Archived Opinion

Poor Edgar, doomed to an eternity with a crazy cat lady

An unhappy reader this week took me to task for writing harsh words about my 17-year-old cat, Edgar, after the little jerk sank his one remaining fang in my wrist and I wrote about the experience.

That love bite — acquired while rescuing him from a tomcat — required me to take two different antibiotics for 10 days (that’s four pills a day, each big enough to gag a horse). And, additionally, cost me $226 for medical treatment, medicine and a probiotic that the physicians’ assistant (wrongly) assured me would prevent virulent, unending, burning diarrhea, triggered by the antibiotics.

“I feel very sorry for Edgar and feel he would have been better off euthanized as a kitten (so do I, right now) than to have spent his 17 years in a home where he was not wanted loved, enjoyed, (you don’t need that last comma there, by the way) or appreciated.

“His biting and clawing you while you were rescuing him from the tomcat was because he was frightened, agitated, and confused (the comma after ‘agitated’ should be stricken, too. Write a testy email, get a free grammar lesson — nice deal for you.

Wrong on comma usage and wrong on behavioral interpretations: that makes you wrong twice, by my count. I’ve lived with Edgar for 17 years and have special insight into his psyche. Edgar went after the tomcat because he believes he is still Billy Badass rather than a geriatric pussycat. He bit me because I ‘prevented’ him from, in his itty-bitty, teensy-weensy cat brain, beating the snot out of that tomcat, which is named Jack (as in, Jack the Ripper. Who weighs, I don’t know, 50 pounds or so?))

“And, as you are hoping, I too hope he will leave this earth soon so he will not have to spend too much more time with you (I second that sentiment … diarrhea nonstop for three days was insult on top of injury). At the age of 17, you can probably find a decent veterinarian who will humanely euthanize him (hell no, I’ll just shoot him — I’m broke now. Can’t afford to pay a veterinarian bill, but bullets are cheap. Of course, burlap bags are cheaper still. Could put him in a poke and throw him into the river … ) so that you will not have to bother with him any longer.

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“Your article also proves that people place no value on something they do not pay for (someone gave me Edgar, as this astute reader notes. But, I’d argue I’ve done nothing but pay: veterinary bills, food, having his little balls clipped off when he was about one year old, yards and yards of litter, cat treats, toys, cat beds, etc).

“That is another example of why ‘free’ animals usually end up in less-than-desirable situations like poor Edgar did (poor Edgar, my foot — poor Quintin is more like it. I didn’t bite him, remember? He bit me.)

“Please have the good sense never to take another animal into your home. You very clearly are not a pet person.”

(Sorry, too late — In addition to Edgar, I got two other cats in my recent, um, let’s call it a divorce, shall we? I lost the two dogs, though, you’ll be happy to know, and six rabbits, 15 hens, 45 hives of bees, and a partridge in a pear tree (I made up that last bit). Flip of a coin and all that. Apparently it didn’t flip my way, did it?

Sheesh, that makes a total of three cats residing in my home. Which makes me a cat lady, doesn’t it?

(I was always afraid that, in the end, here’s how I’d end up — a creepy cat lady. One of those sad women who becomes the main feature of a newspaper article after the police come in response to neighbors’ complaints about odor. Then, the TV people read the article and show up, too. And, before I know it, I’m on ‘Hoarders,’ the A&E Television Networks program, and there are psychologists in my home trying to help me give up just one cat of the now 200 living there. ‘But, you see,’ I try to explain, ‘It all started with Edgar …’ Of course, 10 more years have passed, but Edgar is still alive, he is 27 now, the little bastard just won’t die, you see, he just won’t die …. Ahahahahah (me screaming here) and they have bound me in a straightjacket, and have hauled me off to Broughton mental hospital in Morganton, but they feel sorry for me and bring Edgar along, too, so at least I’ll have one of the 200 pussycats for comfort. There I am, for the rest of my life, sitting there drooling with Edgar on my lap the whole time, 10 more years have passed, he is 37 now, and we die the same day … and they bury us together so we won’t ever be apart.))

A question for you, dear reader: Were you born without a sense of humor, or did circumstances suck you dry as a lemon? So that you won’t continue to fret (or cast aspersions upon my head, or write me again), I admit to liking Edgar. Even loving him. He’s outlasted my human relationships. But, just because he’s a cat, Edgar doesn’t get a free pass to bite the hand that feeds him.

(Quintin Ellison can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..)

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