Perhaps I shouldn't have trusted him. I mean, he's a young, powerful, large, muscular cat and I don't really know him. Risky behaviour with humans is one thing; we're the same species, we think we can read their expressions and judge their actions. But even if one is an experienced cat owner, there's always one. In this case, it's Charlie.
Since we've been feeding him and letting him sleep in the house, which is about two months now, he has seemed an affectionate fellow. When he spots me outdoors on the path, he rushes over and rolls over in submissive pose. Indoors, he rubs round my ankles and gets into kitten-paw-kneading excitement when I stroke him. So what went wrong last night?
It was eleven-ish and I was heading off to bed, but I stopped by the kitchen to make sure there were biscuits in the cat saucer. Flad was asleep in the lounge - dear, gentle Flad whose furry tummy I rub my face on and who never lifts a sharp paw my way. Charlie was in his bed on the floor by the patio doors. He looked up and chirruped when I came in. I bent down and stroked him. He got out of bed and sat in front of me, still purring. I crouched and stroked him some more, talking gently to him, telling him what a lovely boy he was. Suddenly - BANG! Something exploded in my head. My ears were ringing and stinging. One was dripping blood. I reeled, not knowing what had happened. I had a vague memory of a rush of ginger fur. Like a coiled spring, Charlie had leaped up from a sitting position and boxed my ears with his big, strong paws. Clap! Just like that. And now he was sitting gazing at me like nothing had happened.
I was shaken and it took me ages to get to sleep, my ear covered in disinfectant. I woke in the night and lay for two sleepless hours, still shocked, still trying to work it out. I have never known a cat do anything like that before. It was utterly unprovoked. One moment he was purring and the next, behaving like a Mad March Hare. I believe he must have had his claws sheathed or there would have been multiple lacerations. He must have just caught me with the tip of a claw. But imagine if I hadn't worn glasses and he had scratched my eyes? He could have blinded me.
Maybe it was the sight of my hair swinging that had made him want to bat it with his paws. Perhaps he was just being playful. But he hit me hard, a perfect strike, both paws clouting me simultaneously and I realised what a poor little mouse or bird must feel when a cat pounces to deal a death blow. Can anyone explain it? Has anyone else ever had their ears boxed by a cat? I'm not sure I can live with him after this. I had plans to adopt him when/if I moved, but I'm quite scared of him now. He's like a teenage hooligan, feral and unpredictable. Maybe I should call the RSPCA and get him re-homed. What do you think?
1 week ago