I'm helping a friend out at the moment. She has a cat sitting business; she goes into people's houses and feeds their cat/s while they're away, cleans litter trays, plays with said felines etc. My friend - let's call her Marion - is finally having a holiday after seven years of running her business and building it up from scratch.
Today I had two visits to make. One was for a cat I'll call Fred. Marion warned me he can turn aggro for no reason. "Never turn your back on him," she warned, but Fred so far has been a snuggly, purry angel of a cat. I've got him for the whole two weeks and hope I don't need to resort to the emergency pills on the kitchen counter. Fred lives in a posh suburb in a flat right on the water. He has views to die for (not that he appreciates them I suspect but I'm sure his owner does). He greets me at the door and flops at my feet, rolling back and forth in delight. I have long conversations with him as I clean his bowls and other paraphernalia, and there's never a hint of aggro. I do watch his eyes. If a cat's pupils suddenly turn big and round - watch out and take cover!
My second visit was one closer to home for two Ragdoll cats, Sunny and Shadow. Marion had a warning about Sunny. "He may rush at the door when you arrive and he can be territorial." Another Fred! Anyhow, Sunny was very pleasant to me and I was happily patting him and talking to him. Shadow was hiding as he apparently does. So I put food down while Sunny purred at my feet. I cleaned the litter tray. I went to find Shadow upstairs and Sunny trotted at my heels.
Unfortunately he was TOO close to my heels. I checked the upstairs rooms (no sign of the little bugger but apparently he can hide only too well) and turned around.
Only to stand on Sunny's foot.
He pounced on my ankle and gave it his best shot with teeth and claws. Luckily I was wearing boots, it being winter here after all, and I only have a small scratch to show for it.
I apologised, in the softest, warmest voice I could. I sat on the steps in front of him and held out a hand, offering a gentle pat.
Sunny narrowed his big baby blues and hit my hand with a front paw. No claws, but his body language said it all: Fuck off, lady. You hurt me.
Tail swishing furiously, he followed me down the stairs. Not a limp in sight, thankfully. But no, just slapping my hand wasn't enough.
With every step I took with my left foot (the one that landed on his paw), he grabbed my ankle and bit my boot. His tail was swishing like a metronome. This was one seriously pissed off cat. I don't blame the poor little thing; I felt dreadful for stepping on him.
As I was inching my way across the living room Shadow flew down the stairs, through the kitchen and into the hall, disappearing into a front room.
Well, at least I could SMS the owner that I had visual sighting of the elusive Shadow!
Sunny wasn't letting up. I shuffled, cat attached, to the scratching post trees with toys attached to them. Thankfully one had elastic and I pinged it and pinged it and bounced it until his attention went from my foot to the toy.
With one bound, I was free!
With two bounds I was out the door with a huge sigh, still feeling awful for poor Sunny.
I have two more days feeding the pair of them. I hope Sunny has forgiven and forgotten by tomorrow. But I'll wear different shoes just in case.