My cat’s campaign for attention has left me at wit’s end

October 16, 2020 — by Marisa Kingsley

Lacy lounges on my bed, waiting for me to bend to her will.

She follows me. 

Everywhere I go, every move I make, she is right there, following me, watching me. Her deep black pupils pierce my soul as I try to do something — anything — to keep her needs at bay: Shut my door, give her food or transplant her into another room. But nay, there is nothing I can do, for her mews are too powerful, too volatile, for me to ignore. 

This routine is a constant one at my house. Every day, my 6-year-old cat, Lacy, does her very best to succeed in her never-ending pursuit for the endless amounts of attention that she seems to require, and I appear to be her main victim. 

Sitting on my desk, whining on my bed or biting my pencils may not seem like a big deal. But you don’t understand, I live in constant fear, restlessness, anguish. I cannot take this abuse any longer, so I’m speaking out. 

It’s hard to recall exactly when her reign of terror started. Despite me being the youngest in my family, Lacy has long been the true baby. This is likely due to the fact that when she was about six months old, she ruptured her Achilles tendon and had to wear a cast for two months, during which we kept her in a small enclosure and gave her all the love and attention she could have possibly desired. 

Since then, she has always been doted on the most compared to our other two cats. Peaches is a temperamental old lady who throws up half of her food, and would much rather sleep under a bush or lick butter than sit on my lap. Dippy, on the other hand, her jerkdom reigns supreme in our household: pushing the other cats away from their food bowls, forcing them into submission with merciless head boops or just sitting on my keyboard and refusing to move. 

Despite our love for her, Lacy runs away from nearly everything: humans, pieces of string, small bugs or literally nothing. Occasionally, she’ll make a charge full throttle down the hallway and up the stairs when there’s seemingly nothing to run away from; this is the type of behavior I’ve stopped trying to rationalize. 

But her evolution into a furry Robespierre is something I refuse to accept. Perhaps her constant need for attention is a relic of being abandoned as kitten before taken into a shelter, or, as a way to counteract the anarchic presence that is Dippy, but either way, it does not appear that she’s stopping anytime soon. 

All right, you might be thinking: “all cats are jerks, big deal.” First of all — that’s rude — my cats are precious. Second of all, be quiet and let me finish my story. 

To provide some clarity, picture me, sitting at my desk, probably half-asleep, trying to comprehend my Spanish textbook with my third-grade level Spanish skills, and out of the blue, there is a shrill little mew. Like any half-decent dictator, Lacy always announces herself as she pats into my room and it’s objectively cute, but also strikes deep fear into my being. 

Without any prompt or invitation, she’s on my desk, already purring and stretched out on my textbook, readily anticipating her scratches. Now again, she’s objectively adorable, which gives her an unfair advantage in this situation: What type of monster would I be to push her out? 

I give her scratches and belly rubs, but I need her off of my textbook, so I put her on my lap. This works for a solid minute, giving me false hope that I actually might get something done, but soon enough she’s back on my desk. We dance this tango three or four times before I banish her to my bed, hoping she’ll entertain herself somehow. 

But alas, she is not satisfied, so she mews from her newfound throne, and I’m now a humble peon at her beckon call. A sad tale, truly. 

  Now, you might be wondering why I don’t just shut my door, but let me ask you: Do you think a tiny dictator would possibly be deterred by such an obstacle? Absolutely not. 

Once, when Lacy was insisting on laying on my desk during an Econ test, I had no other option but to shut her out. You would assume that she might take this as a sign that she isn’t wanted, but, nevertheless, she persisted. 

The little curmudgeon cried at my door for 40 minutes. I was genuinely impressed — I wanted to beg the lord for sweet mercy — but I was impressed.  

That was not the first time this had happened. Many a class period has been spent attempting to keep her out of my camera’s view, or stop her from whining when I need to sputter out a mildly coherent answer in Spanish or AP Lang. 

Saying all of this, not everything she does is terrible. It can be nice to have a break from pretending I understand derivatives, and having a purring cat paw at my pencil with unwavering intensity can be downright delightful, but on the whole, I am still suffering unfairly, and I hope you now see that.  

I no longer have any idea of what to do, she finds me no matter where I hide. I just want some god dang peace and quiet, but most importantly, I want to be free.  

 

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Junior Daniel Jiang prepares to make a goal during an after school water polo practice at SHS's swimming pool on Sept. 16. Photo by Selina Chen

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