Saturday, April 26, 2008

Don Juan Seamus De Marco, or Mr. Personality (Pt.5) An Unkind Cut (Conclusion)

The howling and caterwauling began daily at sunset. Female cats wandered up to our door, as did older males spoiling for a fight.

If I tried to pull Seamus away and close the door or even the back window where he sometimes called, I found myself holding an angry ball of spitting, gyrating, clawed fur.

A few days of angry silence and howling cat psychosis after the whole mess began, I found myself nursing a seriously slashed forearm as Seamus walked around the house hissing.

I had corralled him and brought him in just as he tried to make an escape, and gotten my arm both clung onto and bunny-kicked for my efforts.

"Fucking shit, that burns," I said, watching four ragged red lines explode into foam as I poured hydrogen peroxide over them.

"Uh huh," Marcie said, startling me a bit.

She stood with her purse slung over her shoulders, looking smug and smiling, biting her lower lip. "What are we going to do about this, Frank? Do you understand now? He's a beast and he'll just get meaner and crazier until he gets neutered or he runs off."

I shook my head and wiped my arm with a towel, cleaning the wound carefully. "Marcie, that's not my point."

"What's your point, that you want him to live a shitty, short life and die of disease or by getting hit by a car as he wanders around?"

"I would just like to see him have a litter of kittens, which I know Cammy is going to have Kazi have before she fixes her."

"Oh, really?" she asked, glaring. "So you and Cammy are breeding kittens now? Is that it? Well, why don't you just go sleep with Cammy, then, since you two are living out your lust for each other through the cats, Frank. Asshole!"

I watched her leave, bewildered. I shook my head and heard something at my feet. Seamus was crouched there, licking up blood dripping through the towel. When I tried to clean it up, he hissed.

I decided it had gone far enough and when she came back from the store, I brought it up to arrange terms of surrender.

"Okay, honey," I said, walking in and sitting on the bed. "You can get him fixed. I think I can find a place that will do it for a low cost or even free..."

"Frank! You are NOT going to have me be the one he associates this with! You have to go with me!" she demanded, yelling and fuming.

I put my hand on her lap. "I don't really need to," I said. "Why does this have to be about me going with you now?"

Really, I felt I had been jumped on enough over my admittedly foolish response. But where I had not associated my personal masculinity with the situation before, it was now firmly in play and I was determined to get my way.

"I am the disciplinarian, I am the responsible one, and I am the one taking away his food all the time," she said. "I am tired of being the one he has to watch out for. You need to be the bad one with me once in a while."

I considered it and then I considered the operation. Though called minor and referred to casually, cats and dogs do not get vasectomies when they are neutered, castrated. But she was right. I agreed.

On the day she took him in, though, I had school and exams. She let me off the hook. When they got home, he ran into a corner, then under the bed, then eventually ventured out, avoiding us both.

When Marcie and I made love that night, I had to admit a little sense of guilt and a creepiness to it as he watched, I imagined accusingly, from atop a pile of warm clothes.

Seamus was sedentary and already overeating by the end of the first week. It took him days not to avoid us or hiss. The other cats stop coming around. I was worried his personality would change drastically.

But one night, as the sun set, he began caterwauling out of our back window. It was music to my ears.

"Seamus! Shut up! Jesus!" Marcie screamed, cutting him off for all of three seconds.

All was well. And there was a bonus. Cammy moved out, confiding in me before she did that Kazi's first litter was coming. She also seemed to think that she had only had that one tryst.

I neglected to say anything to Marcie, of course.