Yes, Jane, I’m talking about Tootsie.
Everybody knows bad-tempered cats, cats who have their little ways. C. Douglas Ramey, long-time director of Louisville’s Shakespeare in Central Park, had a cat who liked to hide under chairs and leap out and bite your ankle as you passed.
Tootsie took it to a whole ‘nother level.
Tootsie was Jane’s cat, the only one of Jane’s cats I didn’t like. Well, to be honest, it wasn’t that I didn’t like Tootsie. I would have loved to love her–I mean, she was a cat. She was, as I recall, petite and pretty. But Tootsie wanted the whole wide world to consist entirely and exclusively of herself and Jane. She hated everyone and everything that distracted from that.
I won’t even get into the reports of what Tootsie did to men foolish enough to come visit Jane. I believe they’ve banded together to form a choir. Of sopranos.
Let’s just talk about Tootsie’s attitude toward me. Hatred may be too mild a word. Psychotic hatred may come closer to it. She hid out under furniture and darted out and wrapped her talons around my ankle and bit plugs out of me. It was a relief to hear her blood-curdling growls, because then I knew where she was.
One time, I came visiting bringing with me a brand-new stylish blue plastic purse. I put it next to me on the couch. The next thing I knew, Tootsie had curled up on the other side of it, being very quiet and relaxed.
“Well!” Jane and I agreed that she must be resigned to my visits, and we were very pleased.
Then I got up to go, and my purse declined to accompany me. Tootsie had lain there and methodically and deliberately chewed through the strap. If it were leather, I would have thought it was just that it tasted kind of like food, but it was plastic, and the destruction was nothing but sheer, calculated malice.
I believe Jane finally decided she had to choose between Tootsie and the entire rest of the world and took Tootsie to a relative’s home in the country, where she (Tootsie, not Jane) lived out her days terrorizing the countryside.
A cat that shall live in infamy.
A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: A friend’s animal hates your character.