Public Control and CatDom

He’s lucky he said that to me in public.

No, not lucky.  Intentional.  He knows that the likelyhood of me flipping my shit in public is almost nil.  In the 16+ years we’ve known each other it’s happened once and that was due to a health issue involved that pushed me over the edge.

And that was about 14 or so years ago.

Oh, I disagree with people, I sometimes but rarely get angry with people; but I keep control and deal with it in publicly acceptable tones.

He knows this, he used this.

We went to sushi (yes, we went out to eat together, we’re being as polite and amicable as I’m capable of right now) at a place where they know us from our going for the past 2 years now and then… so not only is it in public, but there are people who know me there.

We order, the owner/waitress walks away… and he looks directly across at me and asks, “are you taking me to New York with you?”.

I had a split-second of shock, then the disgust and anger started to build.  I ratcheted down the control on myself.  I knew he was doing this at that moment because he knew he was safe from my harsher responses in public, he knows what I told him less than a week ago about whether or not he’s coming to NYC with me or not, he and I both know that in asking that and in that tone that he’s trying to push and manipulate me into making a soft-hearted decision right then on having him come with me.

I breathed.  I fisted my hands and relaxed them repeatedly.  I kept my face from looking beyond regular-angry-person.

When ready, I made sure he knew that he wasn’t fucking with me.  I in a controlled but good-thing-we’re-in-public level of anger reminded him of what I told him were my terms less than a week ago, told him frankly and simply how I felt about where the responsibility in all this laid, made it clear that I knew he was using the safety of being public and trying to manipulate me.  I stayed firm and strong and my boundaries in place and through contained aggression made him admit what he was trying to pull.

That was handled.

He asked another question I felt we had settled.  I reassured him that it was very settled.

We moved on and my anger and my body tension went down a good bit.

Then we stopped over to Walmart to buy a new semi-cheap printer as ours died a while back and I was sick of going to the library to print things the past 2 weeks,  plus I needed a new heart rate and calories exercise monitor.

This was our first time out doing this there since the Big Reveal last week.  We usually step out of the car/truck, start walking  towards the store where we meet up side by side and one of us reaches for the other one’s hand when we get even to each other or a little before.  This, of course, didn’t happen this time.

Then, I have a long habit in such stores, and especially at this one as we’ve been living here for a couple years, of walking a bit behind him as he pushes the cart and watching his feet in his unlaced boots and his calves in his jeans as he walks and thinking how much I love how much bigger than me he is.  Feeling how that used to be so familiar and so happy for me every time…

…I burst out crying in the kitchen utensils aisle.

Chael noticed and stopped and said some things that I don’t believe he means.

I pulled myself together and we went on shopping.  It wasn’t a long outburst and not a lot of people around or anything… it was in a, thankfully, dead area.  But oh god.

Anger, kept in check, didn’t kill or rave in public.

But apparently bawling in the utensil aisle is on table.

rolls eyes

Anyhoo, we got the new monitor thingy and a printer, checked out.  On the ride out he asked if I wanted to do a drive-by on the big new HEB they are opening on the 1st right near Walmart, I said sure.  We cruised by and it looks pretty bad-ass.

Made our way home.

We had another exchange where I kept myself in check but my blood pressure built.  Nothing like the other night.  No, no, no.  But enough that I got a bit light-headed.

No lying I could catch him in.  He said things I know he’s lied about in the past and I don’t believe are true now… but I can’t prove they are lies.  So I had to leave it at “I’m not believing a word, it’s going to be ugly if/when I catch you in this, but I’m dropping it for now” status.

Again, moved on with our day.

I set up the new printer with a little of his help.  He’s bumming around the house out there while I’m here in my room doing my own thing.

