Claws out

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

As I've probably said far too many times before, I have an adorable yellow tabby cat named BJ. He's the most mild-mannered, loving pet I've owned despite my tendency to test his limits.

My behavior never ventures near animal cruelty but rather animal annoyance, if that's a thing. I often wake BJ up when he's soundly sleeping just to move him closer to me. I also like tucking him into bed with me like a baby and cradling him as he silently plots my demise.

That said, I'm not sure I've ever unintentionally upset him as much as I did Sunday afternoon. Gideon and I bought one of those lion manes that attaches around a cat's neck. I hoped BJ would look like Mufasa from "The Lion King" and Gideon hoped the cat wouldn't claw my face off. I still have my face today, but I am surprised about that.

I should've known it was a bad idea to transform my house cat into a tiny predator when he glared at me as I removed the costume from a grocery store sack. I don't know how, but BJ could tell something unpleasant was about to happen. When I sat down with him and fastened the mane around his neck, he didn't respond. No, he waited until I had released him into the wild to completely lose his mind.

The image is burned in my brain now: my yellow tabby quietly jerking backward across the carpet, rubbing his head against the ground in protest. He did not look like a majestic lion at all. Gideon recoiled when he first saw BJ's reaction, later telling me he thought the cat was having a seizure.

"He's an old man. He's too old for costumes," Gideon told me as he removed the mane from BJ's neck.

I didn't point out that it was Gideon who had purchased the mane.

BJ is normally so affectionate, so I didn't expect him to be so rude to me once we removed the mane. He ignored me for the rest of the day and only cozied up to me once he thought I was asleep that night. He sat directly over my nose and mouth, so I think it might have been an attempt on my life. He even let out a melancholy "meow" when I pushed him off, as if I was to blame for not letting him suffocate me to death.

In my defense, I really did think it would be a cute costume. I thought we'd get a couple of photos and hopefully dress BJ up on Halloween when we give out candy to neighborhood kids. I had even begun thinking of correlating costumes for me and Gideon to wear. We could have used a Halloween photo for our Christmas card!

Since I'm not into animal cruelty, none of that will happen now. It's a sad thing indeed. I really think it would've been the cat's meow.

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Samantha Jones is a reporter for the Carroll County News. Her email address is CCNNews@cox-internet.com.