed. For, like, the fifth time this week (Wanna bet it’s the same stupid bunny every time?).

She hasn’t yet worked out why this terrible thing keeps happening to her.

sock it to me

July 9, 2012 — 10:28 pm
Comments: 25

Did somebody order a box of cat?

Wait, what? I haven’t posted yet? Omigod, get me a cute cat picture — stat!

Also, see Ace for Henri, the Existential House Cat.

sock it to me

April 12, 2012 — 10:36 pm
Comments: 29


Yay! The election is over and I can go back to catblogging. Popular, lucrative catblogging.

I try not to anthropomorphize my cats. I know what passes for feline thought processes is pretty basic stuff. On the other hand, I’m not one of these faux-scientific types who think animals are unfeeling machines and all behavior is mere tropism. Haven’t these dingleberries ever kept a hamster, for cri-yi?

But every once in a while, we who serve pets are rewarded with a little glimpse into the mysteries of petbrain.

This cement cat? We call him Monsieur le Grumpypuss (yeah, sick-making, isn’t it?). I bought him because we don’t have nearly enough statuary in our garden, and this bad boy looks thoroughly cheesed off. I like that in a garden ornament.

Problem — Charlotte thinks he’s a real cat. It simply never occurred to me she would react to a badly cast lump of cement, at least after she got a good look, but she spent a week creeping up to it in…horror? Fascination? Who knows?

Even after I pushed him over and patted him in the face and demonstrated to her in every way I could think that he was a lump of inanimate crap, not an actual animal of any kind, she still acts damn strange around him.

On warm days, she sits with him and keeps him company.

sock it to me

November 10, 2010 — 11:30 pm
Comments: 53

Hey, they never let me take home medical waste before

Poor monkey. Now she’s down to two teeth.

See how there’s really no root there at all? That’s down to the dental resorption problem she’s had for years. The vet said it was the easiest dental procedure he’s ever done. Pop.

So they sent her home with antibiotics and instructions to let her rest for a bit. Said she’d be groggy and probably not hungry until tonight.

Sure enough, she was a bit unsteady on her feet when she got out of the carrier, but she did cry to go out, so we let her. Half an hour later, Uncle B sticks his head in the door and says, “you won’t believe this — she’s at the back door with a big fat mouse in her mouth.”

So the answer is yes — she can kill and eat mice with just two fangs. While bombed out of her skull on kitty smack.

Incidentally, August 20 is World Mosquito Day. Sir Ronald Ross of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine discovered the role of the Anopheles mosquito in the transmission of malaria on this day in 1897.

Not so long ago, malaria was endemic in our little corner of England and in the rural South of the US, where I was born. My grandfather lived with the malaria he caught in New Orleans in the 20th Century.

Worth remembering that the Third World really does have legitimate grievances against us in the Industrialized West, one of which is we won’t let them use some fucking DDT just until they can get their malaria problem under control. You know, like we did. In my lifetime.

I’m guessing if the dreaded dengue fever continues to turn up in Florida, it’ll be “second look at DDT” before you can say “Western hypocrisy.”

sock it to me

August 20, 2010 — 9:28 pm
Comments: 36

Ringling Brothers’ amazing weasel-stretching lady

Just kidding! Ferret hotel.

And speaking of goofy animals, my cat Charlotte broke one of her last four teeth some time between last night and this morning. It’s poking out of her face at a stupid angle.

“You just want to grab it and give it a…you know?” the ridiculously young vet said to me, making a yoinking gesture.

Not funny, though. It clearly hurts something fierce, because she’s drooling in lieu of eating. First thing in the morning, I have to bundle her off to the vet for a bit of hack ‘n’ slice. How on earth she’s been down a mouse a day with only four teeth, I’ll never know.

Now we’ll see if she can do it with three.

sock it to me

August 19, 2010 — 9:37 pm
Comments: 25

Why, thank you

Ah, the fertile earth, freshly tilled, dark and friable. Waiting…waiting…waiting to receive a big fat cat turd.

Poor old Uncle B, when he looked around to see Charlotte balanced happily athwart his newly dug pea patch. I don’t know which was more precious: the look of horror on his face, or the look of bliss on hers.

And that’s the sort of day we’ve both had: a bit in the shitter. He’s picked up a really enthusiastic bit of malware and I’ve been fruitlessly chasing bureaucratic moonbeams all day. Thus, blogging will consist of this single inspirational moment, frozen in time.

The chickens? Bright spot of the day, bless their little beaks. Growing bigger and bolder all the time.

sock it to me

May 24, 2010 — 9:35 pm
Comments: 19

I fought the cat and the cat won…

The cat has fallen in love with my new seat cushion, so she nicks my chair every time I get up. I’ve taken to leaving Rubber Rat in my place to guard it — not because I thought she’d be afraid of him, of course. I thought he would be uncomfortable to snooze upon.

Ha! Foolish hu-man. Now she and RR are BFF’s.

(If you wonder why I don’t just pick up the damn cat, she’s the world’s stubbornest ornery shit-bag. She’d clamp that fluffy cushion tighter’n an alien face-hugger).

That’s a really splendid rat, isn’t it? Uncle B bought him for me in London. Which is weird, because somebody in the IT department at my old job in Rhode Island had one just like it. We reckon he must have been an advertisement for rat traps; he’s big, old and fierce.

Many, many years ago, when the internet still had that new car smell, I read on Usenet that 70% of all computer monitors had a rubber rat on top of them. It was surely just a silly sig line, but the thing is, at the moment I read it I totally had a rubber rat on top of my monitor.

And, until flat-screens, I made sure I had a rubber rat on my monitor forever after.

sock it to me

April 7, 2010 — 10:52 pm
Comments: 70

She sees…dead people?


I must tell you — although I am as psychic as a potato — Badger House doesn’t feel the least little bit haunted to me. Despite its old bones (between 399 and 421 years old, depending on whether you believe our earliest property tax bill or the plaque on the front), it feels nothing but warm and happy. This place has been added to, taken from, patched up, mutilated, renovated and redecorated so many times, all the ghosteses must have packed their bindles and hit Ye Roadde centuries ago.

But Charlotte here is kind of freaking us out.

She’s a spooky girl. She was a feral kitten and she’s been a one-weasel cat ever since, but she did pretty okay the first few days. She explored the house, she cautiously interacted with Uncle B. She was acclimating faster than I expected.

Then she stopped coming downstairs one day. She’d hide in the closet with the water heater if I left it open. I had to move her food up. She slept twenty hours a day, only came down when I carried her and scooted back up the moment I let go. It was a cold week; I put it down to that.

Then she gradually calmed down. She began coming downstairs for a few minutes on her own. Accepting skritchies from Uncle B. She’ll still startle at the least noise, but after weeks and weeks she’s getting back where she was on day three.

But for one thing: she’s fixated on a particular spot on the wall. She’ll be grooming or snoozing or playing with string, and suddenly she’ll jump like she hears something and stare at That Place (this lucky shot catches her the very moment she stopped chewing toe and started the creepy stare). No doubt about it: she’s watching something.

The spot is in the short hall between the livingroom (with the fire) and the dining room (where Granny Weasel is hung). There is a small window. There’s nothing else there. Now.

But all the old geezers in the neighborhood tell us that’s where the front door was for hundreds of years, until the major renovation of 1970-something.


sock it to me

February 11, 2009 — 8:42 pm
Comments: 26