This is the story of why George, the odd-eyed tuxedo cat with the personality of a perpetual mischievous toddler, deserves to be crowned King of the #Unfug. That’s a German word for mischief, but when it comes to George it can be malicious mischief.

Selfie as he was trying to knock a tablet out of my hand

From his very first day in this house, he has worked hard to break things or at the very least, cause a lot of noise or mess, and create a flurry of human activity needed because of a clean up so no animals (or people) get hurt. His first casualty was a drinking glass that was *gasp* sitting on the table. Where else does it go, I ask?

Since that first day, George has created an impressive tally of mischief and destruction. He loves to break electronics; it seems to be a favourite of his. So far he’s caused the breaking of three glass tablet screens, a 17" laptop and an alarm clock. Lamps are another favourite. His number there is four or five, depending whether or not you count him re-breaking a lamp he’d previously broken and that had been repaired.

All drinking glasses in this house have been replaced with plastic ones. He still knocks them over, especially if they have something in them. Water, booze, juice — he doesn’t care. It makes a mess and that’s what he likes. Or possibly he likes the reaction to the mess? Not sure. Twice he’s shown his ability to read. I have (had) animal mugs. One said meow, another said bow wow, a third said baaa and so on. When the cat and dog one were sitting on the table, he knocked the dog one to the floor and left the cat one unscathed. Similarly, I had a mug that said “When I Die The Dog Gets Everything” and it met the same fate as the bow wow mug.

To bust the large laptop, picture this. I am sitting at the kitchen table with my back to the worktops and windows. George sneaks up behind me and jumps from the counter to the table, landing on the 17" screen, snapping it back and demolishing the power socket. He was really pleased with himself that day. He sat beside the decimated laptop with his tail casually wrapped around his paws as he stared me down.

Figuring out how to reverse-engineer this lamp. He broke it the next day.

George is also a thief. He loves to steal little things in the night and either put them in his secret stash (under the guest room bed) or drop them here and there around the house. I am always finding stray paintbrushes. Speaking of paint brushes and the paintings on which they are used, George loves to walk through wet paint, messing up a painting and leaving paint footprints across the table where I work. Yesterday I had four paintings in the development stage and was working on all of them. I had to use the bathroom, and he was nowhere to be seen so I hurried.

By the time I came out barely a minute later, he’d walked across the paintings drying on the table. He messed one up very badly, another a little bit, and seemed to have missed the other two. I guess he wasn’t on his top game yesterday.

He loves stealing paintbrushes and wrecking paintings in progress.

When I am asleep, but George doesn’t think I should be, he starts knocking things from the night table beside my bed. That’s how he killed my alarm clock. I haven’t bothered replacing it because the next one will get broken too. I have resorted to having an early-riser girlfriend call me with a wakeup call if I need to be somewhere at a certain time.

So what do you do with a cat who steals things, breaks things, knocks things over and is generally destructive? Well, you have to laugh. After I got used to his ways and thwarted his nefarious tendencies as best I could, all I could do was laugh. They’re only things, right?

The most destructive thing he has done (and it’s kind of embarrassing) will end up costing me about $4,000. As a teen, I was in a car accident (days before mandatory seatbelts or invention of airbags) and my front teeth were smashed. As a result, I had to get a “bridge” made that hooks up on back teeth and makes my teeth look normal. As in, I have them. Well, one night this thing was bothering me (turns out I had an infection so no wonder) and I took it out and laid it on the night stand.

In the morning it was missing. OH NO!! Where did George hide it? I ran for his stash. No joy. I went out to the kitchen and there it was, smashed to smithereens on the floor. He had taken it up to his nest on top of the two-metre high refrigerator freezer, and dropped it down to shatter the ceramic teeth on the hardwood floor. I’m still in the process of getting that all sorted out and fixed for other reasons unrelated to the damage but it’s gonna cost. Even if my insurance covers the 50% I think it will, I’ll still be out more than $2,000. When I rushed to the dentist that morning, he found the infection and other issues under the gumline that need resolution first. So did George really do me a “favour” by breaking that dental gadget? Personally, I say NO but others have pointed out that he somehow “knew” and was prodding me along to the dentist. Nope. Don’t buy it.

So the cumulation of destruction he’s left in his wake, and especially that last bit of “mischief” is why I think George should be named King of the Unfugs. Who knows what he’ll get into next.

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Next time: The procedure for adopting an animal from a shelter. #AdoptDontShop.

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