Too Foofy To Fight.

So proud of Louie right now.  He finally went on the attack.  Saw the neighbor’s cat, Boris, strutting through our patio like he owned the place–and pounced.  Just bushwhacked him.  Got his fangs in first.  Really got into some fur.  They went around and around in one of those cartoon cat carnival wheels of clawing.  Screeching and yowling.  Going completely saber tooth savage trying to tear each other apart.  It was hard to call who was up.

But it was Boris who broke-off first.  And ran away.

So victory goes to Louie.

Let’s see, that makes 147 wins for Boris, and Louie with 1.

Hey.  It beats zero.  By a lot.

And every comeback has to start somewhere.

Louie came inside all puffed-up with electricity.  Tail all freaked-out and fat.  Eyes wide-eyed crazy.  Darting back and forth.  Totally amped with EPFP.

Euphoric Post-Fight Psychosis.

Diagnosed it right away.  He probably could use a shot of something hot.  And a bottle of something cold.  And a cocktail waitress leg to hold on to…while he catches his breath.

I went over to congratulate him.

“That was awesome, Lou.  Full-on beast ambush.”

He padded over to his bowl for some water.

“I’ve been telling you about the element of surprise, haven’t I?  Freak them first.  That’s the rule.”

I went and got a can of real tuna.  Tonight called for a celebration.  For the past year, Boris has been tormenting Louie.  We’d hear him crying outside.  You’d get out there and find Louis all cornered and cowering.  Boris swatting at him.  Pretty much at will.

Lori and I would have to chase him away so Louie could make a break for home.   He’d run inside and hide under the bed in a total puss-out panic.

Fancy and afraid.

Fancy and afraid.

I’d feel bad for him.  Could really empathize.  Unfortunately.

Still, I would think, “You’ve got claws, Louie.  Give something back.”

But I’d keep it to myself.  I didn’t want to lay any more shame on him.

Instead, I’d pet him and try to sooth his frightened fur.  Talk to him.  Like a father to his son.  Maybe tell him a heart-warming allegory.

“Dave told me about this time when he was in prison and got clobbered to the floor.  Some black cons who were watching, started shouting at him to get up.  To keep bringing it.  To dig down deep and rally.

‘Get up off that floor, boy!  Don’t you dare stay down!’  they yelled.  ‘Never stay down!’

It worked.  Dave got up.  And then managed to serve up a little something himself.  A little something for his antagonist to chew on.  Something to make a motherfucker think twice.

You see what I’m saying, Louie?  It’s okay to take a few shots.  It’s inevitable.  Just make sure you make a motherfucker think twice.”

He’d be licking at his privates, not paying attention to my heartwarming allegory.

If I didn’t love Louie so much, I could have been a little ashamed of him.  He’s just not as tough as our older cat, Bugsy.

Bugsy is all street.  Gone all day.  All night.  Comes home only to eat and crash.  Has an extensive network of people that feed him throughout the neighborhood.  So he’s got the resources to go a ramblin’.  Already at four months old, he’d be gone for days at a time.  Jesus, I can’t begin to tell you how stressed-out I’d be waiting for him to come home.  All the hand-wringing.  And pacing.

Makes perfect karmic sense.

Anyways, he’s grown up into quite a shiny beast.   Sleek and muscular.  Savvy smart.  Good cat chow charmer.  Knows how to run game on a sucker.  Good fighter, too.  Boris and him have an uneasy truce these days.  They’ve both hurt each other pretty good.  So now Boris doesn’t even mess with Louie if Bugsy is in earshot.

Because Bugsy is a badass.

Louie, on the other hand…

He likes to stay close to home.  Likes to play with his toys.  In the living room.  While the folks watch TV.

Sensitive.  Well-behaved.  Imagination Station crafts type of cat.  Into the fun-for-the-whole-family paradigm.  You know.

Wholesome Boy.

I’d look over at Lori quietly reading on the couch.  Blame her.

He’s just too foofy to be tough.  Too fancy.  His fur puffs around his neck, giving him one of those Sir Walter Raleigh collar deals.  His tail curls up like a fop’s feather.  He looks like he’s wearing a fur coat.  Which I guess he is.  But I mean like a Park Avenue parka.

Like what I used to have to wear to New York City Public School 178.  Oh man.  The rabbit fur coat my uncle brought back from his trip to Switzerland.  I can remember the dread after I opened the box.  I knew what awaited.  I would beg my mom not to make me wear it.