Happy to have a functional printer again.  On doing our storage space the other night I found a big bunch of my doodles and stuff from over the years so I’m going to be scanning them a bit at a time to add to my art blog.  I’d thought I had lost all that and was pleased to have recovered it.  Oh, that may not make a lot of sense together… the printer is also a scanner.  The old one was, too, but the printer part didn’t work anymore.  I need the printer part for other things.  Ironically, the Social Security site doesn’t work on the library’s computer-printer system.  To get my proof of income letter and request form for a new card I have to do it elsewhere.  So, among other uses, home printer again.

I think I’ve discovered another way Jonesy has trained me to pet him on command.  I’ve randomly wondered about it on and off for years, but he’s done it a few times this week – the past three days, in fact.

Now, he’s always done the direct thing like nudges and such.  He also will walk up to you and start purring in advance to let you know he wants petted.  Okay, clear communication there, fair enough.

What have I put together as training?

Jonesy has a thing about eating plastic.  I have been dealing with this issue for his entire life.  Another 15 year thing.  He had to have surgery to get string and plastic out of his bowels once because they got twisted up from them and almost died.  I have tried the basic things that make sense like not having random plastic stuff easily in reach… like when coming in from the grocery I don’t set bag on the floor to unload them (because I *have* looked down at a sound and seen him chewing on one as I’m putting the groceries away).  We no longer line our bathroom trash can with plastic bags because he will eat them.

Things like that.

Then, as he was getting into cupboards to eat the plastic off things like the toiletpaper roll bundle I put child safety locks on all the lower cupboards.

This kept me out, didn’t keep him out.  I couldn’t get into the bathroom sink cupboard for the 3 or so months we had them on there without help.  I finally just took them off because I was sitting peeing one day, Jonesy walks in and in front of me pops the door I can’t get open, open… and starts eating the towelpaper bundle.

So, it’s been on for years.

With this kind of back story in place, I’ve become immediately and intensely aware of the Jonesy’s-chewing-plastic sound over the years.

Back to how he’s trained me and how I caught it this morning in particular…

…he tries to get me up when I’m sleeping to pet him quite often.  He does it a LOT in the mornings.  He’s been doing it a SUPER LOT this week.

The pattern:  Jonesy pushes, nudges, grabs, and purrs at me to get me to wake up and pet him a bit.  I do, then start ignoring him and fall back asleep.  This happens again.  And again.  Until I just ignore him and start rolling away from him.

Then I hear him chewing on plastic and immediately come awake and yell at/for him to make him stop.

He comes running, jumps on the bed, and I pet him a bit.  Then I go back to sleep.

Then I hear him chewing on plastic and immediately come awake and yell at/for him to make him stop.

He comes running, jumps on the bed, and I pet him a bit.  Then I go back to sleep.

This happened 6 times this morning until I gave up and got up.

And I went, “huh. hmmmmmm”.

Where is the plastic in this case?  I bought some odds and ends socks and whatnots a bit ago and instead of putting them all away as I should, this week I’ve been totally not productive basically as I’m just… well… let’s say not giving a fuck due to other life matters.  Clothing organization is far down the list of caring at the moment.  So, the shopping bag is hanging from my closet door by its handle.

I know Jonesy can reach it.  That’s 100% me being a bad owner and I fixed it.

But yeah.  Jonesy has been using my yelling at him to stop doing something that harms him to trick me into petting him more in the morning.

He is so in control of this house.

Jonesy has me trained.  He definitely has Chael trained, as I’ve talked about in the past…. oh, and as that started out with one of these a day:  soft food, catnip, brooming, or snacky-snacks, is now all of those each day plus extras of some of them.  On his demand.  From Chael.

And this week, from me to.

He looks and acts and seems like this skittish, somewhat needy, absolute sweetheart of a cat but he’s totally bending us to his will.


Well, Chael informs me there’s a Frasier marathon on the TV.  It’s one of the few sitcom sort of TV shows I like, it’s a favorite and I need regular funnies this week (was giggling my ass off to Delta Chat today, thanks Dixie for being a great target for all).  I’m going to go watch it for a while til I start getting sleepy.

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