Monday, January 7, 2013

My Abusive Relationship

From the first time I laid eyes on Lily, I was enamored with her.  She had soft, beautiful hair and big bright eyes—the kind of eyes you could just get lost staring into.  She moved with an agility and grace that had an almost intoxicating affect on the observer. 

I knew I had to have her.

Unfortunately, she didn’t seem to want anything to do with me.  Whenever she saw me coming, she’d always turn and walk the other way.  In those rare moments when she came close enough to approach, she’d spurn my advances with a coy shyness that drove me mad.  If I so much as attempted to touch her, she would dart away.  She constantly refused to indulge my overwhelming desire to run my hands through that wonderful hair of hers.

I spent weeks wooing her, trying to win her affections with soft words and various gifts.  But still she remained aloof, always just beyond my reach.  I began to fear that my love would forever remain unreciprocated.

Then it happened.  I came upon her, the epitome of the damsel in distress, shocked to find her pinned to the floor by a pair of young hoodlums attempting to have their way with her.  I swung into action, frightening away her attackers and rescuing her from being further violated.

The next day, much to my surprise, lily glided over to me quite suddenly and gently took a seat across my lap.  She stretched her entire body over my thighs and cooed softly.  She stared into me with those big, beautiful eyes of hers and it felt to me as if she could see into my very soul.  She placed a furry paw tenderly to my lips, as if to say “Don’t sully what we have with mere words.”  It was a beautiful moment.


Lily, by the way, is my girlfriend Angie’s Persian cat… well… she’s my cat too now, I guess.  Though I’ve come to realize that no one really “owns” a cat.  Those “young hoodlums” I mentioned are Angie’s Chihuahuas, Sancho and Pippa, who gang up on Lily from time to time and attempt to do unspeakable things to her, if you get my meaning.

Though I didn’t realize it at the time—spellbound by her feline charms as I was—this was the beginning of what I now realize has become an abusive relationship, one in which I remain trapped to this day.

Oh, I’ll feed you, baby birds… Allow me to explain.

Things seemed so perfect in the beginning.  I would awaken each morning to Lily’s round yellow eyes staring back at me and the soft touch of her grey paw on my face.

And, of course, she’d let out her usual soft verbal greeting of mowwwww.

As I’d drink my morning coffee and watch the morning news each day, she’d lounge lazily in my lap and allow me to run my fingers through her fluffy coat of ashen fur.  I’d then leave her to nap happily on the couch as I went to work at my home office in the next room.  Every couple of hours I’d take a break, returning to find her waiting dutifully on the couch, ready for a brief session of “heavy petting” (hehehe).

It seemed like a perfect relationship.

I felt as if I’d never love another cat.

But it was all a lie.  I know that now.  Lily was simply luring me into her web of cuteness, building my emotional dependence on her affection until it became a powerful weapon to wield against me.

As time went on, I began to see the real Lily.  Her behavior gradually changed and, as weeks passed, I saw her for what she really was—a manipulative, demanding, overbearing minx of a seductress.

Her once soft greeting—mowwwww—changed in tone, turning from greeting to a demand for my attention.

MOWWWWW!!!! She would screech at me.

No longer did she wait for me to take breaks from my work.  She’d demand my attention, her wails of MOWWWWW growing ever louder until she finally got what she wanted.  I found myself trapped in a world of never ending nagging at the cruel hands (paws?) of a verbally abusive kitteh.

Eventually I just trained myself to tune out her MOWWWWWs and continue with my work.  That’s when her verbal abuse finally turned physical.  I still remember the first time she struck me… or … clawed me.  Whatever.

I now find it ironic that, back during those early blissful days with Lily, I’d actually said to Angie, “I don’t think Lily knows how to use her claws.  She’s never even scratched me.”  To which Angie replied, “Oh, she knows how to use them.  She just chooses not to.”

As usual, my wise better half turned out to be correct in the end… and painfully so, in this particular case.

My first experience with feline domestic violence occurred on a fairly routine day.  I was at my computer, banging away at the keys and doing that thing I do.  Then Lily stalked into the office and sat herself beside my feet.

MOWWWWW!!!! she demanded.

“Not now, Lily,” I told her. “Daddy’s gotta work.  I’ll pet you in a little bit.”

MOWWWWWWWWWW!!!! she repeated, this time longer and a bit louder.  I returned to my work and just tuned her out as best I could.

But Lily REFUSED to be ignored.

She leapt at me, digging her front paws into my thigh and hanging there, swinging to and fro like a furry grey pendulum.


I immediately reacted, pulling lily up into my lap.  I finished my work while petting her as she purred away in my lap.  I assumed, you see, that she had just been trying to jump into my lap and stumbled.  She only dug her claws into my flesh in a moment of accidental instinct, trying to stop herself from falling.  She hadn’t meant to hurt me.  Right?

At least… that’s the lie I told myself.  I know better now.

When she did this to me AGAIN on the very next day, I knew damn well that it was no accident.  This time, I put her outside until I could finish my work.  I didn’t want to reward her for that kind of behavior.  When I returned to the couch at the end of the day, lily was peering in at me through the glass patio door.

Mowwwww, she called, ever so softly, as if in apology.

I let her back inside and she snuggled up in her usual spot on my lap.  Lily purred adoringly and arched her back into my hands, as if she was telling me, “I’m sorry, baby.  It’ll never happen again.  You know I love you.”

And I fell for it—hook, line, and sinker.

This, of course, DID happen again.

Seriously… I started to feel like one of those battered wives you see on COPS, who never press charges constantly allowing their abusers back into their homes.

She scratches and claws me in her fits of jealous anger… I put her out of the house… then she comes back with those moon shaped eyes of hers and plays nice with me… and I always forgive her.

And thus continues our cycle of abuse.

I fear I may never break free of it.

Unfortunately, there are no shelters available for 30-something males who are being abused by their girlfriends’ cats… no, really… there aren’t… I checked.

Then, recently I saw an opportunity to escape my abuser, if only for a day.  Like a battered spouse who allows an abuser to spend a night in jail just to teach him/her a lesson, I volunteered to take Lily to the groomer for the day.  During the whole drive, Lily battered me with pleas of Mowwwww, as if to say “Don’t do me like this, baby! You know I love you!”  But I stayed strong and dropped her off for a flea dip and a lion cut (which is ADORABLE, by the way).

I returned for Lily later that afternoon, her gray fluff reduced to velvet all over her torso, and her oddly larger-looking head adorned with a tiny red bow.

I am happy to report that there were no incidents of abuse for several weeks (until the other night when she went medieval on my leg with her claws and teeth for no apparent reason… sigh).

Instead, she resorted to more subtle forms of emotional abuse.  She refused to come near me for days, denying me the feline affection on which I have become so emotionally dependent.  Like a love sick boy, I once again found myself doing things to win back her love and attention.

However, after her rampage the other day… I fear our relationship may now be irreparably fractured.

Oh, well… at least some of the claw marks are finally healing.

I fear I may need professional help. LOL

Lily being her uber-cute self.

Lily's angry face.