May 122010

“I’ll post about Chooch’s birthday party,” I thought to myself while I was washing all the dishes Henry left in the sink for me from last night. Suspicions are seriously being raised. I’m certain he’s hosting dinner parties while I’m slaving away at my SUPER HARD job every night. And if I find out he’s making maple-baked pears, I will seriously hedge-clip his nutz0rz.

A muffled commotion broke through the sound of my SENSITIVE SKIN pruning from all the dirty dish water lapping against it. I turned off the water and marched into the dining room, where I was sure I’d find my serial-killer-in-training bugging my cat Speck (nee Nicotina) as usual. She was perched a top one of the computer monitors and Chooch quickly fled into the living room, shouting, “I didn’t do anything!”

All the toys he has, and it’s the poor cat he wants to bend in unnatural directions. A cursory glance at her told me she was OK, and I went back into the kitchen to get a bowl of cereal.

When I sat down at the computer desk with my Special K, my arm stopped its spooning motion halfway to my mouth. There were bright red droplets of something on the desk. I looked closer and, while I hoped it was Faygo Red Pop, I was pretty sure it was blood. I looked up at Speck. Her paws were dyed a diffused red, and there was blood-splattering on the wall behind her.

I freaked. She had both eye balls. She still had a tail. She wouldn’t stand still long enough for me to inspect the pads of her paws.

“What did you do to her?” I yelled at Chooch, who at this point was the personification of guilt and evil fucking on a bed of carnage.

“Nuffin’!” he shouted, hysteria tinging his voice and completely giving himself up. “Smidge did it!” (Smidge, nee Marcy.)

Meanwhile, Marcy was perched, stock still, on the steps, watching this play out with huge owl-eyes.

I noticed a pair of orange kids’ scissors on the dining room table. Chooch clearly skipped over the “Hiding the Evidence” chapter of his serial killer handbook.

“Did you cut her with scissors?” I asked, trying to stay calm but there was BLOOD TRAILS ON THE FLOOR AND WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED TO MY CAT?

He wouldn’t answer me, so I sent him up to his room and called Henry, at which point my panic burst out of me like one of those pressure washers Henry was trying to teach me about yesterday.


By the time Henry sped home from work, I was able to deduce that Speck’s ear had been snipped by scissors. The snip was about half an inch long, maybe a little shorter, and my friend Rhonda reminded me via Twitter that head wounds bleed a lot and that Speck had probably forgotten all about it by then.  When Henry arrived, Speck was curled up in my lap, purring contently and looking around with her signature question-marked expression.  The blood had begun to congeal on her ear by then, and I was able to clean up the rest of her with a wet paper towel, so the scene was less “Leatherface was here” than it was when the mutilation initially happened.

Henry deemed that it wasn’t bad enough to take her to the vet. He cleaned off the wound and dabbed it good with Neosporin, then sat down with Chooch and tried to reason with him (HA!) before confiscating the new Ben 10 toys he just bought with his Toys R Us giftcards.

One by one, the other cats have realized that Speck’s ear is oozing blood, and there is an intense blood-lust situation going down right now. They keep trying to inspect her, and Speck is getting all alley-cat on them, hissing and screaming, and there’s fur flying, and I’ll be honest here: I feel like I’m in some horrible made-for-TV Stephen King adaptation and I DO NOT LIKE IT.

So, instead of writing about the fond memories I have from my asshole son’s birthday party, I’m trying to find a good, safe home for my poor cat who doesn’t deserve this shitty life.  This is only because my initial suggestion to get rid of Chooch was vetoed.

I really, really don’t want to give Speck up. I’ve had her since 1998, when I lived in my first apartment!


  28 Responses to “Where My Cat is Almost Van Gogh’d”

  1. I would actually offer to take her, but I’m pretty sure that Fallon would hate her…and it would be a very similar situation for her. :(

    • I appreciate that! I do want to find a way to make this work. She’s my baby! Henry keeps saying he’ll outgrow it, but I don’t want him doing anything retarded from now until then. :(

      • Well, and of course it would be helpful if she was as smart as the other cats and just stayed away from him. I wonder what it would take for her to realize this.

