Linkdump for November 14th through November 29th

Sometime between November 14th and November 29th, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!

George

I’m a cat person. Not a dog person. Definitely not a dog person. Slobbery, stupid, smelly, far-too-eager-to-please, those dog creatures. Cats, however, are great. We are merely guests in their private little universes, there to please them whenever deemed necessary (be it through food, petting, or as a substitute for a scratching post), and they spare no effort in letting us know that that is the case.

I can deal with that.

Only once have I ever met a cat I didn’t like. Unfortunately, that cat was my brother Kevin’s cat — George.

It’s never been clearly determined just why George was so evil. It could have been that, as far as I remember, she (yes, she) was the runt of the litter. It could have been that she was upset at being named ‘George’. It could have been that my brother insisted on using her as a surrogate basketball when he was bored.

Whatever the cause, the effect was an animal more purely and innately demonic than any other that I’ve ever run across, or would care to run across in the future.

George wasn’t a large cat, by any means. As stated above, I think that she might have been the runt of the litter. However, she had more piss and vinegar bottled up inside her for all her brothers and sisters, and then some. My brother had scars on his legs for a while (and may still, as far as I know), from one instance when George suddenly decided in the middle of the night that my brother was food, and had to die.

At another point, I actually got to witness George stalking Kevin through the house. It may sound a little amusing to talk about — a common housecat stalking their owner — but it was far from amusing at the time. Had we not managed to get George into a spare room and close the door on her, we were both ready to find something suitably large and heavy to thump her with. Thankfully we didn’t have to resort to that extreme, and even with all the hassle (and not a few bites and scratches), Kevin kept George until the day she died.

My brother’s got more patience than I would have credited him with when we were growing up, that’s for sure.

However, even given all this, George certainly had her amusing moments (when she wasn’t attempting to assassinate her housemates, at least).

One day, we (I believe my entire family was present for this, though I could be mistaken) were sitting around the living room of our house, enjoying a quiet afternoon. George had appropriated the arm of the couch, and was doing her best impression of a docile housecat (something she would tend to practice just long enough to get someone to attempt to pet her, at which point she would suddenly display more claws and teeth than I believed were biologically possible for an animal her size). To her eventual detriment, however, her chosen perch was at that point covered with a stack of papers, which she was resting on top of.

Suddenly, something spooked her. I don’t recall anything in particular happening to provoke her — perhaps it was the feline equivalent of a bad dream, or just her paranoid psychosis kicking in full force — but out of nowhere, hackles went up, eyes went wide, claws came out, and George went streaking out of the room.

Or, at least, that was the intent.

The papers between George and the arm of the couch presented an added element of difficulty to the situation, and we were shortly treated to a display that I quite honestly did not know was possible outside of cartoons. As George did her best to escape whatever it was that she had to escape, her claws dug not into the solid, immobile couch arm, but instead into the stack of papers, tossing each successive one behind her. Legs flying full speed, she quickly worked her way through the stack, scattering page after page across the floor behind the couch, until suddenly there were no papers — and she suddenly found traction. Unfortunately, as many teens with a brand new drivers license can surely attest to, high speed plus sudden traction rarely equals a high degree of control and maneuverability, and George found herself shooting directly at the living room floor, somewhere roughly in the vicinity of Mach 6, and executing a flawless face plant (if such a spectacle can be called flawless) not even three feet away from her starting point on the couch.

A quick tumble later, she sprawled motionless on the floor, with all of us sitting around looking at her in disbelief. After a moment, she pulled herself to her feet, shook herself off, and started to somewhat shakily work her way down the hallway. Not, however, quite content to leave without the final word, she looked back over her shoulder as she left the room, gazing at us with that wonderfully expressive glare that every cat owner will see, most often after the cat has performed some equally impressive feat of dexterity, grace, and intelligence.

“It’s your fault.”