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I am an animal lover. Not in a silly 'dress them up like people' kind of way or a weird 'I want to hug a Grizzly Bear kind of way'; I just like them for what they are. More importantly, I respect and understand them, which, in my mind, is far more useful to the animal than treating them like some kind of sub-species of our own and expecting human behavior out of them. My expectation of animals is that they will generally behave precisely how they might behave in the wild with some obvious modifications.
On the whole, I have rarely met an animal I did not like on one level or another. Even if I don't particularly want to hang out with them, I still afford them all the respect I think they deserve and find them interesting. I wouldn't have a nest of snakes in for tea but I would never hurt one unless I had to. My policy on animals is pretty simple; I never make any attempt to hurt one unless it has plans to kill me, bite me, suck my blood, give me a disease, or rip my heart out. When I find a spider in my house I put it outside. I don't really want it in my house, but I don't want it to die for trying either. There are people who find my policy on animals odd, especially the ones who hate spiders, but it works for me.
I have always enjoyed excellent relationships with animals. They tend to like me on sight, which is nice, and do what I say to please me, which is even nicer. These factors have made my interaction with animals generally very pleasant. But now and then, and rarely, I come across an animal that I just do not like whether they like me or not. This almost never happens, but when it does it is a weird and deeply personal clash of wills. This is the case with my friend's two Siamese cats. I like cats, but I have never been a big fan of Siamese cats who I find annoying for several reasons, my friend's cats particularly so.
For one thing, they never shut up. Siamese cats are known to be talkers and these two can make you run for the ear plugs. I have no problem with typical cat sounds but these cats make a noise like someone is torturing the air out of a balloon. Their conversation is shrill, ear piercing, and stretches out your nerves to the breaking point. One of them is worse than the other and for some reason, especially fond of talking to me, probably because it knows I hate listening to it. That irritating feline will get itself up as close to eye level with me as it can and start carrying on like a crazy person who loves to complain. In fact, whatever it is saying it is so much like complaining that you can't really mistake it for anything else. It isn't whining, either, it is full bore irritation, total disgust, and righteous anger, and for some reason, this cat thinks I'm the official complaint department.
I gave up trying to ignore the cat a long time ago and now go ahead and engage it in conversation, mostly because when I talk, it tends to not. I tell it not to complain to me because I'm not responsible for it's lot in life and if I had my way, it's lot in life would be far worse because I would put it in a box and ship it back to Asia in a heart beat. This threat never really seems to have much effect on the animal since it just keeps right on complaining. Louder, if possible. I have no doubt that it is calling me the worst possible names that exist in cat talk.
Besides never shutting up, these two cats are destructive in a way that cats excel, by finding whatever you have that you are very careful to not knock off of anything and promptly knocking it off in the hopes of breaking it beyond repair. They possess some unerring instinct in this regard because they will hone in on whatever knick-knack or item my friend likes best and engage in a focused campaign to destroy it. I have seen them in action and I swear that they use all sorts of carefully considered tactics and strategy to get to their victim.
My friend, of course, adores these two animals and can't imagine life without them in it. Personally, whenever I visit her I leave thanking every deity in the pantheon of human history that I don't have to take them home with me. One of her cats is far worse than the other. It is extraordinarily beautiful, with silver fur that is almost metallic and gorgeous markings. I look in this cat's eyes and I see two things: (1) That it is far closer to the wild state than any cat I have ever known, and (2) That it is thinking that if it were the size nature meant it to be it would eat me in the beat of a heart. I asked my friend about the cat and she told me that it was called a Bengal Cat so I looked it up. I was right. The Bengal Cat is a cross between a domestic feline and some kind of Asian Leopard. Are they crazy over there? A Leopard? No wonder the cat hates it's life. Half of it wants to be out roaming the jungle, stalking prey, and killing and eating it. Its no surprise anymore why it sometimes looks at people as if they were lunch. I have found a whole new respect for the animal even if it is still annoying. The poor thing is a leopard trapped in a kitty-kat body and a kitty-kat's existence. I still wish it would shut up, but I feel it's pain.
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