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Bad Kitty!

Behind every mischievous scenario is a feline that loves unconditionally.

Few things sound as ridiculous as a human being sternly saying “Bad kitty!” to a cat who has just done something awful. Probably because cats just blink at you and never actually believe they’ve done anything wrong.

My cat, Pearl, is the reason I can’t do jigsaw puzzles anymore. It’s hard to put together an idyllic 1,000-piece farm scene when a little black paw keeps flashing up and scooping pieces off the table. (“Honey? Why are there pieces of rustic red barn under the bed?”)

Bad kitty!

You can’t cook or eat in my house without a visit from Catillac, who is an accomplished chicken thief. Only yesterday, she realized that she could jump from the back of the couch onto the kitchen island, where I was—yikes!—cutting up raw chicken for a casserole.

Very bad kitty!

And don’t get me started on Harley, the true “bad boy” of the family. (Maybe it’s the name!) When he’s not poised beneath the bird feeder, waiting to pounce on sparrows, he’s scrambling through the treetops or fluffed up in full attack mode, hissing at the neighbors’ Shih Tzu. Lately he’s gotten fond of biting me awake in the wee hours of the morning, gnawing on my fingers till I wake up and pour food into his dish. At least once a day he’ll take a flying leap from the office windowsill onto my shoulders while I’m working.

Yow! Bad kitty!

So, how is it possible we love these creatures who never accept blame, never apologize, and are almost sure to get into more mischief five minutes after the lecture ends?

Probably because they love us back. In their own way, on their own schedule, and sometimes with teeth and claws. But behind every “bad kitty” is a purring, nuzzling little angel who can melt your heart in a moment.

How does your cat drive you crazy? Comment below!

—Allison Ruffing

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