Photo of Mr Bumpy, a thin, elderly, black and white cat. Caption reads: "I usually enjoy being a jerk."

Jerk by Mr Bumpy Cat

I usually enjoy being a jerk, or doing the things that the humans call me a jerk for doing. I like coming downstairs to visit, and biting Fanta’s ear, stealing Princess’ food and using Princess’ litter tray as soon as it’s changed.

Whenever I do those things, the humans call me a “jerk”.

Well, last week, I learned another meaning for the word “jerk” and I didn’t like it.

It started on the Sunday night. I was minding my own business, when my body just started doing things on its own. I was jerking uncontrollably, and then I was dazed for a while afterwards. The humans called it a seizure. I had several of those awful things on the Sunday night.

First thing on Monday, the humans called the vet, and made an appointment to take me in. Throughout Monday, up until my appointment time, I had a few more seizures, and I really hated all the jerking and shaking.

The vet did all the usual things. He felt around my tummy and neck and everywhere else, and said I had some muscle wastage, and he did that awful thing with the thermometer. Then it got even worse! He took a blood test!

I came home unhappy and shaking. It was all too much and I had more seizures that night.

Then it all stopped. Just as suddenly as it started, it stopped. I had no more seizures.

A couple of days later the vet told the humans that my tests didn’t show anything at all, except that my thyroid medicine is still working fairly well. Since I stopped having seizures, I don’t need any seizure medicine.

The humans are all confused, and saying things like: “Well, it’s Bumpy, so we shouldn’t expect it to make sense.” They’re giving me extra of my favourite foods.

The sad thing is, I’m never allowed to go outside again. I’m an inside cat like Princess now. The humans are afraid I might have a seizure on the road or something, if I went out.

Now when I ask to go out, if I’m downstairs, the downstairs human will just open the door to upstairs and tell me I can go home instead. If I’m upstairs and ask to go out, my human will open the door for me to go downstairs and visit Fanta, Princess and the downstairs human. Neither of them will open the outside door, at all. They tell me this is part of being a retired cat. I’m only 16, I’m not ready to retire!

So, while I still like being a jerk, when I get to be mean to Princess and Fanta, I don’t like being a jerk when it’s my whole body jerking all over the place. I’m glad that’s stopped. If you want me, I’ll be relaxing inside, eating all my favourite foods.

Photo of Mr Bumpy, a black and white short-haired cat, with a cup of coffee.

Mr Bumpy Cat, SFO

Mr Bumpy’s origin story takes place in the deep depths of pre-history, when a cute black and white kitten selected a child at the pet shop. When Bumpy refused to let go, the child’s mother had no choice but to pay to buy him. Once in the family home, Bumpy immediately took control as Supreme Feline Overlord of the whole house. Humans and animals were forced to bend to his will. While he is ancient cat now, he still rules the household, iron claw in velvet paw. He is retired, after a ten-year career as a bloggercat.

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By Iris Carden

Iris Carden is an Australian indie author, mother, grandmother, and chronic illness patient. On good days, she writes. Because of the unpredictability of her health, she writes on an indie basis, not trying to meet deadlines. She lives on a disability support pension now, but her ultimate dream is to earn her own living from her writing.


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