"Satan spawned you!" I scream, as the feral beast sinks its claws into my leg once more, attempting to take me as prey. I have made the grave error of walking barefoot. Its attempt at amputation a failure, the swamp-thing releases an Exorcist-style growl and charges at me.
I did the only thing I could do in the circumstances.
I picked it up.
Immediately, my cat began to purr, curling up on my arm and blinking love to me, my beautiful Myst again.
I love my cat, and she loves me. She loves me so much, she even likes the way I taste. I have a sneaking suspicion that I will be the woman on the Today show, described by Katie Couric as having died suddenly, only to be found a week later, apparently consumed by wild animals. But I know better, Katie. It was the cat. Then, ripped from the headlines, my story will appear on CSI, to national acclaim. (Please let it be Anne who tells my pitiful story. Katie, with her Monday morning fairy cheer would probably make a face and laugh at me, before running home to sing along with the Lolly Pop League. My corpse would be laughed at by Katie Couric).
When my family found Myst, we thought she was a kitten. We thought. Now I believe that she is either the first incident of cross breeding between a velociraptor and a house cat, demon possessed, or the proud owner of several, distinct personalities.
She also has a sock phobia, and is enraged by the scent of mint.
By the time she sank her teeth into my leg the other night, I had decided that Myst had already developed a taste for human flesh--my flesh, but the cat lover in my declares that she can change. Even as I sit at the dinner table, feeling claws puncture my thigh muscles, I love her more. When she crawls behind me on the back of the sofa and bites my hair, I forgive her. She has brainwashed me in her own kitty way. She controls me, directs me, to the point that I desire nothing more than to serve her every whim, simply to allow my wounds to scab over. She owns me. And she doesn't even drive to the grocery store to buy me food! Everything I do for her is an honor, something that she could revoke at any time. So I present her with Fancy Feast, kitty treats, and treakle (her hairball medicine) which she considers to be candy. Then I carefully remove the burs from her fur and allow her to bite me as she purrs. When she wants a chair, I give it to her. And when she abandons it a moment later, I leave it vacant in case her majesty changes her mind. When I'm lucky, she brings me live animals as presents, a boon to her loyal subject, which she releases into our home. A baby wood duck on Easter, a live angry, full-grown chipmunk, several mice of varied colors, she drops them at my feet and is gone. The lioness then reclines before her god of heat (the electric space heater) to worship him, hissing when touched.
My cat can be loving. I promise.
I know I cannot change her. So I adapt.
"Merry Christmas, Myst!" I declared last year, presenting her with a George W. Bush voodoo doll, which she sat on before tearing off its head to reveal the hidden catnip within, which W. had instead of a brain (go figure). I revealed to her the glory of the written word, awarding her my father's notebook to consume. I taught her the warmth to be found on the hood of a car, to wonderous results. So what if she puts holes in my nylons, as long as she does the same to Dad's ugly work-shirts? If I cannot slay the dragon, I shall bring her fresh prey.
Adapt or die.