My cat has an interesting habit.  Well, actually he has several interesting habits, but there’s only one that I’m concerning myself with at this particular point in time.  Sometimes, he’ll bother me by walking up to where I’m sitting at the computer, sitting down, and meowing at me.   (That’s not the habit in question, I’m leading up to it.)  Sometimes I’ll pet him.  Sometimes I’ll ignore him completely.  Sometimes I’ll tell him to go away.  Usually, he won’t meow again until I look down to see if he’s still sitting there.  Looking at him prompts the meow.  All of this is, of course, not out of the ordinary.  What is, though, is that sometimes when I try to pet him when he’s obviously trying to get my attention, is that he’ll refuse to be petted and try to bit me.  There are times where I’ll even pick him up and put him on the bed, basically just to get him away from me, and he will proceed to try to attack me as I turn around to leave him behind.  During this time, his tail will be moving much more rapidly than normal, his head will be tilted to the side, and his eyes will be open wide.  In other words, he’s pissed.  This usually results in my slapping him on the side of the head and telling him to knock it off.  Here’s the interesting part, and I’ve tested this out just now:  I took him over to the bed, and I sat beside the bed with my arms on the bed.  He walked up, sniffed one of my arms, and then bit it.  As he bit my arm, he winced and his entire body flinched as if he were going to run away.  He was expecting retribution from this action.  He knows he’s hurting me, and knows that I’m thus going to react to it either by yelling at him or slapping him on the side of the head.  So either the cat is a sadist and wants to hurt himself, or getting my attention is worth more to him than pissing me off.  If I had to take a guess on which on it was, I would vote for the latter because he obviously has an escape route planned out given the flinch of his body.  A sadist doesn’t plan on aborting his mission if the retiribution proves to be too severe. 


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