And although I have tried to lovingly and constructively address his failings in private, he just won’t acknowledge them. So, this is a call out post. My cat, Harvey S. Bumblehud, aka the Nomcat, Jerkface, aka Fatty, aka Fatty-Fatty-Boombah, aka Fat-Fat, aka Sir Fats-A-Lot, aka Cuddlebutt, is problematic because…
[Image: Harvey, the most handsome ginger cat in the world, rests his head on his paws, looking pensive yet majestic.]
[PS if anyone can explain how to add image descriptions for screen readers to Instagram embeds, I would appreciate that a lot, it is clearly needed!]
- Like all Australian cats, he is an introduced species and a pest, and very bad for the environment. And yet…
- He thinks he ought to be an outdoor cat.
- He’s allowed out during the day — he doesn’t go much further than the walkway outside the flat — but as soon as the sun goes down, the door closes. And that’s when he reminds me, frequently and loudly, that he is the most hard done by cat ever to exist.
[Image: Harvey sits at the door, looking through the closed screen out at the darkness. The outside. It is calling him.]
- Sometimes he does escape, and comes home in the early hours — throwing himself against the outside of my window to let me know he’s ready to come in. It’s terrifying.
- Fortunately his fear of birds (it runs in the family!) prevents him from hunting too many species to extinction, but I do worry about rodents, possums, small children, etc.
- When it’s hot, his fur forms dreadlocks. This is highly appropriative.
- And he sheds enough hair to be Donald Trump’s official wig supplier.
[Image: A pile of fur that really does look an awful lot like it came from Trump’s head. That was from five minutes of brushing Harvey.]
- I have reason to suspect he is indeed quite right wing. I once found him sleeping on a Liberal how-to-vote card.
- How did that card even get into the house?
- He suffers from social anxiety, which, of course, I am very sympathetic towards. I don’t want to shame my cat for having an anxiety disorder! On the other hand, he used to deal with his fear of other cats by panicking and attacking people, which is frankly unacceptable.
- (It usually just involves a course of oral antibiotics — “just” — but one flatmate wound up in hospital overnight on an antibiotic drip. Although in fairness to the Fatso, that’s because her GP was like, “Eh, how bad can a cat bite be?”)
- (There was also the time I sprained my wrist because he was hanging off it by his teeth, and he’s quite heavy. And that’s how I learned you shouldn’t break up a cat fight with your bare hands!)
- (It has been eighteen months since our last mauling, I am very proud.)
- His keen hunting instincts have nevertheless caused terrible damage to my ankles.
- And yet, I have seen him lying flat on his belly, watching a fly stroll past, and he has not moved so much as a whisker to kill it.
- Other people’s cats will catch a fly out of mid-air! Harvey’s just, like, “Well, that doesn’t look very sanitary.” DON’T LECTURE ME ABOUT HYGIENE, JERKFACE, YOU LICK YOUR OWN BOTTOM.
- Is it because flies don’t have ankles? Is that it?
- I was going to call him out for hiding under my bed whenever he hears a song from Hamilton, but in fairness, Stephanie does that too. (I mean, she doesn’t hide specifically under my bed, but, you know.)
- His attempts to assist me in yoga all too often involve teeth. He is a terrible yoga instructor.
- There is all kinds of terrible television in my Netflix history, which is 100% his fault. Trashy true crime documentaries. Anything with “bridezilla” in the title. My Cat From Hell.
[Image: Harvey disappears into his house, a pair of boxes taped together, with cut-out windows and the label of “Jerk Mansion”.]
- When he shows affection, it’s usually by putting his butt in my face. Mate, have you even heard of boundaries?
- Last night, despite knowing I wanted a good night’s sleep before I went back to work, he sat on my bedhead and cried because he wasn’t allowed outside, and also it was windy, and if I can make food appear, surely I can make the wind stop?
- I’ve tried to explain that I need to have a job so as to keep him in food and jingly toys, but he doesn’t seem to respect my contributions at all.
- He’s seriously behind on his rent. In fact, I don’t think he’s made a single financial contribution to this household since he moved in eight years ago!