As you can probably tell by now, I love writing about the crazy animal circus that is my home. But I know I’m not the only one with hilarious and cute cat ‘tales’ to tell. To promote June’s Adopt a Shelter Cat campaign, we’re offering a prize drawing for everyone who reads this blog on Adopt-a-human’s facebook page and then leaves a story of their own about their kitties. You can submit them directly to the facebook page or just leave them in the comments section, then we’ll pick a winning name at the end of June and give you a fantastic prize for you and your felines. Now, how’s that for a deal?? Prizes for doing what all us animal lovers like to do in the first place: Brag about out critters!
Today I’m going to brag about my attack cat Rhett. Yes, you read right. We may have a big ol’ Chow/Malamute mix dog that guards our house, but before she came along, we relied on Rhett to keep the riff-raff away. I’ve filled you in on Rhett’s, shall we say, unique personality in previous blogs, but this story takes the cake. Or the cat food. Whatever.
My husband and I both come from a media background and it’s not always easy to get those jobs in the same market. We spent five and a half years in a long distance relationship and even got married while he lived here in Tampa and I lived in Flint, Michigan.
Anyway, we got married in Clearwater, so even though Rhett had his tuxedo already on him, I had to leave him behind for a week. My matron of honor worked with me in Flint but was flying back right after the wedding so she volunteered to check in on Rhett while I was honeymooning. Since he’d already met her and not scratched her face off, I agreed.
Cut to day two of our honeymoon and I get a frantic call from her. My first reaction was panic that something had happened to Rhett, my ‘only child’ at that point. Turns out, I should have been worried about my friend’s well being.
In Flint, I rented this beautiful two story condo with two bedrooms and an office upstairs. Also upstairs? Rhett’s food, water and litter box. I listened with growing concern, and a tad bit of silent laughter I must admit, as my friend explained the dire circumstances she was currently facing at my house. She had made it inside alright, with a minimum of hissing and paw boxing from Rhett, but then things turned ugly.
As she tried to go upstairs to check on his food/water situation, Rhett apparently turned into the tasmanian devil, speeding past her up the stairs, and standing at the top with his hair puffed up to twice his size and maniacal yellow eyes glaring. (I think that last detail she added was a bit stress-induced, but hey, she was freaking out. That practically demands exaggeration.) She told me she tried to approach him slowly with reassuring whispers but as she got almost to the top step, BOOM, Rhett attacked!
Now, thankfully his front paws are declawed or I may have had to pay for a new pair of jeans, and some pricey medical bills. But he still managed to fight her back downstairs, boxing furiously at her legs and feet and even trying to bite them. I was really shocked by this behavior, since he’d met her many times before without resorting to extreme violence. Then it dawned on me that she’d never been upstairs before and certainly not when I wasn’t home. Rhett was being the man of the house, protecting my second floor lair.
Feeling very proud of him but also understanding of my friend’s perilous plight, I talked her into running the gauntlet again with the promise that she could forget the litter box and just grab his dishes, then dash back downstairs. I stayed on the phone with her as moral support and though there were a few screams from both parties, she completed her journey unscathed.
I give her mad props for ever coming back to that house, but she did, and everything was fine after that. As long as she stayed downstairs Rhett kept his complaining down to a few suspicious growls. And my husband and I learned an important lesson for future cat caregivers of ours: keep the bowls and litter boxes downstairs. (Though I will admit I did forget once to bring the litter box down and another friend faced a Rhett-rage. Sorry Doug!! You’re the best!)
Do any of you have a cat attack story to tell or any other cute tales? Please share them with your fellow animal lovers on the A-A-H facebook page throughout the month of June. Can’t wait to read them! Also, make sure you become a face of our SPCA Tampa Bay facebook page so we can spread the word about all our awesome adoptable animals there.