Al-Cat-raz

Sometimes, I forget that the house pets we have casually strolling around our houses, are still primal creatures at heart. No matter how much we want to spoil them and dress them up in goofy clothes and feed them delicious treats, they will always have those primal instincts. And those primal instincts can make for some hilarious encounters.

In my household, I like to compare my two cats to two prison inmates. My older cat, let’s call her the Black Panther, is the old, wise, hardened inmate who is serving life without parole. My other cat, let’s call her Fat Cat, is akin to the chubby twenty-five year old who still lives in his mom’s basement, got busted for distributing porn, and is now serving time in federal prison.

Black Panther is your typical badass hunter cat. She spends most of her time outside killing rodents, snakes, and lizards. She was ambushed by two dogs once, and let’s just say it ended with both dogs whimpering off and bleeding from their noses.

Fat Cat spends most of her time begging for food. The time that she isn’t begging for food, she is sprawled out on the couch like a blob, or hiding under a bed because she heard the wind blowing too hard outside. I’m sure if she ever came into contact with a rat, she would get the butt mud brutally beaten out of her.

Black Panther is the alpha and Fat Cat is the beta. It’s been this way since day one. When Fat Cat first trembled her way into our house from PetsMart, she was swiftly smacked into a wall by Black Panther. (If you’re thinking ohhhh, poor Fat Cat, don’t. Because this cat is a spoiled dingleberry.)

Black Panther is a very honorable animal and if you show her respect, she shows you respect. I’m sure all she wants is for Fat Cat to stand up for herself, and she would accept her. But over the years, Fat Cat has just taken the beatings, silently plotting behind the scenes. She knows she can’t stand toe to toe with Black Panther, so she has begun to resort to other means.

The change in behavior started a year or so ago. Black Panther was sleeping gracefully on the couch while my family and I were watching TV. Fat Cat had just finished her fourth or fifth meal and was meandering (or waddling) over to us. Although, she stops in her tracks once she sees Black Panther. Figuring she would just slink off to beg for more food or hide under a bed, we thought nothing of it. But suddenly, she jumps up, right next to Black Panther, and stares at her intently. Black Panther senses the movement, opens her eyes, and sees Fat Cat. She hisses, and like always, Fat Cat moves away to the other side of the couch. But Fat Cat keeps her eyes on Black Panther. She waits until Black Panther is asleep again, and creeps expertly over to her. We have the TV paused now and are watching to see where this goes.

Fat Cat walks right up to Black Panther until she is standing directly over her. Then, extending her fat little paw over Black Panther’s head, she swipes down and smacks Black Panther as hard as her grotesquely overweight body can manage. It was a textbook prison attack, with Fat Cat’s claws serving as the makeshift shank. Black Panther screams in anger and jumps into attack position as fast as she can manage. Although, she is a step slow from being engaged in such a deep sleep just seconds earlier, and Fat Cat is nowhere to be seen.

That little bastard had darted out of the room faster than I had ever seen her move. I couldn’t believe what I had just watched. A premeditated cheap shot from a cat. This creature had the thought process to become angry from being beaten on by Black Panther, realize she can’t beat her in a fair fight, and decide to wait until she’s asleep to attack her. And then ran away to avoid the repercussions. Just that realization of how intricately planned the attack was, and by such a simple little overweight cat, is hilarious.

Now that I think about it, I should probably stop calling her Fat Cat. And I should probably sleep with my door closed…

The Crossroads 

I once had a conversation with a family friend that has stuck with me ever since.

It was a year or so ago, and we were sitting outside sipping on some beer when he began to tell me about his life during college. I myself was just beginning my college experience, so I listened intently. He went on to explain how he was slacking in school, partying and drinking too much, getting in fights, etc. I took another sip of my beer, thinking to myself that this sounded like fun.

Although, he grew very serious as he explained that during this time, he met his current wife. Putting his beer down now, he stared at me and I could hear in his voice just how hard this was for him to talk about.
 
“Once I started dating her, I realized I was at a crossroads where I needed to make a choice between a life of joy, fulfillment, and passion… or prison.”

He seemed on the verge of tears at this point as he nodded his head in the direction of his wife, who was sitting nearby.

“And I chose prison.” 


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