Reason My Cat is a Jerk #29: She Bites Everything

27 07 2010

When you adopt a kitten, you know your life is never going to be the same. You know what you’re getting into. From the moment you are forced to confront your first bag of kitty litter, you understand that all of a sudden you care a whole lot more about cat pee than you thought you ever would. You are forced to acknowledge right from the get-go that in owning a cat, there will be some damage to your finances, your furniture, and your sanity.

I know that was all coming. I was prepared for that.

But I did not expect to have to fear for the safety of every piece of paper or shred of plastic in my apartment.

I totally underestimated the jerks.

See, Pants loves her some plastic. She loves to bat at it, and to walk on it, but most of all, she loves to bite it. I have a theory that she likes the way it sounds when it crinkles in her teeth, or the way it feels in her mouth. Maybe she just likes the fact that when she’s done with it, it’ll have dozens of tiny little teeth marks poked into it.

The truth is, I have no idea what’s really going though he little pea-sized brain. All I know is that if I leave a dry-cleaning bag or a grocery bag out, she’ll tear into it.

See how she really digs into this one here? She has to yank it, trying to get as much leverage as she can to inflict the most possible damage on that helpless bag.

Jezebel is the same way. She’s not so much into plastic, thank goodness (I know that odd little habit is going to end in a trip to the vet someday), but she loves paper. She will shred any paper she can get her grubby little claws on. The more important it is, the better.

Here we caught her in the act shredding the tissue paper that came with a pair of new shoes. She saw the brand-new box on the floor (she also has a thing for boxes, but that’s a story for another day), hopped right on it, and went to town. The paper in this box is not in any way important, just indicative of her jerky little habit of shredding anything that comes across her path.

(That’s my husband providing the commentary there at the end).

I don’t know why they do it or how to stop it. But I do know that the more upset I get, th emore they seem to love doing it. Because they’re complete jerks.


Reason My Cat is a A Jerk #28: She Pukes on Everything

20 07 2010

I can think of very few things grosser than stepping in fresh cat puke first thing in the morning.

Stepping in cat pee, maybe. Poop, for sure. But cat puke has a special, ineffable quality that cannot be underestimated. There’s just something about the way the partially-digested food comes out in neat little lines, coated in slime, that’s pretty much the grossest thing ever.

I should know. Jezebel is a puke machine.

Now, Pants pukes too. Occasionally. She always seems so shocked by what’s happening, and so confused and embarrassed, that it’s almost cute when she projectile vomits. Jezebel, on the other hand, will puke and then, without even pausing, go back to her day. We come home to tiny little piles of vomit just about every evening. Often, they’re still warm. My husband and I both pretend we don’t see it so the other will have to clean it up.

It’s vile.

To her credit, Jezebel does try not to puke on things like rugs and comforters. I know this because I’ll come home and see that she’s tried. There will be a line of vomit trailing down my dresser (and once, into my open drawer), but it’s obvious that she tried to get it all over the edge. She puked off the side of the bed last week. A bit of it hit the side of the mattress, but the way it splattered showed she at least attempted to aim away from it. Which would be kind of sweet if it weren’t so completely disgusting.

Ok, Ok. Before anyone calls the animal police on me, please understand that I have tried everything I know of to fix the problem. I buy her food for cats with sensitive stomachs. I have switched up the kinds of food she eats. I have asked the vet about it. He said there’s not much you can do. Some cats just puke a lot.


The real problem is that she’s a pig and a half. She’s so concerned about Pants eating her food (an eventuality that has never occurred, as Pants takes two bites of her dinner on a good day) that she wolfs down as much as she can before Pants has a chance to get it. She’ll eat her whole dish, run off satisfied that Pants isn’t going to get more than her fair share, and then puke it all up five minutes later. I would feel bad for her if she didn’t completely bring it on herself. What a jerk.

Reason My Cat is a Jerk #27: She Kills My Plants

14 07 2010

You may have noticed that I don’t exactly live in a palace. It’s a one-bedroom in a not-particularly nice part of Brooklyn. It faces onto a “courtyard,” which means our windows look out onto our neighbors’ brick wall. We don’t love it, but it’s cheap, and there’s plenty of room for our cats to roam, and I have learned to distinguish the sounds of people throwing heavy objects out their windows from the noise of gunfire, so it’s been an educational experience.

