Lucinda Defines A Cat’s Catastrophe

Hello, two-leggeds. It’s Lucinda, your literate cat. Today I will attempt to describe a day that becomes a cat’s catastrophe. These days happen now and then, and we deal with them as best we can.

As you must know, we cats are extremely territorial. Also, we like our routine to stay the same every day. When you two-leggeds do not follow these simple rules — Respect our territory and don’t change our routine — you might end up with a very unhappy cat. Let’s look at some examples.

Perhaps a friend of yours stops by and brings along a dog. This is not good. Most cats who become

cat and dog boxing match
Giving Fido the old one-two

upset with this invasion of their territory will react in one of two ways. I will either hide until the dog leaves, or attack this intruder in my territory.

It is not good to bring a dog to this house unless the dog is prepared to suffer the consequences. Me, I’d attack — let that dog know right up front that I do not welcome him here.

If it’s a stray cat that comes around we may or may not accept the stranger. We may know instinctively and through our keen nose, that this intruder is up to no good, and our immediate response is to start a vocal quarrel.

However, in some cases, we may be receptive to getting acquainted. Our methods, though, are much different from a dog’s. A dog will immediately rush up to the newcomer and sniff his butt. Cats are much more subtle.

We may observe the visitor, and approach slowly, sending out a neutral “who are you?” message

cats facing off, both on hind legs
Confronting the intruder

first. If we feel this new cat might be an acceptable friend, we will sniff noses first — none of this invasion of personal territory that butt-sniffing allows.

Dogs are so unrefined!

A most catastrophic event occurs when we are taken to the cat torturer — what you call the vet As this experience is never fun for us, it is not appreciated one bit. It disrupts our routine and on top of that, it is very scary.

How would you feel if you were put in a container from which you couldn’t escape, put in a car and taken off to a place that truly frightens you? I think you’d understand more if you had such an experience.

First of all, we are shut in the carrier, so we can’t escape. Second, once we get to the vets, the smells are enough to scare the soles off your feet! When I am at the vet’s, I don’t just feel my own fear, but I sense the fear of the other animals there. I can smell pain and sickness as well. Why would I want to be there?

My CCL (Cantankerous Cat Lady) says the vet’s job is to heal sickness and pain. I don’t understand how that can be, as the things the vet does to us sometimes causes pain. How can that be healing?Cat at the vet being examined

Later, after we’ve been home for a while, we feel better, but we don’t associate feeling better with the vet, as he is nowhere around when we start to recover.

Back to the vet’s office: When it is our turn, we go into a little room and the door is shut. Now the carrier is opened and we are urged to come out. No way do we want to — Now the carrier has changed from a prison to the only place where we feel safe.

We just want to stay in there and hide. It is suddenly the only secure place in sight.

Yes, the vet is very nice to me, but it’s all a trick to try to get my cooperation so he can do whatever painful thing he plans to do.

Have you seen those long pointy needles they poke in us? CCL says they allow the vet to put medicine in our bodies, but can’t they do it in a way that is not so scary and hurtful?

Cat with "cone of shame"
The Cone of Shame

And what about the Cone of Shame? With that on, we can’t even get to our wound to give it healing licks. Why? It seems that would help us heal faster. CCL says the cone is for our own protection, but I don’t buy that.

Another thing they do at the vet’s is to cut our toenails. Such an invasion of privacy! I don’t like anyone to touch my feet, so the nail-cutting person uses a hold something like a wrestling hold — a half nelson, perhaps, to hold me down while she cuts.

Where did I learn about wrestling holds? Well, CCL lets me watch TeeVee (what a funny name!) and I like wrestling shows.

Long cat claws need clipping
Yes, they definitely need cutting

The reason I like them is because they remind me of when I was a kitten and had mock battles with my siblings. What I don’t understand is why you two-leggeds just watch these matches. Why aren’t you all play-wrestling to improve your hunting skills?

No wonder you don’t go out and catch your own food — you never practice with mock battles to improve your abilities.

Now, home again, I am happy to be back in my safe place.

What if CCL has two-legged visitors? I am usually fine with them, though my cousin Pogo wants nothing to do with strangers. Under the bed he goes.

In general, I get along well with visitors, but the exception could be two-legged children. Many of them are so undisciplined, especially when it comes to small animals. Unless they have a cat at home and have been taught how to interact properly with it, they can really ruin our day.

They seem to think we are some kind of toy that they can treat any way they want. They might grab our fur or our feet, pull our tail, or worse yet, try to pick us up by the tail.

Parents sometimes seem to have the attitude that we are “just cats” and it is okay for their precious children to play with us in any way they want. These parents are as unwelcome to me as their children, because they don’t understand us or know how to treat us.

Fortunately, my CCL, if she sees us being mistreated, will intervene, but many two-leggeds, even as adults, don’t know any better.

If I realize the visitor is such an uninformed two-legged, I will join Pogo under the bed.

Remember, two-legged readers, if you share you home with a cat, know that the cat is very happy when the daily routine does not cause any major change to his life. We want stability, not something different each day.

Serenity is what we strive for. Don’t expect us to be overjoyed with anything that disrupts that peace.

6 thoughts on “Lucinda Defines A Cat’s Catastrophe”

  1. I really enjoy hearing things from Lucinda’s point of view. It keeps things light, but also has some serious points. I am a dog person, but Lucinda helps me appreciate and understand felines. Thanks, Fran.

    • Thank you, Annie! Glad you weren’t too offended by Lucinda’s saying dogs were unrefined. She sometimes generalizes too much. It’s good to get a cat’s point of view, however, from time to time.

  2. I couldn’t help but giggle during some of these moments reading. Being a cat mamma to a smaller sized Maine Coone, I TOTALLY relate to these situations! My goodness. Though, I couldn’t agree more with you about cats needing stability. Without it, they get frazzled and not very happy. 

    Thank you for this great information! 


    • Good!  I’m glad it gave you a chuckle.  Though Lucinda tries to impart accurate information, the post is supposed to amuse you.  Glad you liked it.

  3. This is a nice way to relate information on the treatment of feline family members. An excellent and creative tale from a cats perspective. Nicely done. Most of the cats I have had the pleasure to meet have always exhibited a cautious curiosity which has led me to watch them for hours. An example of one of these occasions was when I introduced a new toy that twitched from time to time. A small change to her environment such as the toy and she needed to know all about it but would not get close to it until I finally held it in my hand, only then did she agree it was safe to investigate closer.  

    • Nice little story.  It is, indeed, very interesting just to watch a cat when its curiosity is aroused.  The creatures are fascinating. Though they can’t speak English, if you puzzle over the meaning, they can leave you important messages.  

      Lucinda is a great character to have on my website, because she can say things I cannot say.  After all, she’s giving the cat’s point of view, not mine.  I find this ability of hers quite fortunate when “we” write the Letters to Lucinda column, because she can say it like it is from her point of view, and I don’t get in trouble.


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