I have a new kitten. His name is Oscar. He’s an asshole. The first day he arrived I fell in love with him. The previous day his cute little face was on a light post near Ikea Brooklyn. They were calling him Tony and the woman, Virginia, said he needed a good home. I walked past the cute little tiger-striped face, did a 180 and called the number from my cell. She asked me a few questions and I started to panic slightly. I’d fallen in love with an orange tabby from the assholes at Kitty Kind who denied me. I thought Virginia was going to do the same, could she tell I was a queer black girl on the phone!? Instead she jotted down my address and the next day Oscar was in my house. He was needy, cuddly, and followed me around the apartment like a duckling. The next day he was attacking my feet and ankles with teeth and claws and now, 2 months later I look like the cutter in the family.
I always thought I had rather large, slightly unattractive hands. I remember thinking my hands were attractive when I was younger. My fingers seemed longer then because they were thinner. I could see the bones working on the tops of my hand when I wrote and I liked to watch their mechanics through my skin. (Did I mention I maybe probably had seriously disordered eating then?) Nonetheless, at 30 you put on a little more weight then you did at 20 and even though I’m not “fat” I miss seeing the bones in my hand.
Now as I’m watching my hands work over the key boards it’s not the bones that my eyes are drawn to but the areas of darken skin where Oscar has left his mark on my body. For instance, in the palm of my right hand there’s a long scar about 2 inches that’s a reddish pinkish color. On the skin between my thumb and my forefinger there’s a small circular flat brown patch of skin, another scar. And on my right thumb there are three, small flat brown patches of skin-marks left from my rambunctious, asshole of a cat.
I’ve read several blogs dedicated to kitty behavior and all of the tricks they’ve instructed folks with this problem to employ are not working. One suggested that when kitty bites you gently take hold of his bottom jaw in a “bite back” and kitty will release. Nope. Oscar just bites harder and employees his back paws to assault the “biting” hand. Another suggested that if kitty is biting while playing to distract him with another toy. Sure, it works for a second then he goes right back to his favorite “toy” my hand. Another suggested grabbing the kitty by the scruff of the neck, to mimic his mother’s scold. Oscar’s mother died when he was a few days old so he was never “scolded” I can’t bring myself to get a spray bottle, although right now I’m not sure if there’s another choice.
This may sound sick and twisted and if you judge then you judge, I mean, we all judge we’re human. My sister, as you all know, is a cutter. The stream of consciousness masquerading as a poem is in here some where. Her scars are beautiful to me, though. Mine are ugly. Her scars show the world the pain she’s been through, the inner pain that she felt a time long ago. They’re reminders of that pain, they’re almost like her badge of courage. They’re never going to go away because the razor cut so deep that instead of flat brown scars they’re raised pieces of flesh that are almost the same color of her skin.
My scars from my asshole cat will hopefully fade away *mental note to buy cocoa butter* Most likely Oscar will be introduced to a slightly controversial kitty training technique called “squirt kitty with water”. My sister’s scars, though, won’t fade and we’ll always remember that time when she was (is) a cutter.