Last night, I thought I would have a relaxing evening after fighting a nasty head cold for a few days.
Dinner was going to be easy to cook up – baked Tilapia, sprinkled heavily with California Style Lemon Pepper and a side dish of homemade coleslaw. I found the recipe for the coleslaw a few years ago on one of those copycat recipe websites. The recipe for which I searched was KFC’s coleslaw, the best I have ever tasted, in my opinion. The copycat recipe is really, really easy, especially when one merely needs to make the dressing and add it to pre-bagged tri-color coleslaw from the produce department at the grocery store.
With dinner cooked, kitchen cleaned, pets cared for, I sat in my recliner and turned on a movie, The Railway Man. This was an incredible movie. If you have Netflix, check it out.
My husband smokes cigarettes in the garage when it is too chilly outdoors to smoke on the patio. He came into the house for something and asked me where Opie (our orphaned feral cat)was. I told him that I thought she was in her ‘cave’ (the hall closet where I store blankets and pillows.) Opie often jumps to the top shelf and snuggles in for long naps.
I had gone to say ‘hello’ to her only half an hour before my husband came in looking for her and I read her body language that she was in no mood for company, so I left her alone.
My husband is of the mind that pets should be obedient to pet-parents. He went to check on her, started petting her and then I heard all sorts of raucous. He was loudly telling her, repeatedly to “STOP IT!” Then he shouted to me to get bandages. Sigh.
Containing my anger toward him, I quietly got three boxes of bandages and placed them on the kitchen counter. He was swearing that he was going to beat the damn cat, as he rinsed his bloodied hand in the kitchen sink.
I have learned a very long time ago never to argue with someone who has been drinking alcohol and I wondered how I was going to approach the subject about his treating the cat as though she has human understanding. I did not want him turning his anger against me.
As I bandaged his hand with at least 10 regular-sized bandages. I tried to approach the subject, explaining to him that she was born in the wild and we rescued and raised her. She has the natural instincts of a ferrell cat, she has the “wild” inside her and that will never change.
He agreed to leave her alone, but only moments later, walked over to her “cat cave” to look at her. I was in the kitchen, observing and could hear the cat growling at him. Of course she was growling! He later told me that he hit her! She was terrified of him!
At one point in our conversation, while still bandaging his hand, I told him that if he doesn’t stop his “playing” with her, I will have to take her to the Vet to have her put down. His anger rose, but I stood my ground, “…what’s better? Having you get crazy-mad at her and beat her or have her put down quietly?
“She cannot be taught nor controlled! If you cannot learn to live with her, understanding her special circumstances, then, it is cruel to keep her.”
He argued that because she is not socialized, she is not a candidate for adoption. I agreed and told him that the only options were for the humans in this home to respect her as she is or have her put down.
He retreated to the garage but returned to the hallway where he stared at her again and broke down into tears. Great! Not only did I have a cat who was scared to death, feeling cornered, but a man, under-the-influence, crying like a baby because the love-of-his-life, the cat, doesn’t love him – won’t be affectionate to him.
After the husband left for work this morning, I sat and cried, wondering if it was a good thing that I did adopt her, raise her, bottle feed her.
I hate zoos. I think animals belong and are happier in their natural environment. Yet, to let Opie loose, outdoors, she would be killed within 24 hours, either by a car, neighborhood dogs, the hawks, the owls, the coyotes…
I think she is unhappy as she sits in the window everyday, wanting to chase birds and squirrels. I think this is cruel. I think she is lonely, yet, to bring another cat into the home would surely become a bloody mess quickly.
I have such a headache from my tears. My concerns are that she is lonely and unhappy and that my husband has the attitude of a three year old when it comes to pets.