How Your Cat Might Encourage Bad Behavior


My cat wanted me to be a terrible person; really, really wanted me to be one. I’m trying hard to live up to his wants now that he’s missing and our kids are devastated (but seriously, that’s why he wasn’t allowed outside and his disappearance after sneaking out is really just a good example of how correct I am). My cat, his name is (was?) Twitter, and we adopted him when he was only 6 months old. He was rescued from a drainage ditch outside of a prison somewhere down south and brought to a local rescue. We went to adopt another kitten, but she seemed to hate us on sight (something that took our cat months to realize) and he was just so friendly and loving to the kids.

When our then 1-year-old decided she was not putting him down, we knew we had to take him. That was the first of many poor decisions Twitter has made in his short life (he also attacked a pit bull and he ran away from home at night and hid from us knowing darn well that we have a ton of coyotes around here). He was (can I just hope he will come home one day even though it’s now been 23 days since we last saw him?) a good cat for the most part, despite his poor decision making. Of course, he also made me make poor decisions. He encouraged bad behavior in our house – that little rebel. But you know what? We all need a little fun in our lives and our cat knew that; he encouraged me to behavior poorly so that we could have a little bit more fun.

Here’s a few of the more creative ways my cat encouraged me to misbehave.

Being cute and making me want to adopt all the kittens

Twitter was a cute cat. Just so cute. And he was so cute that I thought he needed a friend, even though my husband was dead set against another cat. He, for some reason, found our cat’s bad habit of sleeping in our bed and relaxing on the kitchen counter to be a bit annoying (whatever). And then one day he looked at me with all his cuteness in one look and I said, “That’s it; he needs an adorable friend,” and promptly adopted another kitten. We had that kitten for about a month before we had to give it to my parents because it made a habit of tearing up everything in our home, including chewing the corners of our very, very expensive bedroom set and clawing the arms off our also very expensive leather sofa. When he decided that kids were more fun to sharpen his claws on than furniture, it was time to find him another loving home. He still glares at us when we visit my parents.

Judging people

My cat perfected the art of showing people just how moronic he thought they were, and it made me do the same. I found myself mimicking his look of judgmental disdain when people spoke to me, and now I’m certain I need Botox for my ‘judgment’ lines. Some people might call them forehead wrinkles, but I never had them until I started look at people with my eyebrows raised in horror and confusion the way that my cat did. My cat has encouraged botulism.

Staying in bed too long to snuggle

He’s soft, the bed is soft; the alarm is not our friend. Enough said.

Eating all the ice cream

Twitter loves ice cream, and so do we. He’d give us this look that said, “Please, a little bit of ice cream,” and we’d run to the store to buy some to share with him. We have no willpower, so we cannot keep sweets in the house. I mean, not even an ounce of willpower do we have. Of course, sometimes the cat didn’t do anything but nap and we’d find ourselves thinking his naptime face meant that he definitely needed some ice cream. Darn cat.

Playing with water guns in the house

Did I mention that Twitter loved to hang out on the counters in the kitchen? While it might not seem like a big deal to some, I’m an anal, obsessive compulsive neat freak and that bothered me so very much. The vet told us a good way to keep him off the counters is to spray him with water when he’s up there and he will eventually get the hint. We couldn’t find a spray bottle (turns out you can buy those in just about every department ever created in every store ever opened) since we didn’t really look that hard for one, but we did find water guns. Since the vet told us to spray the cat with water, we figured we had to buy the water guns. It was a terrible idea. A wet, fun, hilariously terrible idea. And now our kids think that water guns in the house are just an everyday occurrence.

Acting and then thinking

This one time….not at band camp…we (I) had the bright idea to adopt a dog. A larger, four-year-old pit bull mix my kids promptly named Elsa. She must have seen the movie a time or two because she didn’t seem too thrilled about it either. Elsa seemed like a very sweet dog, all calm and relaxed with the kids. And then the cat jumped from on top of the fridge, attacked the dog on the face and the dog then pretty much ate the cat (collapsed lungs and failing kidney and liver). That’s when we realized that Twitter likes to think after he makes a move. Kind of like me getting a dog when my kids don’t even like dogs. We live and we learn, right?

My cat might encourage poor behavior, but we did have fun together. Until he snuck out and probably became a midnight snack for something larger. He was cute, but not that bright.

Photo by China Photos/Getty Images

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