Good Cat/Bad Cat
Cats are endlessly fascinating. And endlessly mysterious.
There are some cats that I've worked with for ages who, for one reason or another, will suddenly take a dislike to me and turn the visit into a Vaudeville sketch. We go from play and purring to something resembling one of those crazy Italian acrobatic acts where everyone is tripping over everyone else. You can almost hear the crazy music in the background.
It's like one day Cat X will say "oh, it's that nice lady with the catnip. I will sit in her lap to make her think I like her." And a few days later Cat X will say "I must assert my superiority over the two-footed creature. I shall unleash the claws of hell."
Of course the opposite happens as well. Some kitty notorious for it's gang signs and long rap sheet will greet me like something out of Bambi and little bluebirds will appear as the kitty will lean into me for affection.
Today I had both happen. One of the cats that is usually sweet, loving, and gentle was in no mood for attention today. Maybe it was kitty PMS. Maybe she had a flashback to Nam. Whatever the cause, I opened her cage and instead of being greeted with the expected welcoming meow and a stretch before walking over to me, she did her perfect imitation of a Halloween cut-out and gave forth with a hiss like a steam engine. I tried talking quietly to her, trying to calm her down, but she was having none of it. After about five minutes, I gave up. I knew it was best to leave her alone to try another day.
Later I approached, with understandable caution, a red cat noted for scratching and biting. This time I opened the cage and he came right to me. He leaned his head into my hand and instantly started purring. Naturally I looked around for the hidden camera, expecting at any moment for the cat to have its "a ha!" moment when he turned with fangs bared and divested me of two fingers.
But nope. No such thing. He was like an advertisement for Adopt-a-Cat. He was loving. He was playful. He purred. He snuggled into my chest like it was an ad for fabric softener. We had a long and lovely visit and when it was over, he licked my hand as if to say "thank you, human, you have made my day."
Cats. Go figure.