Home > Pets > Cat’s Don’t Cry; They Give You the Finger

Cat’s Don’t Cry; They Give You the Finger

Photo by Thepriest at nl

A disclaimer: I love cats. I think they’re the coolest species on the planet and I admire their independence. Consider any negatives mentioned here to be the equivalent of someone complaining about their own family: I alone am allowed to complain about my family. Other people are not allowed to complain about my family. And just because I do it, it doesn’t mean that I don’t love them. That said…

My neck is killing me. In the past two days I’ve spent over five hours looking straight up. Why? Because a cat named Indi*has spent the last five days stuck in a tree. Night after night he has kept the neighborhood awake with his pleading meows. And after several hours and all the equipment I could muster (including the local fire department), he is still stuck. Indi is not cooperating.

This is ultimately the nature of the cat. When it’s crunch time, cats have a tendency to look out for number one. Survival instincts kick in, and for a species that is still despised by so many humans, survival means keeping some distance from people.

What that means for Indi is that even though he desperately wants to be out of that tree, he’s not willing to work with me to make that happen. A ladder against the tree spooks him to go higher up. A long pole in the tree spooks him to go higher up. A human climbing the tree spooks him to go higher up. A can of tuna fish being opened at the base of the tree makes him look down and lick his lips. And then he goes higher up.

Indi’s response to climb isn’t as dumb as it sounds. He’s anatomically built to go up and not down. The curvature of his claws makes upwards movement a piece of cake. But it makes the downclimb impossible. (Imagine trying to go face first down a telephone pole with prosthetic hooks for hands.) Could he turn around and go backwards down the tree? Yes. But he doesn’t know that. And any animal used to being prey isn’t about to walk backwards into anything.

Being treed isn’t the only situation in which cats need help but don’t want it. I take a net with me to every cat call I respond to. A threatened cat is a dangerous cat. And if a cat can’t run away, he feels threatened. This therefore, applies to every cat I meet, since my job is to respond to sick, injured, or trapped cats. They are the masters of, “I don’t feel good so leave me alone.” Since I can’t morally leave them alone to wallow in their given woes, I have to scoop them into a net to avoid being shredded like confetti by their teeth and claws.

I don’t begrudge cats their attitudes. In fact, I find it generally endearing. I like their ingrained sense of stranger-danger. I like the fact that I have to practice patience and subtly in order to help them. I like the fact that I have no influence in their timeline. To cats, I surrender. I let go of my notions of time, space, noise, light.

But I try to block off their escape routes first.

As Indi stares down at me from sixty feet above, I try to remember all of this. But it’s tough. As the daily temperatures increase, my patience decreases. Come on, Indi, I think. Help a girl out. In response to my thoughts, he goes higher.

*name changed to protect the innocent

Advertisements
Categories: Pets Tags: , ,
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: