Her Eight-pound Nemesis

“I don’t think your cat likes me,” Regina said out of the blue. She was sitting on my couch, watching TV and having a glass of wine.

“Why do you say that?” I asked.

“Well, for a start,” she responded, “she just sits across the room shooting daggers at me.”

“I took a moment from making dinner and peeked over the kitchen counter. Under the dining table, Lucy was sitting quietly and staring at Regina. I wasn’t sure if cats could seethe with anger, but it did certainly seem that way.

Her Eight-pound Nemesis

“You see what I mean?” she half-whispered. “She does it the entire time I’m here. Every time. Haven’t you noticed?”

I had to admit that I hadn’t. Regina visited mostly on the weekends, and when she was over, she had my complete attention. Anyway, I told her, it was close to impossible to understand a cat’s behaviour. Lucy would warm up in her own time.

I went back to preparing dinner. Regina went back to nodding off in front of the TV.

Soon, I realized I was missing some key ingredients for the dinner I was making. I crept past a napping Regina and went to the supermarket.

— — —

When I returned, it didn’t take long for me to realize something was wrong. Not surprisingly, Regina was still fast asleep, but she was moaning, as if having a nightmare.

Her left arm was hanging off the couch, and her hand was on the floor. Lucy was chewing her fingers, which were now frighteningly bloody.

I dropped the grocery bags and tried to shoo an angry, snarling Lucy away from Regina. The little cat bared its bloodstained teeth, hissed once, then slipped behind the couch. Amazingly, Regina remained asleep.

I went back to making dinner, giving little thought to what had happened. When Regina woke up, I tried to convince her that the wounds on her fingers were self-inflicted. In the end, I decided to explain what I saw.

“You see,” she said, “that cat has a serious hate-on for me.”

“I don’t know about that,” I said. “She really does like to chew on things.” Even as I said that, I knew just how weak a defense it was.

Regina laughed at my refutation. “I think your cat’s smart enough to tell the difference between my hand and a chair leg. Wake up, will you? That cat is jealous of me. She thinks I’m taking you away from her.”

Even though I thought it was strange, I decided then that I’d have to keep them separated. Lucy spent the rest of the evening out of sight – no small feat in my tiny one-bedroom apartment.

Night came without further incident. Regina and I had dinner, watched TV, and went to bed.

— — —

Things also went smoothly the next time Regina visited, or at first, anyway. Lucy went back to seething under the dining table and Regina, for her part, pretended not to notice.

Things continued to go smoothly until Regina and I retired to the bedroom. As we lay in bed, Lucy walked in, making strange noises. For some reason, I managed to believe that Lucy had buried the hatchet with Regina.

What happened next was one of the strangest things I’ve ever seen. Lucy leaped onto the bed, onto our covers, turned around, and urinated on the both of us.

Horrified, Regina screamed and nearly fell off the bed in an attempt to escape. I tried to grab the cat and throw her off the bed, but she hissed and ran away, leaving in her wake a trail of urine.

What the fuck?” said Regina. “Jesus fucking Christ!” she screamed. By now, Lucy was long gone, but that act was so extreme and unexpected that our shock lingered.

“I can’t believe she just did that,” I said, somewhat astonished at my calmness.

“Holy fuck!” screamed Regina as she threw off the covers. “Where is that little bitch? I’ll wring her goddamned neck!”

“Easy. Easy,” I said, grabbing her by the ankle. The image of Regina nude, on her knees, stinking of urine, with her hands around a dead cat’s neck was just a bit too much for me.

“What!? You want me to take it Easy!?” she snapped as she pulled her foot from my grasp. “Did you fucking see that, or are you still in denial?”

“How about you go take a shower while I deal with the cat, huh?” I asked.

Regina got up without answering. She stormed into the bathroom and slammed the door. I surveyed the damage to the bedroom. Lucy had managed to spray us and the bed covers, but there were no stains on the mattress. There was at least something to be thankful for.

I got up and put on a towel. I left the bedroom and walked down the short hallway to the living room. I peered around the corner, fully expecting to have my face ripped off by a tiny housecat. The living room was the only place she could have gone, yet it seemed empty and eerily quiet.

“Lucy. Lucy,” I called. Nothing. Behind me, I could hear Regina ranting in the shower.

I walked into the living room. Lucy was sitting near the couch, looking at me the way she looked at Regina. I reached out, and she responded by snarling and slipping behind the couch.

Maybe Regina was right, I thought. I never imagined that a cat could become jealous. I went back to the bathroom, where Regina was still furious. There was really no denying it, anymore. I apologized to Regina for not taking the whole thing seriously.

— — —

I did finally figure out what to do about that feud. Whenever Regina came over, I made sure I didn’t neglect Lucy. Regina eventually went back to taking the whole thing in stride. She even went as far as to jokingly refer to Lucy as my “little spoiled daughter”. Lucy, for her part, went back to just shooting daggers across the room at my girlfriend.