Causation, Correlation, Compassion

Friends, you’ll perhaps thank me for omitting the visual I was tempted to supply here.

Still, you can be forgiven for being morbidly curious at this point. Given I’ve raised the issue in the first place.

So let me just say that when I trolled the Net searching for an appropriate pic to demonstrate cat-scratch, I found a post headed “Local Swelling Near Cat Scratch.” There I also found entries captioned “Snake Bites,” “Yeast Infections in Dogs Are Common,” and “Cat Abscesses: The Pain, The Pus, and The Prognosis.”

So nuff said on visuals, I think.

The point I was researching was: Why I felt a little appalled, in my last post, to notice myself saying I was proud of Bugs for nailing the poor vet’s arm.

I was playing the sympathy card. In my defense, I have strong feelings about this. The months that elapsed while Bugs was struttin’ around here sinking his claws into any part of me that moved was not a happy time.

Someone else should suffer. Misery loves company.

The few friends who were courageous enough to visit the house seemed united in a common observation. I shrink even now to write it. Bugs, one of them said, had “thug energy.”

My baby. A thug.

I had to face it.

It’s 4:00 a.m. I’m sleeping peacefully. Suddenly I’m bouncing off the ceiling.

Stop. I am trying to be forensic here. Everything to the left of “sleeping peacefully” is unadorned truth. After that, the observable facts might better be stated: Bugs starts his engines at the bedroom door (I don’t have a door, it’s just empty space). He achieves full rpms. He launches. He’s still a kitten, so he hadn’t reached his current weight of 56 pounds (WAIT! forensic reporting requires – well, I guess I don’t know how much Bugs weighs right now, because he’s tripled in size WAIT! I guess he’s grown a tad. Well, Miss Lilliputia he most definitely ain’t any longer).

He’d flip the switchblades. Stiffen his front legs to the sticking point. Launch. Skid under the covers with such force that I could be on the far side of a queen-sized mattress and he’d still make full gory contact.

Like my friends were trying to help me understand. It was him or me.

Wipe that grin off your face, those of you who know cats, when I say I tried sweet reason. Instantly that turned to screaming. Thumping him with a stuffed animal he hated. I developed a magnificent line in hissing, so hard my eyes would hurt and spit would fly.

And forensic reporter that I really am trying to be, I could claim causality in what I did next that seemed to “make” him stop – but, as those of you who know cats will want to explain to me – if I say I “made” him do anything, I’m almost certainly confusing correlation with causation.

In other words, I could claim credit for “making” him stop – but just because he did stop when I did this thing I’m trying to tell you doesn’t mean that what I did actually caused him to stop.

Throw-down. It took maybe two or three tries, but after each bloody battery I’d grab him by the nape, pin him, make eye contact, and, well, speak firmly to him.


The last time I tried this, I was in such an extremity that I actually

Can I really bring myself to say this publicly?

Come on, Anita. The truth shall set ye free.

The last time I tried this, I was in such an extremity that I actually clamped my jaws around his neck.

I DIDN’T bite!

But I was desperate.

Can you understand?

With the clarity of hindsight, I now realize he could have taken out my eyes. Great Soul that he is, he refrained.

Causation? Correlation? Whatever. The main thing is, this morning at 4:00 a.m. I woke to find Bugs gently tapping on my lips with one (sheathed) paw.

And so now I finally feel compassion for the vet.  Not to mention myself.

Witness, dear blogmates, the healing power of public confession. And the benediction of a Cat With a Great Soul.

Or else he just got bored.

I prefer the Great Soul version.

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About nadbugs

Anita loves cats. This must be because she, too, has had nine lives. She’s been dancing since she could walk, she was a commercial artist and advertising producer, she earned a third-degree black belt in Aikido, she is a drummer with the Afrique Aya Dance Company, she is an attorney, and she’s a meditator and a devoted student of Nonviolent Communication. She also spent one lifetime sidelined with a devastating back injury in 1992. Since then – FELDENKRAIS METHOD® to the rescue. The FELDENKRAIS METHOD is all about dreaming concretely – thinking intelligently and independently by way of a gracious and kind physicality. The work affords all who study it a process by which to reach, with movement, into the mind and the heart, to make nine lives into one whole being.
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18 Responses to Causation, Correlation, Compassion

  1. Thank Cod our thug doesn’t bite…us. He does however, bite his brother and who KNEW that abscesses were so stinky and gross?
    That said, I’m currently nursing a finger the size of a sausage after being bitten down to the knucklebone on Monday from Mister Mellow John.

    *sigh*

  2. typist for JhaJha, the Petite Panther says:

    Ah, we went through something similar when JhaJha would try to wake me by prying my eyelids open. I get it.

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  10. lahgitana says:

    Oh, to read about the journey of trust of your Bugsy. Well, OK, you too…. >:-D But YEEEEOWWWWW with the skidding switchblades!

    And now here we are, Bugs and Bean who grew wise together.

    • nadbugs says:

      How funny. Before I saw this, I just used the YEOW to reply to Calpurrnia’s lip-piercing caper. That connection again! Ya think wise? Gosh. Bugsy with his knickers in a semi-twist, and me who knows where? Wise? Thank you! I think it may simply be age & experience having knocked off the sharp edges . . . .

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