My son just popped his head into the office to deliver these reassuring words: "I just thought you'd like to know that I just attacked the cat."
My response: "Thank you."
This winter I was feeling sorry for the cat because my son was spending the winter in the New Zealand summer, and there was no one around to treat her harshly and give her the occasional sound thrashing, just like she likes it.
My cat (legal name: Coco, although never addressed as such. Known as "Kitty" or "the cat") will occasionally sit on your lap, but she makes it clear that she is there only because you have either (a) the only soft afghan in the room, or (b) her favorite fuzzy sweats on. She is not there to share affection or unnecessary touching. She may purr, but it will be a sort of quiet, involuntary sort of sound that fades away once she becomes aware of it. If you really want to make her purr, you must cause her some pain. Yes. She's a masochistic kitty. Masokitty.
Her favorite game in the morning is to get up on the table and flop down on the newspaper so that I am forced to throw her off. The rougher the throw the better. It makes her grin from ear to ear. Repeat twenty times and you get the morning coffee routine at my house. She is not allowed on the table if we are eating, so once breakfast is on the table, the game is over. She works hard at getting as many annoying newspaper flops in as possible before the toaster pops up. I believe she plays a game with herself, where she gets more points for landing on the very paragraph I am reading. She loves it and can't wait for morning to come, so she can (a) get breakfast and (b) destroy my morning news.
None of this newspaper fun escalates into the kind of trouble that she's looking for. I am no good in a fight. And no matter how much she purrs, I can't be mean to a cat. Drew will rough-house with the cat, which she enjoys blandly, but he doesn't have the sadistic imagination, or frankly, the time to spend to make her truly happy.
Dean, however, is different.
Dean will spin her in circles on slick surfaces. She purrs. He will pin her on her back with his hands in the strangle position, exerting just enough force to keep her claws from swiping at him (even if she is free to swipe, it's a pretty half-hearted effort - just enough to keep him in the game). She purrs. He will ambush her and flatten her to the chair, leaving her looking like an animal pelt. She purrs so loudly it's sometimes not clear whether it's her or a passing truck.
Her favorite mode of transportation is jumping up onto Dean's shoulders and riding through the house like a haughty, yet fluffy, black parrot. She loves Dean. She loves all men (and feels equally indifferent towards women - even the one that feeds her every day and keeps her litter box clean - lousy tramp), but she has a special place in her heart for her sparring partner.
That's why his three-month trip to New Zealand was so hard on her - no beatings for three months. I'm sure it was a long winter for the cat. Upon Dean's return (after a momentary shock, and then an obvious "is it really him?" second look), she was right back to her old ways, looking for trouble, inciting violence, and riding in true pirate style.