“But it looks like a girl’s coat!”

“It’s expensive!”

“They’re going to kill me.”

Took a lot punches, kicks, and snowballs because of that fucking thing.  Made me too foofy-poofy to fight back.  God, I hated that coat.

But I don’t anymore.  Turns out, that after getting enough humiliating ass-kickings, you stop being so afraid of them.  Then, well…something shifts.  You can detach a little.  Think a little clearer while getting one.  Which helps you come up with good ideas.  On the fly.  Like using common household items to destroy your opponent’s will.  And secure a glorious victory.

Indeed.  Getting your ass kicked, is the first part of learning how to kick some back.  Pretty essential, actually.

So yeah, I owe a lot to that coat.   Although it might have made me into somewhat of an introvert.  And a dreamer.

I’d watch Louie bat a twig across the living room floor in some pretend game he made up.  For hours.  Retreating into his imagination.  Becoming a Dungeons and Dragons type.  The kind that wears costumes at the comic convention.  Some swashbuckling character out of Final Fantasy.

Alright, I’d think, so he’s a dweeb.

Maybe even gay.

What are you gonna do?  Accept it.  Love him to death anyway.  He’s still your cat.  So let him play with his little balls and stuffed dolls.  Let him prance fancy.  As long as he’s having fun, right?  Live and let live.  Not everybody can be a badass.  Being cute is good too.  You and Bugsy will just have to look out for him.  Help protect his sissy ass.  Since that’s just the way he is.  And it’s okay.

To be the one that gets beat up by bullies.

Seething after defeat.

Seething after defeat.

Then out of nowhere…he’d go on these killing sprees.

Mice.  Birds.  Lizards.  A bat.

All left on the kitchen floor.  Headless.

What’s all this?  Maybe he has another side.  A darker, more dangerous one.

One night, while I was watering the planters on the side of the house. I watched him clap a fruit bat straight out the air.  He shot out from his crouch like a surface-to-air missile and smacked his paws together.  Dragged that flying sack of rabies right down.  Real Mutual of Omaha Wild Kingdom predator of the savannah shit.

Sure surprised me.  Well well.  All that chasing a little ball around didn’t hurt his skills.  That, and the fact that he’d finally been holding his own while sparring with Bugs meant he’s wasn’t a full-blown wanty-paste.  I just wished he’d channel some of that blood lust  to dealing with Boris.  Take on a more daunting opponent.

Then I’d remember that he’s just a kid.  Still learning the score.  Taking his lumps.  On his way up.  And Boris is helping him.

Helping him figure it out.

Figure out that just because he’s a little sensitive, doesn’t mean he has to be a victim.  That you’re never too foofy to fight back.

I think he took a big step tonight.  He finally took it to Boris.  Gave something to make him think twice.  I smiled.

“It would’ve been okay if you lost, Lou.  I’ll always love you.”

I put down the bowl of tuna and watched him eat.


Got my lunch and I'm off to my ass-kicking.

Got my lunch and I’m off to my ass-kicking.


20 responses to “Too Foofy To Fight.

  1. Wunderbar. Pity they didn’t make that coat out of some type of kevlar. The things parents do to make us stronger!
    Never underestimate the wild fighting spirit in a cat. My cat used to come in every night, battered and bleeding… ’til he got to about three. Then he bulked out and took down the dominant neighbourhood tomcat. *Sadly, the other cat got run over shortly after his defeat… now another BIGGER tom is encroaching on my Arthur’s territory. He’s chosen the best part of valour and has been staying inside more!
    I had to take him to the vets twice to get the abscesses drained. But the vet said “At least he’s fighting back, most cats have them on their backs and back legs, where they’re turning tail…”
    Go Louie… hey, do you know you can get little fighting mits for cats, with titanium claws. They’re great for streetfighting, but make a mess out of your furniture.

    *It wasn’t me. I used to squirt water pistols at it and sometimes throw the odd fossil from my window ledge collection… But, my other cat Flea got squashed and it was the most traumatic thing.

