Elby ~ That Cat! Friend or Fiend?


By all means, click to enlarge that photo of Elby returning from being a successful hunter. He’s captured the ball in his mouth and is bringing it back to me to lay at my feet and received high praise for being such a mighty hunter. Uh-huh.

This is the same cat, who, at 1:00 a.m. last night, launched a bank shot off the back of my head, using all 8-16 nails in his paws… Is it cat joie de vivre? Do I harbor a fast-growing domestic terrorist in my own home? Is he insane? YES to all three questions. For a woman who packs 12 pairs of socks for a two day trip, gently patting and massaging gobs of Neosporin into my scalp is an affrontery of the highest order. Okay, not quite as bad as when Dyssa, my former security adviser, attacked my bare feet after I got out of the shower one morning, resulting in having antibiotics being pumped into my body through a stent due to infection from multiple cat bites. Don’t believe me? I took photos back in 2009:










You might think that the common denominator between these two felines is me. Yes, but. I maintain these were unprovoked attacks and that I was supremely spiritual in that I let both of them live.

Oh, this cat! He’s a foot longer than when he arrived, weighs at least another three pounds and, according to the Vet, he will attain 15-20 lbs. at full growth and be thought svelte when he does! Here’s a snapshot of Elby, who is sleeping the sleep of the just as I write this:



He’s not dead, I assure you. Elby lives in the moment and last night holds no memories for him, obviously. All is well in Elby’s world. My scalp still hurts and I have had a headache since I awoke this morning. Whining.

Still and all, there are moments when I wonder if Elby is God in disguise. He is my shadow. He is fascinated by everything I do, goes everywhere I do, and has taught me that “No, Elby!” has no true meaning. He is a man that way. He is teaching me forgiveness on a minute-by-minute basis. He literally climbs the walls of my home and tries to knock the paintings off the walls. When I wouldn’t talk to him last night after he left wounds in my head, he climbed higher than he ever has and that is saying something. He leapt from the floor to the kitchen counter to the top of the refrigerator and then leapt to the ledge atop the kitchen cupboard above the refrigerator and cried pitiously for me to rescue him or recognize this magnificent feat of cat pole-vaulting. Don’t worry. Of course, I checked on him and he gazed down at me in both pride and “how do I get down?” mode. He’s a boy. Argh! I was still rubbing Neosporin gently, very gently into my scalp and I didn’t care if he slept up there… The only discipline that works with Elby is to ignore him and then praise him for getting down, down off the mantle, down off the stove, down off the counters, down off the soon-to-be-discovered 8 foot tall bookcases…. Oh, Gawd, maybe the dust will hold the books in place…

And yet, when I throw his balls for him and he races across the room, catching them in mid-flight, batting them from here to there in a hunter’s glee, then carefully clamping his jaws on them and trotting back to me to drop it at my feet, winding around my legs for a quick hug and rub before the next toss… well, it does a Mom proud, doesn’t it?


16 thoughts on “Elby ~ That Cat! Friend or Fiend?

  1. My chief feline Nera read this with satisfaction.
    “We are really proud of Elby” she said.
    “Who are we” I asked.
    “Me, Tabby and Fluffy. It worked. Elby found her humans should have respect for the feline domance, so I gave him a few lessons on how to do it properly by feline telepathy of course.. ”
    “I do not think his human is very happy with the result of your lessons.”
    “But Elby is, that is the most important point.” and Nera wobbled off with a grin on her feline face.


  2. Oh my gosh, I can’t believe a cat did that to your foot! That’s insane!

    But Elby is a darling. He reminds me of my cat, Flash. He came to me so small that he fit in my palm and now is 18 some pounds of “svelte” crazy cattitude. We’ve taught them to pounce with their nails in, thank goodness, not that they always remember. Still, Flash’s favorite game is to hide somewhere and then jump in the air and tackle my back. Even without nails, 18 pounds of flying weight is quite a bit and I end up being quite successfully tackled to the ground each time. I just keep hoping I never ram my head into something on the way down!


  3. Oh my word!!
    I’m glad my Elby look-a-like was at the kids’ during his demented times 😉
    Don’t think I could have handled all that energy!!
    Mine did bite me once, after the dog bit him, and I had to soak a very swollen hand in Epsom salts to let the infection kind of break open and drain. Not my finest moment I can assure you!!!


    • Yeah, a cat’s bite (not a scratch, but an actual bite) is rated right up there with a raccoon bite – I tried everything but Epsom – I’ll remember that. The doctor said if I had waited any longer than 24 hours, I would have been in serious trouble and out of my mind with pain… hmmm. On the first one of those pictures, you can see a squiggly line – looks like a vein – another doctor had used a pen to trace the redness of the infection and said, if it goes outside that line or above – you’re going into the hospital immediately….


      • Me and my phobia of doctors, never even went to see one. Cleaned the bite as best I could, but when the infection happened and I had this little puffer of a hand, I got the advice from mom. very hot water with Epsom salt dissolved in it. And then I had to sort of squeeze the swelling until the thing opened and it could start draining. After that, it healed pretty fast, but it could have been a lot worse I suppose!! Luckily it was only one puncture wound! I did take some kind of Bubbly tablet to help fight the infection from the inside as well.


  4. Hunt, Did I ever tell you that you had the patience of a saint, and the heart of sister Theresa. We have had only 1 cat, Ms. T, she was an evil cat, heck she made evil cats appear nice docile friendly things. But she never bite or scratched me in any way the manner of the wounds you have received. Ms. T passed away because she was ill. But she would been put away, had she done something like that to the wife or daughter. Your are a saint. Take care Saint Hunt — Bill


    • Well, Bill, I was going to deny it, but, on second thought, I believe you are right. I was saintly in that instance – everyone else thought I was nuts. That was at the end of 2008, which means Dyssa and I had been together for nine years and it was the only time she ever did something like that. When I tried to get her to stop, I would have had to break her hands (paws) and feet, she was so possessed. She broke her own grip, shook herself out, took one look at me and fled the scene. The bathroom looked like something out of CSI….


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