The one thing we really lack is light. We’re on the third floor on a block (“courtyard”) of six-story buildings, and there are some trees between the buildings, so not a ton of vitamin D filters down our way. I don’t mind that much. We live very close to a big park, and I get out a lot. The main problem that we cannot grow plants. At all. Here’s a wee tomato I once managed to coax out of the soil in a planter by the window, and I considered this a major victory. I could almost garnish a salad.


Hey, do you know what Jezebel’s favorite food is?

That’s right. Plants. Which means that even when I manage to get one to survive on big hopes and good wishes and Miracle-Gro, she still somehow finds a way to destroy it.

When we first got the little jerks, we had this wonderful hanging plant with long, gorgeous tendrils. Jezebel thought it was SO fun to swipe at those tendrils. She was still so new and so little and so cute I didn’t have the heart take swift action to stop it. That was a huge mistake. She took off a couple of leaves a day. She killed that one within weeks.

Then we tried to grow herbs. Oh man. There is nothing more fun than herbs. She couldn’t stop biting them, and swatting at them, and doing whatever she could to uproot them. Adios, basil.

And cut flowers? Jezebel can’t get enough.

Jezebel's glamour shot

When we bring some home, she has to get up on the table to check them out. And then they smell so good, she just needs to sniff them. Just a little bit. And then, oh man, if they smell that good, they must taste amazing! So she bites them. Just to check. And then, they taste so good…

Jezebel Killing Things

These ended up with tiny little teethmarks all up and down them.

A while back, we tried to grow regular-sized (as opposed to wee) tomatoes on the fire escape. Those were done in by a rabid squirrel (seriously) who decided a tomato plant pot was the perfect place to build a nest. This is technically not the fault of my cats, who are indoor cats and utterly defenseless in the wilderness, and therefore couldn’t possibly have done anything to stop the squirrel. But they did love to sit in the windowsill and watch the squirrel and growl at him through the glass, which I can only imagine must have encouraged the ratty little thing. So that’s on them too.

We have two tiny little plants left.


These things are basically unkillable. Trust me, she’s tried. The other day I came home to find dirt all over the kitchen floor. She’d been digging in my pots. I don’t know what she was looking for, but I hope she found it.

If she were any other cat, I might perhaps see this unfortunate interest in botany as a sign of intelligence and broad intellectual interests. But seriously. I know better. She’s a jerk. When she finds something that makes me happy, she simply has to destroy it.

Reason My Cat is a Jerk #26: She Pushes Things Off Flat Surfaces

10 07 2010

I don’t know why, but Jezebel cannot stand it when I leave something near the edge of a flat surface, like a pen, or a ring, or a dictionary, or her sister.

Double Trouble

Can. Not. Stand. It.

If she sees something she can move, she has to push it over the edge. (Bonus points if she can then push it under some heavy piece of furniture so I don’t find it again for months.) Pen? Check. Earplugs? On a daily basis. My shopping list? Right over the edge. One time she even pushed a lamp off the table (it was glass, and broke into a million pieces, and caused Pants to puff up to about twice her normal size from terror).

Maybe she likes to see things fall. Maybe she’s working on her own theories about gravity. Maybe she’s hoping it will shatter and she’ll have a thousand tiny new toys to play with. Maybe she just knows it will piss me off. Whatever it is, it’s like she cannot stop herself.

I know it’s not just my cats that do this either. I’ve heard from many of you that your cats do the same thing. There’s apparently something ingrained in their little feline brains that necessitates them to push objects off the flat surfaces. I wondered what it was for years and years.

But now I think I have finally figured out what that thing is. It’s straight-up jerkitude.

Reason My Cat is a Jerk #25: She Won’t Share Her Toys

24 05 2010

Jezebel LOVES toys.

She loves playing with them. She loves destroying them. She loves pushing them under the dresser to hide them so we’ll give her new toys. She really loves when we finally move the dresser and she has a million toys to pick from.

Jezebel loves toys

The only thing she doesn’t love about toys is sharing them with Pants.

The two cats get along for the most part. They’re from the same litter and have been together their whole lives. They play together nicely, and they curl up together, and are generally adorable together.

