You guys, I can’t tell you how often I catch my stupid Bengal cat looking exactly like this.
It’s his busted face. You see it when he’s in the process of being a top-shelf asshole, which is, by my math, every minute he’s not sleeping or licking the poo from his paws. He’s so invested in being a dick his tiny cat brain forgets to rearrange his face into something resembling cat nobility. So I’ll come home, hear some grunting in the dining room, grab the camera (for possible insurance photos), and just leap in and snap. Boom, busted.
After two years of me playing Amateur Cat Whisperer, he doesn’t even care. He just stares at me with this ridiculous face and goes, “Yeah? What? What are you going to do about it? The female human likes me. You don’t matter, jackass.”
And he’s right.
So when we buy our cats (yes, plural, but please don’t ask) a ten-dollar cardboard box that we could find for free at any Costco, what does he do? First, let’s start with what he’s supposed to do: SIT IN IT AND ACT LIKE THE CATS YOU SEE IN CAT FOOD COMMERCIALS. What does he really do, almost immediately? Start biting the edges, ripping off little pieces, and spitting them on the carpet.
He SPITS. And you can HEAR IT. Rip chew rip chew THWOCK. That happens before the sound of ten dollars going up in smoke.
So I yell at him. I make sharp, loud noises so he gets startled and stops. But his dicky little amygdala is so honed, so advanced in fight or flight decision making, he know’s there’s no real threat. He completely ignores me. Until I feign getting up from the couch. Then he finally pays attention and I get – YOU GUESSED IT.
That’s just one ten dollar example.
We have another cat, one who’s jerk gene isn’t totally dominant, who’s the cat version of Bob Marley: he just wants to kick back, man, and enjoy everything. Music and colors are everywhere, dude. This cat was born with the following belief, which he holds dear to this very day: The world is a great place. Everyone is nice. Nothing bad can ever happen to me. Here, rub my belly. I love you. Food would be nice.
The jerk cat knows this other cat is gullible. Way gullible. Gullible and trusting to the point where if he had to pass a cat test to keep his cathood, he’d fail and be demoted to frog or something. So when the Happy Cat is sitting around, blindly trusting every atom in the universe, the Jerk Cat will come up to him, meow lightly, and start cleaning him. And they will lay together. And they will have a little conversation.
JERK CAT: Hey. Meow and shit. Mind if I sit down and clean you?
HAPPY CAT: Sure! I’d love that! I love you! This is great! Heck yeah!
JC: Excellent. (Starts cleaning HC)
HC: Omigosh this is amazing! I mean, aaammmaazing. You are cleaning me! I love this! This feels great! My face doesn’t smell weird anymore! Thank you!
JC: Don’t mention it.
And then, there’s a subtle change. Jerk Cat goes from cleaning, to little nibbles, to full-on biting anything within his striking distance: neck, ears, paws – name it. And despite this happening nearly every single night, Happy Cat is all, “Wha? What’s this? You are licking me so hard it hurts, man! I mean, you just bit what’s left of my scrotum! Seriously! BUT I STILL TOTALLY LOVE YOU.
I will see this, get up and thwart natural selection. Instead of letting dickhead theater play out, I will stop the passive-aggressive-cleaning-turned-cat-cagematch, and Happy Cat will, for a brief second, realize things aren’t copasetic and bolt into another room. That leaves Jerk Cat, who sits in one place frozen and stares at me, as if he previously was invisible and I just somehow found a way to see what he’s doing.
And it’ll come again:
The moral of the story: I have one cat, a Bengal, cheap. Inquire at counter.