    • I remember reading about Arthur’s ongoing turf war. It reminds me of what my mentor/boss/landlord, Felipe, once told me. “You know, Profo, it doesn’t matter how many ass-holes you shoot, because two more always pop up.” I suspected he knew what he was talking about, too. Well, there went my solution for world peace.
      Anyway, I went on Amazon and ordered the titanium kitty claws (pricey) but didn’t pay the extra for express shipping. No rush right now. I just want to have them in case Louie ever gets a job working at a Kitty bar and has to bounce out two cats at once. Then he’ll be glad he has an unfair advantage.
      Ah, the unfair advantage. Never lost too much sleep over having one of those. Actually, I’ve found them to be quite soporific.
      I’m going to share with you a little secret. Boris’ real name, is “Kitty.” I found that out from his owner. Well, I didn’t like that. First, my sister had a cat called “Kitty,” and she was the love of my life. Second, I didn’t want people to know Louie was getting his ass handed to him by a boy cat named “Kitty.” So I renamed him into what I thought was more appropriate. Boris the Blonde Beast Butcher of Belorussia.
      Just don’t tell anybody, Johnny. Louie’s street cred is already a little thin.
      Alright, give my love to all the creatures inhabiting your seaside castle, my Lord Carnal. Including the most fierce and frightening one, Jemma.
      Thank you for stopping by. Always a delight.
      Tah-tah, Pah-pah!

  2. That photo of you in the coat is hilarious. No mistaking your opinion there, no, sir.

    Shackleton the one-eyed barrio cat gets his ass whupped here by the kitten quite frequently. He’s a little bit pissed off that the student has exceeded the abilities of the master…and he’d like to believe that he’s the master around here, yet all too often, I’m the cocktail waitress’s leg to a poofed-out, embarrassed cat who needs a place to rub his eye socket and cool his jets.

    But Yoko (I did not name her), the girl cat, comes in and takes them both down. She was never a fighter until I brought her here, but now she takes no prisoners. Lysander (kitten, now bigger than both of the older cats) comes sailing out of nowhere, like a deranged bat with a few extra body parts, and she just flips him, slams him to the floor so hard you can hear it a couple rooms away, and walks away like it was nothing, stretching a leg or two and making sure we know she’s a lot prettier than they are.

    Sometimes foofy takes you down before you even have a chance to throw out the first taunt.

    • Shackleton became a hero of mine the second I saw his photo. Such character in that puss of his. Surely, he doesn’t need to prove anything to anybody anymore with that one-eyed mug. Clearly he’s seen some shit.
      I can relate to his aging though, to losing your edge. Of course, there’s going to be younger cats coming up that can take you, but it’s hard to accept. C’mon, these days, I can throw my back out reaching over for the door lock in my car. Seriously, I was bedridden for two days after twisting something while reaching for a Scrabble tile I dropped. How well am I going to do rolling around a floor full of broken glass with some young buck’s steroidal eggplant of a bicep choking off my windpipe? I shudder to think. So I do my best to avoid getting into bar fights these days. Just another concession to the scythe of Chronos, I guess.
      Your new kitten sounds like quite a gal though. Beautiful and dangerous is just my type. It’s got to be Mr. Kane’s type too, since…well…I suspect you’re no slouch in delivering a beat-down when called upon, Lassie. In between knitting foofy sweaters that is.
      My love to all the crazy creatures that shack under your roof,

  3. I can identify with poor Louie, except for the fighting back…and the knock out victory. But the poofy tail, metaphorically speaking, I had plenty of. And hiding out. Maybe that’s why I am a cat person. Dogs are ok, but all the people pleasing is a little too much. A little too Mary Ann to the cat’s Ginger. Needless to say, this is a wonderful stuff – a little bit Rudy, a little bit Rocky, a little bit of Puss’n’Boots. Deeper stuff in the undercurrent too – learning to absorb life’s punches and the power of resiliency. There is nothing wrong with being genteel in spirit, but there is a time when we need to stand up for ourselves. I was never that guy, Marius. Never. Don’t know what it’s like to strike someone. Never been in a fight (but have been tossed around plenty). Didn’t have the mojo like Louie there (or Boris). I literally played Dungeons and Dragons, escaped into my imagination. Then escaped into the booze.

    Would have been better to strike out than get stuck down.

    But the beheading of the little buggers there – a little passive aggressive there, perhaps? Oh, I can identify with that too. Oh how we plunge into the darkness and strike at cobwebs and stray fluttering things. Don’t miss being in there. Better to be in the light, playful and yet solid in self. I am still learning to land feet first like our feline friends (excuse the alliteration there, but it seemed just apt at the moment).

    Great stuff…loved this.

    Awesome kid in that pic. Grew up to be a wonderful warrior poet.

