The only way to possibly illustrate today’s goings on would be to post a picture of myself covered in feces. I am certain that I could easily find people eager to slather it on me. Not fetishists mind you, just the general everyday folk at work. It was as if rabid baboons flooded the hallways three minutes before my first class started(that’s 7:42 a.m., non educators), and hurled their smelly projectiles at me. As it turned out at “Happy Hour,” (or the least happy Happy Hour we’ve ever had) a lot of other people got splattered today as well.
As I do not own a picture of this and am not, at this point, willing to pose for one, I will borrow from Dogshaming.com and just talk about animals eating things they shouldn’t.
I don’t know how long CosmoCat (may he rest in furry peace) had been on the mean streets when I finally took him in. He had been declawed so he had either escaped the confines of home or was “let go.” He ended up roaming around our condos and surviving on handouts from various neighbors. Every night at 1 a.m. he was outside kicking ass and taking names to defend his new territory. Kind of hard to do without front claws but he was a big boy with impressive fangs and a shriek like a flock of pterodactyls invading. As soon as I would walk outside to try to reason with him, he would turn into a drooling kitteny love mess of cat jelly and velvet.
It got cold outside, no one was really laying claim him and the local dirty children suddenly took an unhealthy interest in his existence so we packed up, went to the V-E-T and he became an indoor cat again. Transitioning inside was not a huge issue; Cosmo understood the concept of litter boxes, food dishes, sunspots, laps and the necessity of always having at least one paw touching me while sleeping. However he had boundary issues with my food.
It started with the kitchen trash can. I would come home to find it knocked over and ransacked. I don’t know if this was survival instincts from being out on his own or perhaps the reason that he had ended out on his own in the first place. I could understand why the declawing might have happened. Every time I cooked anything, he would reach up and repeatedly paw at my butt or hip while pterodactyl shrieking; this could have been a real problem with claws. At any rate, the trash issue was solved by a new can with a lid and bricks at the bottom of the can: too heavy to tip over.
Soon I also learned that I could not leave any food out. Nothing. It needed to be locked away, out of sight, unattainable by cat ninja skills. I was in the habit of baking for my yearbook staff. Brownie mix was cheap, easy and they thought I was deity whenever I showed up with a pan of goodies. One mix came with “fudgy icing.” Sounds good. I made a batch, iced it up and left the pan on the kitchen counter covered with tinfoil. By the morning, Cosmo had delicately peeled back a section of tinfoil and licked all the fudgy off the brownies at that end of the pan. Did I feed this to my staff…..yes.
Cosmo was not particular about what type of food he sampled. A friend and I were prepping for a road trip and left a grocery bag with pretzels, cheese and cracker packets, and peanut butter cracker packets sitting in the living room. Cosmo went through the bag, decided on peanut butter crackers, opened the package, selected one packet of crackers for himself and chowed down. Another time I left bags of Rossi Pasta sitting out (this is “gourmet” shit unless you’re actually from Marietta where it’s made) and he chewed through the corners of the bags, sampling as he went. He enjoyed Chipotle burritos and would completely spaz any time I made guacamole. FYI: avocados are poisonous to cats and dogs. Oops.
He was willing to think outside the conventional food box. It was if he was compelled to eat any fresh flowers that I brought into the house. I would turn around to unload groceries, only to find him on the counter already picking through the Trader Joes $3.99 bouquet. The look on his face usually said, “Save me from myself if you can but until then I am going to eat this petal.” I gave up on ichiban flower holders and vases because I got tired of picking p their shattered remains.
The worst Cosmo food experience was the day I came home to gooey brown ick ground into the kitchen rug and shreds of plastic all over. He had gotten into the cupboard and taken out a Hostess packet of four mini chocolate cupcakes that were about two points total on the Weight Watchers scale (in other words, barely any real food content at all). I freaked out and called the vet because chocolate is not good for animals, I didn’t know how long ago he had ingested it and there was nothing left but squished crumbs. Over the phone, the vet had me read the ingredients to her. Given the product, she theorized that there was hardly any chocolate in it and that I should be more concerned with the CHEMICAL content. She told me that she had seen a rash of dogs and cats who had died from eating food or gum with xylitol – a sugar substitute-in it. Fortunately, this was not on the content list that day.
So I adapted. Items that did not need refrigerated were hidden in a cooled oven, if they didn’t fit in the cupboard and I may have locked some things in the downstairs bathroom. I
bought wall sconces for flower bouquets. It was an irritating habit of his but in its own way ridiculously entertaining with each new incident.