May 22, 2012: Then I Guess it is Wise to Be Cruel

Yes. I’m a bitch. So?

About six or seven years ago, Tevye’s cat, Kcub, died. I called our veterinarian and said, “Alma is lonely; will you help us find an abandoned kitten to adopt? I want a brown tabby that I can bottle feed.” I’d read that brown tabbies were the friendliest cats, and I’d bottle-fed my own cat, Roxymusic, an abandoned kitten I found in 1982, and we’d been especially close. Roxy lived to be 20 years old.

Our vet came up with a little brown-striped, three-week-old kitten that our mutual friend Cindy had found in a vacant lot over on Roosevelt Street. I named her Alfie, after my favorite song, and went out and bought a kitten-sized baby bottle and some formula, and got busy forcing this little animal to bond with me.

I carried her around with me all day, and bottle-fed her every couple of hours. I taught her to poop and to eat kibble and slept with her under my chin. Tevye decided to keep a distance, and rarely interacted with her. He thought this would help Alfie and me to establish some kind of special relationship.

It didn’t work. She hated me. To this day, if I try to pet her, she squirms away. If I persist, she bites me. Sometimes I catch her glaring at me.

Tevye says that it’s because Alma took Alfie aside, early on, and told her, “Listen, bitch. The one with the big nose is mine, so stay away from him.” Which—if it’s true—had to have been confusing to poor Alfie. I mean, I’ve got a honker, but have you seen Tevye’s?

Whatever. I’ve got the other two cats to hang out with. And sometimes, when I’m in the kitchen, Alfie will come over and rub up against me.

Just once.

Thing I Hate Today: Trying to convince my father to wear his damn hearing aides


4 Responses

  1. I remember we talked about this at the time. From what I’ve learned since then of solo bottlefed kittens raised by people, you were just wonderfully lucky with Roxy. Most of them are insane from not having been raised by a mother cat. But you still enjoyed Alfie’s babyhood, right?

    Sometimes the quality time I get to spend with Matt and my dad just feels like hours of yelling at little old men who can’t hear and don’t remember what they do hear. I need a vacation.

  2. Nothing like a pet to humble you.

  3. Of course, Alfie is completely smitten with me (and my nose). She might be the most devoted cat I’ve ever had, and I’ve had my share of devoted cats. So the lesson to be learned is: being aloof is attractive to cats.

  4. This is similar to my teenager. I bottle fed her and did/do everything for her and sometimes she rubs up on my arm,…………. to ask for money.

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