There are several reasons that I am telling pet stories like that of Morris, the flame point Siamese cat from hell. Each tale has underlying wisdom, but also, each pet brings different forms of rapid growth to our life journey. Animals add an exaggerated statement to our days, maybe because of the depth of emotional attachment, because of the intensity in which they live in the moment, and because we live so much longer and thereby watch the process of birth to death with connection and responsibility through our hairy counterparts.
Sometimes they bring goodness. Mostly. It was questionable with Morris.
When we went to PAWS to adopt a cat, Morris climbed from the heights of the climbers onto my shoulder. He rubbed his head against my cheeks, wrapped his body around my neck. He was sweet and snuggly, and particularly vocal. I had my heart set on a kitten, but Morris convinced me otherwise. It was a ruse.
Morris, the Flame Point Siamese
He continued with kindness for a certain waiting period, like there was a warrantee, or a return policy. And then… all hell broke loose. Morris was a Siamese cat, the beautiful cream and orange type. He was a screamer, and worse, a deviant from the gods of the underworld.
When I look at my arms, the scars remain. Morris didn’t teach me lessons to live by. He taught me to love unconditionally while being abused. I often asked Mom why they didn’t take him back. My guess is that the child me would not let that happen! But it should have.
Morris would lie in wait. One of his favorite tricks was to stalk us in the dark. When we went for a glass of water in the night, he would pounce from a dark corner, grip the upper thigh with his front feet, and kick with the back legs, claws extended.
He adored a loving victim. Dee, the neighbor, knew his tricks. But Morris would yowl and wrap himself around her legs, and beg so convincingly until she finally fell for it. She would reach down, and he grabbed that hand with his teeth. Blood was the goal and he rarely failed.
Morris was a horrible fighter too. He and the neighbor cat had territory wars that resulted in repeated abscess treatments, which brought on more blood letting from the one who was rendering the medical treatment.
One day, I jumped in the middle of the feline turf wars. My left arm was in a sling for a week, and my current scars show the punctures from the top two canine teeth, and the long gashes from lower as the bite closed.
I don’t have loving memories of Morris (other than his acquisition), but I did love and protect him. I watch people live human interactions that are similar, a beautiful and tricky start, and then a tortured, painful, even abused existence. Take them back to the shelter. Leave them where you acquired them. Lick your wounds and move on. It’s so easy to say, and so hard to do.