But then you break out a toy, and Jezebel loses her mind. For a while she went through a ball phase. She couldn’t get enough of playing with balls. She would bring you the balls every morning and sit and look up forlornly until you threw it for her. But if Pants wanted to play? Forget it. Jezebel is bigger and faster, and would push Pants out of the way to get to the ball.

Recently Jezebel has been in a string phase. She could play with a string all day. But if you dangle a string in front of Pants? Forget it. Jezebel will take it and run. Even if Jezebel isn’t in the room, she somehow knows when you’ve taken pity on poor Pants and have dangled a string in front of her face so she can bat at it once or twice, and she comes running. She’ll take that string away so fast Pants hasn’t even figured out she’s in the room.

I don’t know why Pants doesn’t fight back. Sure, Jezebel is faster and more athletic and generally smarter and much more enthusiastic about toys, but Pants will stand up for herself sometimes about other things.

But when Jezebel takes a toy and won’t let her play? Pants just looks sad and walks away.

Jezbel playing with string

See how in this picture she’s watching closely, and looks interested, but isn’t participating? That’s because she knows better. Once she takes a swat at the string, Jezebel is all over her. So she just sits there.

Maybe she’s decided it’s not worth fighting. Maybe she’s planning to spit in Jezebel’s food later to get her back. Or maybe she’s just accepted that her sister is a complete jerk.

Reason My Cat is a Jerk #24: She Welcomes Me Home With Hatred

19 05 2010

Remember how I had a chair that I loved that Pants ripped to shreds?

Yeah. Well. When I took that one away, she found a new one.

Pants' Blue Chair

This is the chair that sits at my desk. It’s just inside the front door, and you see it as soon as you come in my apartment.

Pants loves to sit here. Maybe it has something about the padded seat or the high arms that she can sort of hide behind. Maybe it’s because she knows it’s expensive. But for whatever reason, she she sits here a lot. Which I don’t mind, because the chair is dark and hides her little black fur nicely, so most people can’t even tell that it’s covered in cat hair most of the time.

But she doesn’t just sit here. Oh no. She’s far too jerky for that.

She really likes to wait until you come into the apartment, jump into her chair, and claw at it. She pretty much does this every time we come in. Even if she’s not currently sitting in the blue chair, if she hears the door open, she comes running, just so she can tear into it as you walk in. She will stop whatever she’s doing, shoot over, and start clawing. She could be sitting in my lap, happy as a clam, and then BOOM—she’s off, clawing her way to onto the chair just in time for my husband to walk in the door.

The worst part is, she makes sure to look at you as she’s doing it. She definitely wants you to know that she understands she’s destroying something you love.

It’s how she says welcome home. Only it’s super-annoying, and she does it because she’s a jerk.

Reason My Cat is a Jerk #23: She Only Wants Me For My Bed

11 02 2010

Every morning, the alarm goes off, and my favorite fuzzy little jerks come running to the bedroom and start meowing at the door because they just can’t wait to see us. And every night, they resist leaving the bedroom, because they love us so much and dread the thought of an entire night without us.

At least, this was what I thought. And then our heater went haywire. I live in this old building, and we have steam heat, which comes up through the radiators, which is lovely most of the time.

Except when the radiators go on the fritz, as happened recently. Some valve in the radiator in our bedroom broke, and instead of letting out a little bit of heat at a time in a quiet manner, the stupid thing spewed forth heat in an unnatural and frightening way. It was about 90 degrees with 90% humidity in our bedroom. The worst part, though, was the clanging, which was loud and constant all night. My husband and I finally gave up on sleeping in our nice, soft, fluffy bed and took refuge on the couch in the living room.

And what did the little jerks do? Did they rush to our sides, thrilled to be allowed to be with us for an entire night?

Of course not. Once the door to the bedroom was open, they ran straight for the bed and stayed there the entire night. They didn’t want to cuddle with us. They didn’t want to comfort us. They didn’t even seem to be bothered by the tropical temperatures and deafening noise. Apparently, all they wanted was to sleep on our bed.


I know, in my heart, that they’re supreme jerks who only look out for themselves, but it’s still nice to have the illusion that they care about us for us. Sadly, it’s all a lie. I now know the truth. They only want us for our bed.