Living Wright: Signs your cat is trying to kill you
BY JASON ASHLEY WRIGHT World Scene Writer
Tuesday, November 06, 2012
11/06/12 at 5:34 AM
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My cat has come perilously close to committing manslaughter.
I don't think it's premeditated, but Ali Tabouli, my cat of more than 13 lucky years, enjoys darting in and out between my feet while I'm walking, making me trip. Usually, I'm carrying his food dish or water bowl, which has often made a mess.
Oddly enough, he's never done this during the day or when lights are on - and only when I'm groggy and not wearing contacts. I'm sure that's just a coincidence.
Pardon my paranoia, but it dawned on me this weekend that the older Ali gets, the more he wants to kill me. Turn all the lights on, let's get this all on paper, just in case.
Less innocent than it sounds
I started contemplating Ali's sinister side this weekend. You know how cats do that back-and-forth thing on your skin with their front paws while they purr? Some folks call it "making biscuits," "making pies" or "rolling dough."
With those pet phrases in mind, Ali should be rolling dough on my love handles or somewhere with a little meat, right? Instead, he likes to roll dough or whatever you call it on my throat - right on top of my trachea. It's cute for a few seconds until it's slightly uncomfortable to breathe, which is made all the creepier by Ali's purring. It's like a less exciting short story by Stephen King.
Otherwise, he's the sweetest animal I've ever encountered - follows me around at home, sleeps right next to me, lies outside the bathroom door while I'm showering ... If he were human, of course, that would be stalking.
As it is, even with the feet-darting thing, he's less scary than my dearly departed Felix, the runt of a feral litter who our veterinarian in Laurel, Miss., deemed the second-worst animal he ever saw, with the exception of a bobcat some farmer would bring in each year.
Felix was a loner, though he started sleeping at the foot of Mom and Dad's bed the latter half of his life. During my senior year, however, I'd wake up with him bear-hugging my legs, biting through the comforter and sheets like a wolverine.
Whereas Felix possessed a certain ... I don't know, possession, probably, Ali is more calm, more calculated. Once a month, always right before I leave the house, as I'm making my rounds to be sure he's not locked up in a closet or somehow developed opposable thumbs to unlatch the clothes dryer door and climb inside (anyone else have that fear?), he disappears.
I'll check every conceivable spot at least twice, only to have him appear - asleep, no less - where I already looked. Maybe Ali is playing possum, delighting in seeing me inch closer to a heart attack or stroke out of my irrational fear of leaving home before seeing him safe, only to come back home and find him permanent-pressed and smelling of Bounce Outdoor Fresh.
I find slight solace in that Ali stands to gain absolutely nothing by my death, except becoming a ward of my friend Lord V, who has cats himself - and Ali absolutely hates other cats. And people who have cats. Possibly, people period.
In the meantime, I'll try to sleep facedown so Ali can't make pies with my windpipe. Facedown into a pillow. Hmm ... Please pray for me.