Toni the Cat had her first appearance on marc’s blog on its original posting back in November of 2012. I thought after four years I’d do an update on Toni because…well, just because.
Toni the Cat has a well deserved reputation for being a nasty little beast. Personally, I just write off her behavior as having poor social skills, that’s all. It’s not her fault. She just got an unsavory mix of feline genes when she was waiting in the gene pool with a gazillion other kittens on their way to life.
Toni became part of our household six years ago. She came with Haley. Haley is one of our grandchildren. Haley lives with us. Consequently, so does Toni. The other pro-Toni member of the family is Rosemarie who welcomed Toni to come live with us when she was a typical cute little kitten, always a commodity hard to say “no” to. I was the only one willing to say it. It’s not that I don’t like pets…well, maybe is it. I just don’t like the negatives that pets usually bring into the house. Things like urine, fecal matter and hair. Okay, I’m being a little blunt. But these unwelcome elements always come with the cute and cuddly ones we take pictures of.
No one ever shows you pictures of their precious dog peeing on the china cabinet, do they? And do your cat-loving friends show you photos of the elaborate rug-covered scratching post that sits unused, just beyond the shredded back of the couch in the living room? Nope, don’t think so. Instead you get to oogle over the cute pictures like the one below.
Now obviously, I realize many people aren’t bothered by the pet negatives. They happily overlook them in exchange for the companionship, the slurpy kisses and unconditional loyalty that pets gladly give up in return for a daily bowl of goo.
Toni is the exception. She definitely does not fit the category of lap cat. It is practically unanimous among all the relatives and people who visit us, that Toni is a nasty little creature. They don’t like the fact that Toni will almost always take a swipe at anyone who gets near her. And if anyone chooses to venture even closer than that, she’ll bite them. She is a very consistent cat. She’s not sneaky or unpredictable. Once you get to know her, you know what to expect. I like that about her. I understand that she doesn’t want to have to perform all the adorable pet behavior patterns people expect from their family cat. I think she senses my sentiments because there is really only one person in the family she consistently wants to be with, probably because that person doesn’t expect anything from her and, in fact, never wanted her in the house to begin with. Yeah, you guessed who it is…me, the pet hater.
I spend a lot of time on my computer. Toni is usually there whenever I am. She curls up and squeezes into the top tray of a file box on my desk. She looks incredibly uncomfortable, but that’s her place of preference. She seems attracted to small, enclosed real estate. She never passes up attempting to occupy an empty box no matter what size. Curious as a cat? That she is, definitely
Toni displays another normal cat behavior, although it is more common to outdoor cats. Many of the latter will leave a dead bird, field mouse, or some other small creature on the doorstep of the house. I’m told that the cat is actually leaving a gift.
Toni very deliberately goes through this same process, except she does it with a little stuffed monkey. It winds up everywhere in the house, but always very strategically placed. And there is one thing for sure: no one has ever seen Toni with the monkey in her mouth being carried to its next destination. It is always a clandestine delivery. I will find it on my chair, on my bed, on the computer keyboard. Others around the house will also be gifted the little monkey when and where Toni chooses. Even Dutch the Duck, a stuffed animal Toni has befriended, has received the honor (see picture).
So Toni and I have this mutual tolerance thing going, but I am the less forgiving member of the relationship. I want new furniture to replace our current old and abused collection. But I will never buy it as long as Toni is around. She’d be clawing it to smithereens the minute we left her home alone.
In this case, she has the upper hand, or should I say upper paw, because she knows she’s going nowhere. That sort of pisses me off but, trust me, I won’t be attracted to the china cabinet.