For part I: https://untoldanimalstories.org/2013/09/13/i-was-born-in-the-middle-of-winter/
Part II: https://untoldanimalstories.org/2013/09/20/part-ii-i-was-born-on-an-amish-farm-in-the-middle-of-winter/
I do not understand why Gracie doesn’t want to play. She runs from me, and when I tackle and bite her, she doesn’t reciprocate. She just hisses and yells. I suspect she needs training on how to play, so I do it again and again. I keep waiting for her to clobber me, but she never does. Mostly she skulks around trying to avoid me, looking left and right before exiting a room. My surprise attack is one of my favorites, but she doesn’t seem to like it. Her lack of playfulness makes no sense to me. I overheard my people say that I have no skill in alternate perspective taking.
Eventually, I get bored with Gracie—there’s only so much enjoyment one can derive from being hissed at. I turn my attention to my people, swatting them as they go by my perch and occasionally chewing on them if I’m more rambunctious than usual. I mean it in the nicest possible way, of course, and I keep my claws sheathed, but they don’t seem to like this. What’s wrong with them? Over time they’ve started referring to me as Bothersome Bean instead of Mr. Bean.
There is one game my people and I have enjoyed: fetch. It originally went like this: they threw a toy for me, I chased it, I dropped it, they walked over, sighed, picked it up, and threw it for me again. This game had minimal appeal to me because it was always on their terms (strict) and their timetables (limited) and, sadly, they became bored with it quickly. I changed up the game, and they seem to have caught on: I bring them a toy—pop-off milk carton rings are best (and they smell of fragrant milk and remind me of my early youth)—they throw it, I chase it and bring it back to them, and they throw it again. They’re able to do this even when they’re busy doing other things—and they are always busy doing, doing, doing—so this suits me perfectly.
I can happily play fetch for 20 minutes at a stretch, panting all the while. I’ve heard my people complain that this does not seem to tire me out, and they also complain about “my behavior” in general. They think there might be something wrong with me—as if biting Gracie were an issue. They know nothing. Still, they’ve tried many, many things with me: admonishing me, ignoring me, distracting me, and implementing ideas various people have suggested. Nothing works because there is nothing wrong with me; it’s they who are the issue. They just don’t understand. Even the Jackson Galaxy (My Cat from Hell, on Animal Planet) website jingle tries to tell them. It goes like this: “You’re a bad cat. I’m not a bad cat. You’re a bad cat. I’m not a bad cat. You’re a bad cat. I’m not a bad cat. . . I’m just misunderstood.”
I know this: although I am Bothersome Bean to them and to sweet Gracie, I know I am essentially good, and I trust that I have found my forever home with them. They said so.
to be continued…
Part IV: https://untoldanimalstories.org/2013/10/04/part-iv-in-the-middle-of-winter/
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