    Love and light,

    • Well Paul, I can identify with Louie too. In fact, when he’s moping around the house and I want to tell him “You should be more like Bugsy! Get out into the world. Explore. Seek adventure. Mix it up!” I think, shut up, if anyone should be more like Bugsy it’s you. Retreating into a safe world of imagination has been my natural default. I can’t tell you how old I was when my mom walked in on me…while I was playing with my…plastic soldiers, but it was way, way too old. Early thirties? Maybe late twenties. Actually it was closer to 14 or 15. Still.
      That was one of good things about alcohol. It gave me the courage to go out into the world, and mix it up. Today, without it’s bravery vapors wafting up into my frightened little brain, I struggle.
      I went to a friend’s daughter’s graduation pool party yesterday, and the way I had to psyche myself up, you’d think I was about to parachute into Normandy. Or Arnhem to hold a bridge. It was ridiculous.
      As for D and D, I’ve never played. But I have spent many man-hours chasing trolls and giants around while hunting for secret treasure in video games. Enough to have built a four bedroom log cabin home, with an attached workshop/studio instead. However, I did find lots of magic swords and shields, and bottles of health reviving potions, so it’s not like I completely wasted that time.
      So yeah, I get it.
      As for never having struck a man in anger, consider yourself blessed. Sure it feels good at the time, and for maybe 30 to 40 years afterwards. But there comes a time when you see it for what it really was–stupid and senseless.
      Then again, you’re not dead yet, Pauly. Taking public transit as you often do, I’m sure opportunities will arise. Just keep your eyes open to them. You never know when some bully’s karma is going to require him getting walloped by a mild-mannered, sober and spiritual Canadian citizen. Don’t be afraid. The Universe will be on your side. And don’t headhunt either. Go for the solar plexus or groin, and get off at the next stop. Take a taxi the rest of the way.
      By the way, you have a new fan. I’m not saying who she is, but I was talking to her this morning about our mother. At one point in our conversation, she mentioned you, and had high praise for your contributions to this comment section. Said you were a really good writer, and I said, “Fuck yeah” to that.
      And a really good soul. That fact shines through pretty clear, my friend.
      Love you a lot,

  4. Absolutely beautiful fucking-b marvelous!!! I’m sitting in a bakery ( oh heaven), reading your blog, laughing out loud……I LOVE THIS ONE HONEY!!!!!! Can’t wait to talk about it and better yet, seeing you. Give the bad asses my love from mamma. You take some too. See you tonight! Loving you with love, Lovey

    Sent from Lori’s iPad

    • Where the hell are you?! I thought I didn’t see you home all week-end. I suspected something when I didn’t see the Bravo channel on the tv. I guess you went to that PEO convention in San Jose you were talking about Friday when you were dragging your luggage to the car. Well shit, I better start cleaning this place up. You are coming home, aren’t you? Lovey love-love. M.

  5. The last time I was at the library, I accidentally picked a mystery that I guess was supposed to be written by a cat, and this post about a cat more than made up for it. The picture at the end was icing on the cake. Brilliant.

    • I’ve seen those books, supposedly written by cats. Never read one. Let’s say I’m highly skeptical. I know they can water ski and pull the trigger of a .357, but conjugate verbs? Humans have a hard enough time with that, so I have to call bullshit. Anyway, I’m glad you enjoyed the piece. Hopefully, it put those of us, who anthropomorphize them, in a better light. I know we mean well.
      Thanks for stopping by. Would you like a virgin Margarita or a non-alcoholic beer before you go? Yeah, I didn’t think so. They suck.

  6. “…147 wins for Boris, and Louie with 1. Hey. It beats zero”

    Naw. 147 to 1 is THE BEST! It doesn’t get better than this.
    Because after a tussle like that, that is the moment you know you OWN that motherfucker! The tide has turned the war has shifted and… and…

    Well, it’s actually a little sad, now, for Boris. Have you ever seen those Nat Geo, Jane Goodall specials where the chimp that WAS top banana gets the frakin boot? The eyes that are not just sad…they’re broken, destroyed…frightened. After being the protector of the pack, always lookin out for the babies against bullshit way beyond the imagination of young upstart punks… you gotta keep them in line or you won’t have the juice to do all the million other necessary deeds.. like bangin pussies and crankin’ out more little pack protectors… just enough ass kickin to keep em in line.. you never actually kill em….them young turks got no idea what this job is all about….

    Meanwhile, Louie: “See that ol fart over there? Used to be kickin MY ass every day… I could take ‘im. I could kick hizass. Thinka all the pussy… the free meals… no more bustin ass huntin… just cruise up and collect my protection meals… yeah, they don’t call em happy meals for nuthin…”

    Circle a life, bro. Circle o life.

