I consider myself a cat lady. As someone who has lived with and among dozens of cats her entire life, I have a lot of experience with them. Growing up our house became the hub for any homeless stray in the area, and since we lived on the cusp of the suburbs and the country, near an auction yard where people used to dump their unwanted strays, we had plenty. Some of them stayed and lived with us, but many, many were spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and sent off to loving homes. In fact, we’ve given cats to three of our friends and we still love and visit Oscar, Loki, and Mochi to this day. All of this is to say, I have a vast amount of experience dealing with cats.
I have never met a cat like Jupiter. Do you see what he’s doing in the photos? He’s biting the light switch. Biting them. If you were standing outside my house at that moment, you would have seen my porch light flicker on and off schizophrenically. I have no idea what possesses him to do this. His appetite for destruction boarders on obsession.
We once had a cat named Spock (full name: Baby Mister Spock). He came from a cat colony around the corner. This colony was made up entirely of inbred cats, born of a brother and a sister that kept having babies together. As you’d imagine, Baby Mister Spock was extremely stupid.
He’d regularly meow while he was eating, so that round bits of kibble would roll out of his mouth and slide all over the floor. He liked to yawn, mid-meow, because he noticed his mouth was already open and it’d save him the trouble. He made goat-noises when happy. He’d fall asleep with his head in the food bowl, and upon waking up and realizing he was hungry, he would immediately start eating.
He was the dumbest cat I ever met, but he was funny and everybody loved him. Unlike Jupiter, Spock used his powers of stupidity for good.
When Peach and Tink were alive, we let them roam the kitchen counters because they were harmless. Sure, occasionally we’d catch them licking the butter if we left it uncovered, but that was our fault, really. Jupiter is so annoying we’ve had to enforce a strict no-cat policy on the counter and table, and to this day if Isobel sees one of the cats even looking at the table she enthusiastically shouts NO NO NO! We still have to squirt Jupiter in the face with the water bottle at least 25 times a day because, over a year later, he still jumps up on the counter and tries to eat your food while you are eating it every day.
Those of you out there who are not cat people, I can assure you that none of this falls within the realms of what you’d call normal cat behavior. Poppy and Zorro avoid the counter now, that’s for damn sure. Even my Mom, the cat whisperer, agrees he’s the most obnoxious cat in existence.
Jupiter’s new hobby is jumping up on the desk, climbing atop the computer tower, and flinging himself at the bulletin board, knocking over the speakers, webcam, and monitor, my two picture frames as well as the bulletin board in the process. And I should mention the reason he’s doing this is to pull the pushpins from the bulletin board so he can bat them around and eat them. Yes, I have to prevent my cat from eating pushpins. He will try to do this over and over, no matter how many times we squirt him in the face with the water bottle.
Last weekend we’ve made the executive decision to transition Jupiter to being an outside cat. Previously, all our cats have been indoors, but I think it’s in the best interest of the household if Jupiter spends a bit more of his time outside. The more I think about it, the more I think that maybe he’s not stupid so much as he is destructive (and possessed by the devil). He seems to be enjoying his forays outside and maybe it will drain his excess energy enough to become a normal cat.