I Yell at my Cat

It’s really all my fault.  I made this happen.  It’s all me.  And now I’ve got to live with it, and the little shit’s so healthy, thanks to my assiduous care, that I’m going to be knocking fifty before he’s knocking off.

You see, I used to yell at my cat.  I actually have two cats, but I would only yell at the one.  He’s something of a character.  Apparently he was abandoned by the residents of a mobile home when they moved, and he went to a rescue organization after the neighbors found him wandering about wondering where his home was.  In all likelihood, he had been acquired as a kitten, but he must not have seemed so cute when he became an adult.  He has a lot of personality; in many ways he’s far too much like myself, and the distinction is only slipping with time.  Have to wonder if he’s acquiring my habits or if I’m acquiring his.

He has this vocalization, a meow, that was endearing at first, but it’s actually REALLY annoying.  I didn’t know an animal could complain with such conviction, complain about god knows what, and complain all the time.  Doesn’t matter if you feed him, doesn’t matter if you play with him; it’s like he’s got colic but only for meowing.  I would sit there, typing–I am a writer, you know–just listening to him sitting next to my face meowing directly into my ear as if he were the woeful reincarnation of that legless carnie I accidentally defecated upon in third grade.

Everyone has an end to his patience.  I’ve actually a lot more now since this all began.

I’d turn and yell at him, and then I’d feel instant regret and pet him until he felt comfortable again.  This went on for years.  Finally, my better half pointed out, “Robert, he thinks yelling is praise.”

She was right.

He was now getting my attention for the sole purpose of getting yelled at.  He was so practiced, so trained, that he had absolutely flat effect if I turned my tongue against him, and he knew that getting pet was the immediate aftermath of getting yelled at.

You see, it’s all my fault.  I did this.  And now I have to live with it.  So remember kids, when you’re losing your patience, don’t yell at your pets.