Tuesday, June 8, 2010

In the Mood

Artist: Adriaen Brouwer
Title: Streitende Bauern in Einem Wirtshaus, 1630

Have you ever been in the kind of mood where you just want to pick a fight? You don't care with whom, you just want the physical gratification of plowing your fist into someone's jaw and hearing the crack of bone? The kind of mood where you are glad there is traffic and you hope someone cuts you off so you can ram your front bumper into his rear quarter-panel, stomp on the gas, force him off the road into a drainage ditch, then spin to a stop in the gravel, fling open your door and pound your way to his car, reaching through the shattered window and jerking him through the broken glass so you can land a dozen quick punches before anyone else can get their seat-belts off?

Yeah, me neither. (Oh c'mon. I write fiction, okay? I made all that up, really.) But I was in a feisty mood yesterday when I got home from work and I took it out on my poor cat. The door banged open from the garage and I tromped in, heading down the hall into the cat's room following as they trotted with tails pointing to the ceiling. I dumped a bunch of cat crunchies into their dishes and then did a despicable thing. I ran my hand along Hobiecat's silky fur.

Hobie loves to be petted. He is the type that thrusts his head into your hand and raises his hind end to get the maximum enjoyment of each stroke. He likes the caress to go from his nose to the tip of his tail, all the while vibrating the house with his deafening purr. But he also is a chow hound. Put food in his dish and he'll go at it like he's been starving on a drifting boat for a month. By petting him, I forced him to multitask. I forced him to eat and purr at the same time. Mwaahaha. He struggled, not wanting me to stop, but not wanting to stop eating. An interesting dilemma. Food won out. He kept purring, but he didn't give my petting the dedication it deserves.

I know. It was mean. I've felt guilty all day. Maybe next time I'll see if I can run someone off the road.


  1. You, uh... you need a punching bag or something. That way you can get your aggression out without doing unconscionable things like that to your cat.

    I feel a bit soiled just reading about it, actually. Thanks for that.


  2. Simon,

    It's funny, but while I was writing that I thought of you and one of your blogfest scenes. Do you suppose you've had an influence on me?

  3. Can you turn that cat into a character in a book? It could complain all the time about the despicable mistreatment it receives. You wouldn't even have to make it up. You could just journal it.

  4. #1 Carol

    I've thought about putting a cat in a book. Not this cat, but the one that ripped my waterbed to shreds.

  5. I'm calling the ASPCA. This definitely sounds like animal cruelty.

    One of my three cats hates to be combed more than anything. He also has this crazy silky fur that needs to be combed all the time. The only way I can do it is when he's eating, but that means he's forced to simultaneously chew and growl at me. The result is a noise that sounds disturbingly like he's saying "yum, yum, yum." I kid you not. I should video it someday and stick it on YouTube.

    Love the blog post!


  6. Tawna,

    What a great idea. Do it, do it. I'll watch it. Do you have cats in any of your books? You could make it a trailer.

  7. If were to attempt something so bold with my cat, she'd present me with the opportunity to visit the emergency room.

  8. Bill,

    Bravo to your cat. She keeps you in line. Sometimes the evil threat is all it takes to keep us from veering off the path.


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