    • So I’m driving back from Trader Joe’s, faster than usual because I don’t want the semi-tasteless soy ice cream sandwiches to melt. (By the way, don’t eat soy products people, they’re bad for you. And so is playing with firearms while drunk) Anyway, I have to hit the brakes as I make a turn because grandpa was dragging along a toddler in my blind spot. The brakes work. Nobody dies. And my evening has just gotten better. Any evening you don’t run over a grandpa and child is awesome. So that got me to thinking about the trauma of child-loss. I think about how universal that is to almost every species of creature. I’m remembering how in the Goodall documentary, one of the mom chimps drags her dead baby along for days in complete denial of the fact that her child is dead. Gurk! That little scene, for me, represents one of the saddest things I could think about. It’s for sure, in the top ten. And I have an extensive collection.
      I come home, put the fake ice cream in the real freezer. Crack open a diet ginger ale. (Don’t drink that shit anybody, it’s REALLY bad for you. And so is going to Tijuana by yourself to get drunk)
      I walk over and snap on the computer and read your comment referencing, who?
      Jane Goodall.
      Thing is, that stuff doesn’t dazzle like it used to. I’m like a junky who needs bigger and bigger spiritual kicks. (You and I will have to talk about that little problem, Frater)
      What am I talking about? I didn’t run over Grumpa und der kinder. That’s spiritual kick enough.
      So now, I’m groking on your pitch. There is that line, where you go from alpha male, to just a tough old bastard. Noble enough ranking on the monkey ladder, but…you’re not Number One. You realize you’re going to have to sign up for job retraining. Maybe of as a purveyor of hard-earned wisdom. The tribe seems to want to make sure those guys get enough to eat. So you slide from war party ass-kicker to witch doctor head-shrinker. Easy enough transition to make if you see the writing on the wall.
      As long as you’re nobody’s bitch, you can hold your head up high. If I’m anything’s bitch, it would be Nature’s. So I gracefully acquiesce to Her dominion. Then will my sovereignty as Her representative.
      And then try to stay in good shape. For in case. Like if I’m called on to defend Her honor.
      Love you, M.

  7. Great post. Your cats are fucking rad.
    But I never, ever got knocked to the floor. Don’t get it too fucked up with artistic license.
    Luv ya, bro. Keep hammering out the tales.

    • Knocked right down to your knees like a bitch, I was told. Ah well, you know, haters will always talk shit. Glad it wasn’t true.
      You’re still my hero, Roach. Love ya reet back.
      Your friend,

      • That motherfucker punched me square in the forehead and knocked me back a good four feet. big old silverback, he was. Biggest motherfucker I ever mixed it up with. Least 6′ 6″ prolly 275 at least. Fucker knocked me into a picnic table but I ever hit my knees. Cant say I would have fucked his whole shit up. He probably would have kilt me. But, you know how it goes, I’ll always remain bloodied but unbowed.

      • I pity the fool that thinks just hitting you in the skull is going to be enough. They’re going to need to chainsaw that thing off, if they’re to have any hope of killing the monster–the monster that is Dave. I don’t know if I’ve ever told you this, buddy, but I’m glad nobody has chainsawed your head off. Okay. Okay. I’m getting all sappy. But I just don’t think you’d be as much fun without your crazy-factory attached to your neck. And so I’m very gratitudal it is. Just for today.
        Your pal from Cal,

    • I love the sound of Boris too–getting his ass kicked, at 6 o’clock this morning, unfortunately. Him and Louie were at it again. A day doesn’t go by that they don’t get into it. It’s weird, Louie will wait for Boris to show up. There’s a board that warps on our dock. The bend in the plank creates a big gap, a little window for Boris to peek his snout through. Him and Louie will then spar with each other between the gap. It must be fun to fight like that because they seem to love it. Neither one can get hurt too bad, since neither cat can really get his claws into the other one. They just jab at each other and hiss.
      So anyway, you’ll find Louie on the dock, just staring at the gap in the dock, waiting and waiting for his beloved enemy. This time, really gonna fuck him up.
      I get it.
      I get them.
      Glad you loved the picture. Thanks for reading. Congrats again.

      • Hee hee. Thanks for this extra detail. Love the picture you paint! Oh, cats are so crazy, so freaky crazy!

  8. Pingback: Clockwork Cat Fight | TRUDGING THROUGH THE FIRE

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