  2. One of my older sisters cut a cats whiskers with pinking shears. I guess it makes them stagger around like drunk pirates.
    Who knew that safety scissors could cut anything? At least he didn’t use the machete from his Jadon doll, I would be wracked with guilt.
    Did he say why he did it?

    • He still won’t admit it. All the ladies at work made me feel better though, once they told me all their young child vs the pets horror stories.

      I know it’s a phase and that he doesn’t understand he’s hurting her, but it sucks!

  3. Respectfully recommend that you purge everything horror/zombie related in the house.

  4. Derek (at 2, I think) gave one of my cats a bath. Which meant one morning while I was sleeping, he used my body wash and put it all over the cat. I woke up, wondering why the cat looked wet, but he was only sticky from my body wash. =(

    I had to pour MANY cups of water over that cat. He ran away shortly afterward. =( Luckily, I hadn’t had him for long.

    Later I found a small tuft of cat hair, I wonder if Derek was trying to cut his hair. Luckily, no blood.

    My friend’s cat swiped at her kid, cutting her eyelid open and requiring stitches..but I’ll bet they don’t screw with the cat anymore.

    I’m glad my cat didn’t hurt my kid though. I’ll say that. Even if it would have saved him from Derek, he knew better.

    Cats and kids..they are hard together. I borrowed one from a friend and he was the smartest one. He’d hide from Derek all the time.

    • Thank you for sharing this with me! I couldn’t help but feel it was my fault, even though I tell him EVERY DAY to leave the cat alone and explain WHY he needs to leave the cat alone.

      I really hope he learned from this.

  5. My friend’s son picks her cats up by the fur on their backs and laughs when they claw the hell out of him. She can’t even tell him that lifting the cats like that hurt them like it hurts when they scratch him because it doesn’t seem to bug him at all.

    I put a barrett on my cat’s tail when I was little. I saw one of my older sisters do it so I tried to copy. I didn’t understand they put it on the fur on the tip so I put it on the meaty part of the tail. That poor cat ran through the house howling for ages until my mom caught her and got the barrett off. It was awful!

    • I sort of recall my little brother Corey putting hair elastics or gumbands on our dog’s tail when he was about Riley’s age. Poor pets!

      I just heard him ask Speck how she was feeling. I hope it was sincere and that he learned his lesson.

  6. omg
    -49857498754 cool points for chooch. nothing personal. i just prefer cats to children.

    poor speck! shes so cute :(

    tell chooch that zombies only hurt humans, not animals – like in dawn of the dead! they left the dog alone. and if he doesnt leave his pets alone they’ll never let him join them!

    dont listen to me though, because if it were my kid and they hurt a cat…. well, I’d let you know when the wake would be. is what im saying.

    • Well, he’s just lucky his verdict is worked out by two parents and not just me, is what I’m saying.

      • that he is!
        omg I don’t how you do it, this whole mother thing. I suppose I’ll understand if my water ever breaks!

        the whole situation is shitty, basically

  7. It sucks that he did that, but interacting with animals is one way that sociopathic kids develop empathy. I’m not kidding, until a certain age kids have NO concept that other living things have feelings, it’s just the way our brains are wired from birth. We only learn that through interacting with people, that they hurt just the way we do. Do you think Chooch can have a second chance? :( I hate to see a kitty without a home.

    • THANK YOU for this comment. I know that as shitty as it was, it’s normal for kids, but it helps to be reminded of that from others. The ones who act appalled are the ones who have been making me feel like there is something wrong with my son and I need to admit him to a psychiatric ward, asap.

      Unless he’s at Henry’s sister’s house, or the playground, he doesn’t have any kids his own age to play with around here. Luckily, he’ll be starting preschool in the fall, so that will be a HUGE help, but for now, Speck has always been his playmate. He tries to make her sit with him while he plays Batman, or I’ll find her with a pile of blankets over her, because he thinks she’s cold. I know he means well, and probably literally thought he was just giving her a hair cut.

      I think the combination of me freaking out and all the blood taught Chooch a lesson. I hope, anyway! In the meantime, I’m going to just keep them separated, like I usually do. :(

      • Awwww that’s so cute about the blankets!!!

