Somewhere, somehow, I think there’s a special manual cats read upon being adopted. In it, it clearly states that you (the cat) will often behave in an adorable manner in order to be forgiven for a multitude of behaviors.
For instance, you will chase things attached to strings at the end of sticks. You will roll over on your back and bat at a myriad of things. You will purr and blink your cute little eyes and twitch your whiskers and reach a paw out to lovingly pat your person. And then you will freak out over something, run through the house like a bat out of hell, poop under the bed, and hiss and growl at the person trying to help you.
Such is the case with our dear Fletch. He was playing feather chase cat fishing with King Arthur when he somehow got tangled up in the line, ran under the table, broke the dowel, and ran hissing and growling through the house with part of the dowel banging behind him. Celia became aware of the situation and ran after him. I’m not sure if it was because she felt sorry for him or because she was laughing at his plight (you can never tell with her). After seeking refuge under KA’s desk, Fletch then ran back under the table, banging around a bit more, and then took off for the bedroom. I’d been going for the scissors for KA to cut the line off Fletch’s foot while all this was happening and ended up going to the bedroom to fetch the Fletch. He was under the bed, growling, hissing, and generally being all kinds of pissed off. I don’t blame him. As I looked under the bed for him, I noticed a distinct odor and then saw the three turds. They were fresh. I knew they were his. I left him to calm down a bit, grabbed some toilet paper, scooped the poop, flushed it, washed my hands, and then gingerly got down on my knees to find my kitty. I began extracting the items stored under the bed. And then I saw him. No longer was he throwing his hissy fit. Instead, he was huddled under the bed looking rather forlorn. I pulled out the bag with the comforter. He didn’t budge. I could get the dowel cut off, so I did that. Then I left him for a moment to calm down. When I came back, I tried to talk him out from under the bed. No such luck. I psssttt’d him, I cooed at him, I whispered, I cajoled. All to no avail. So, risking life and limb, I grabbed him by the scruff of his neck and dragged him out. No resistance. No sound. Just a very sad look. I tried to loosen the knot on his back leg. Nope. Didn’t work. I called for KA to bring me the scissors (I don’t know why I put them away after I cut off the dowel. I wasn’t thinking). At this point, Fletch was in my lap and was very subdued, as if embarrassed by his plight. KA cut the line and we told Fletch he was a good boy for not struggling and told him he was okay. He just lay there. (I’m pretty sure the manual says you have to play dead when all else fails.)
Finally, after much comforting from us, he got up and sauntered out to the living room. Again, I think the manual requires you to act cool as a cucumber after you’ve wigged out. He then proceeded to flop down on the sofa, sigh heavily, and fall asleep as only a cat can do. He’s been rather sedate the rest of the day. No big, golden eyes hinting at mischief. No twitchy tail. Nothing but cool detachment and absolute disavowal of the freak out.
Needless to say, in the person section of the aforementioned manual, it says the person who is owned by said cat to cuddle and coddle cat as much as possible after any perceived trauma. And that we did.