Wednesday, February 8, 2012


I've never had a pet I didn't get attached to but none like my relationship with Oscar.

When he died, I couldn't sleep because he wasn't purring in my ear. I didn't want to come home from work, because the house felt a complete emptiness I had never experienced before. I was just terribly depressed. Finally I decided the only cure was another Maine Coon.

I wasn't able to find a young one to rescue so I ultimately found a breeder and paid a small fortune for what was supposed to be a little ball of fur who would cuddle at night and purr in my ear, putting me to sleep. I was going to be able to reach over and gently pet him when I awoke in the night and go right back to sleep.

I came home with the high-priced little guy and two hours later my then-husband walked in and said "I got fired". I was stunned. Here I had just irrationally paid way too much for a tiny cat and our income just got cut in half.  I didn't know whether to throw up on the cat or search for a recipe on the internet for tiny fried cat.

After deciding the cat must live, I set about cuddling, rocking, and loving on the little guy. The more I loved on him, the more hateful he became. I'm totally opposed to playing rough with a kitten, because it can cause a mean cat. So I didn't do that. He had plenty of toys.

But from the start, Pepper was a tiny terror. His favorite games seemed to all include making my arms or legs bleed profusely. The more he bit and scratched, the  more I became determined to tame him down.

It's time for his yearly checkup next week. I don't know what he weighs but he's getting to be a big boy. I'm now trying to train him with snacks as a reward. It works unless he's doing something he thinks should be showing me he's a good boy. If I don't notice, he walks up and bites me.

His favorite game is flying out the door before Alan can stop him and then making Alan chase him. Then he hides under the deck where Alan can't reach him.

Pepper does have a sense of humor. One day Alan was going around and around the outside of the house calling at the top of his lungs "COME HERE PEPPER!"

The third time I saw Alan go by my sunroom, here came Pepper, following about 7 feet behind him. Alan made a fourth round and came by my sunroom still calling the cat. And there was Pepper still following him around because Alan never looked behind him. It was obvious Pepper was playing a joke on Alan.

Another of Pepper's favorite games is his version of football. He waits until he can catch Alan go through and then runs and tackles Alan, wrapping both front feet around one of his legs. This is sometimes accompanied by a quick tasty bite of Alan's leg.

He is truly a little terror who apparently thinks he's half buzz saw. He also has a nasty temper. I'm hoping he gets calmer as he ages but at this point, I wouldn't lay money on it.

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