        Hopefully he’ll learn that scissors hurt, maybe he’ll have to learn that the hard way. When you send him to be with other kids, chances are he’ll be on the receiving end of some other kid’s experiments with haircuts or whatever. I don’t know where people get the idea that kids are so ‘innocent’. They have no conscience! Did you read the article I posted on my FB about the mom who thought it was hysterical when her daughter hugged a kitten to death?? That would be super traumatic for a kid if they actually realized what they’re doing. Because of her mom’s response she’ll probably never learn how to respect life. I think you’re doing fine. <3

        Kids and cats never mix well anyway. Kids either pat them too hard (gentle!! be gentle!!) or the cats are sneaking into their rooms at night to steal their breath. What are you gonna do. *sigh*

  8. oh man, I hope you don’t think I’m one of the ones “appalled” by this whole situation. everything I say should be taken with a grain of salt.

    when i was chooch’s age, I used to launch toads in the air with a shovel. Kids just do this stuff – I’ve seen it happen, but I never think much of it other than “omg poor kitty/puppy/etc”

    you’d have to be a monster to think a child is a monster because they harm an animal. yes, us adults know better. a 4yr old does not, and wont for a few years still.

    the people who equate this behaviour with serial killers are the same people who write nickelodeon angry letters because they think spongebob acts too gay.

    sorry if I fueled the fire in any way

  9. I agree with what Jenn said. It’s just a brain development thing, you’re not doing a bad job with him at all. He’s too little to understand about other people/animals having feelings yet. Don’t feel like you caused this! He probly did it just to see what would happen, not because he was trying to hurt her.

  10. Poor Speck! Don’t beat yourself up Erin, like Jenn said, this is how Chooch is figuring it all out. He’s done other really nice things for Speck, he views her as a playmate and friend. He probably had no idea that he would hurt her that way. Kids are idiots, our job is to help them be less and less dumb as they get older.

    • You guys are right, and I’m glad I posted about this because you’ve made me feel less of a failure as a mother. It was knee-jerk reaction to automatically assume that my kid is damaged.

      Thank you, Julia!!

  11. I know I’m a little late on this, but I just wanted to relay this little anecdote:

    When he was about three years old, my cousin was obsessed with riding his tricycle. One day, my Aunt was watching him ride in circles in the driveway and noticed some ducks in the yard. About fifteen minutes later, she came out to check on him and found that he had ran over one of the ducks’ neck with his trike, resulting in one very dead duck.

    While yes, it’s a bit creepy, I just wanted to let you know that he’s now a fully rational, completely normal member of society who is married and has a great job.

    I probably would have reacted the same way as you (especially since I’m a crazy cat lady myself), but I agree with many of the above commentators who said that this is just a normal kid thing (maybe more prevalent in boys since girls are taught to be all sugar and spice with that whole gender nonsense). As long as he isn’t killing animals and burying them in the backyard (and showing no remorse whatsoever), I think you’re ok. :) Hope Speck is feeling better!!

    sorry for the long comment.

    • Oh man, you don’t EVER have to apologize for long comments. I enjoy reading everything you have to say, always. And I’m really glad you shared this with me.

      Speck is definitely doing well! She seemed to shake it off awfully fast, while I was still trying to get the room to stop spinning. Hasn’t really learned her lesson though:( I’m constantly trying to keep them separated. It’s to the point where I have to lock her in the bathroom with me while I’m taking a shower because I just don’t trust him at all!

  12. Sorry I’m so behind on posts. I’m reading everything, though, and wanted to echo that kids just DO this stuff because they don’t know better. Everyone else said it better than I–that they don’t yet KNOW how to be gentle, because they haven’t learned it yet. And it’s something that can easily be taught, as Riley sees you guys interacting with the cats; he can mimic you.

    I was a real turd to animals at his age; we had a cat and I wasn’t very nice to it. I still feel bad about it. But I learned how to interact with animals too, obviously, since I’m now a cat person.

    Sorry I always call him Riley instead of Chooch! I feel like Chooch is your and Henry’s special name for him. And I really like the name Riley. :)

  13. PS: I’m so glad you’ll keep Nicotina!

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