Love Hurts

My cat, Xander, is an unrepentent biter. If Freud were to examine Xander, he would diagnose him with an oral fixation. And yes, somebody does need to diagnose Xander. Jackson Galaxy, man, come to Chicago! As evidence, I offer the photos below. They were taken after the marauding feline jumped me while walking down the hall to the bathroom. It can be avoided if I walk backward down the hallway, but that seems a little silly, doesn’t it?

The problem is not helped by the fact that I am a delicate flower and my skin bruises quite easily. See?

Yes, my cat bit my calf and left a ton of bruises.

Photo of my calf taken while hanging upside down with iPhone using the “reverse” setting. These are “love bites.”

Those punctures and bruises are from bites. I think he is trying to play and using me as prey. One friend calls him “El Gato Vampiro.” Another calls him “The Beast.” Many accuse me of being in an abusive relationship with my cat. My mother would like me to trade him in for a hamster. I take comfort that I am not alone, as evidenced by the Cat vs Human blog.

Leg with cat scratches.

These are just some minor scratches that occurred incidentally. Collateral damage if you will. I squirted Xander with water after the first attack; after the second one, he just ran before I could squirt him. So he hasn’t learned not to attack me, just how to escape his punishment.

I know I’m a co-dependent enabler. If I knew nearly 5 years ago what I know now, I would have first fostered him with some other kittens and a mama cat rather than take a month-old orphan kitten directly into my home. He never got properly socialized in cat terms. But who could resist this face?

Xander as a kitten.

Xander at about 1 month old, right before I picked him up.

Not me, that’s for sure. Once I saw the pictures, I drove out to the suburbs to pick him up from the people, friends of a friend, who had found him on their doorstep. At his first vet exam, after a vet tech commented on how fierce he was, I decided to name him Xander, short for Alexander the Great. The vet also determined that he was a boy, not a girl, and that he had fleas–two things I was not expecting. These days I have to give Xander phenobarbital before we go to the vet (the Xanax wasn’t strong enough).

Xander is sleeping on my bed.

Xander is just a like a baby–so cute when he’s sleeping.

These days I also like to tell Xander that cuteness is his only redeeming factor. That’s not true, though. He gives me lots of headbutts and leg rubs. When he hears my car, he runs to the front window, and when he hears me coming up the stairs, he runs to the door to greet me. Xander follows me from room to room, jumping up on whatever surface he can to look into my eyes and implore me to play or to scratch his ears and chin. He is a mama’s boy, and my greatest fear about him is that if something happens to me no one will take him in because of his willful ways.

What to do about my beloved problem child?



  1. Aww. Pets and their unconditional love. ♥♥♥

  2. Have his double living with us and incidentally, is also named Alexander. He never jumped us and was rough, but would scratch if he was in a bad mood. You never knew. But he is older now and he has mellowed. He rarely, if ever, scratches anymore..

    He also runs to the door when we come home. Our other two cats run and hide til they know it is us. He is daddy’s boy. He is also extremely intelligent, does things like grab your legs in the morning when he’s hungrey and you are still tired…knocks things off dressers, rips paper. Once, I wouldn’t get up and he peed on my shoes! He runs rings around the two younger ones. Can you tell, like you I have a beloved cat.

    and tell Binnie…lol… you aren’t trading him for a hamster!

    Hang in there.

    1. still me………

      crazy you can love an animal that pees on your shoes….guess that’s motherhood…….

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