Location: KITNESS PROTECTION PROGRAM
What makes Cody so mean?
Several years ago, when one of my two cats died, the other started showing definite signs of depression. He barely touched his food, didn’t want to play, etc. I consulted my vet, and he suggested getting another cat immediately. In fact, he just happened to have one!
The adorable little tuxedo kitty they brought out was six months old. He was cradled in the receptionist’s arms and blinked at me with bright green eyes, as innocent as he could be.
“Oh, isn’t he cute?” I said, leaning in for a closer inspection.
At which point the adorable little tuxedo kitty reared back for leverage and took a swipe at me that would’ve taken my face off if I hadn’t moved. Quickly.
“Don’t worry.” The vet smiled. “He’ll be fine once he gets used to you.”
I’ve always loved a challenge.
I named him Cody—after Cody Jarrett, the psychotic killer in Cagney’s film “White Heat”. Trust me. It fit. What the vet DIDN’T tell me was that Cody had been returned to his mini-shelter three times by others, and his file permanently labeled “anti-social”. Uh-huh.
Never mind the fact that he never did get along with the other cat, who loved EVERYBODY. Or that he refused to be petted or accept any show of affection.
There’ve been incidents over the years. He’s earned his gansta rep. One example is the Godfather Goldfish Caper he led, somehow snaring one of my poor goldfish from the depths of a twenty-gallon tank sitting five feet off the ground. I came home to find the remains laid out at the threshold of my door, not unlike the horse’s head in the film.
Or when I went to pick him up at the vet’s after a blood test and had the receptionist look at me with horror, saying, “Oh, that’s YOUR cat.” Apparently, Cody took umbrage at having his cage set on top of a dog’s, and somehow managed to contort his body enough to claw the poor sick creature’s nose.
And there is the fact that he believes in serving his revenge cold. Yes, revenge. Chastise Cody with a loud, harsh word or squirt from the water bottle? He’ll freeze. Give you that cold, green psycho stare. And walk away. But there will be retribution. Wait for it. For my first lesson, he bided his time for nearly two hours, so I’d nearly forgotten the incident, to hide around the corner of the stairs and reach out at just the right moment to claw and trip me.
I survived. I learned. Law of the jungle.
And did I mention how much I love the little monster?
ETA: Cody is no longer with us but his meanness lives on, says Raine. RIP Cody!