While we all adore the little cat, he has proved to be an incredible Darwinian failure, not just for the multiple operations he's had, but his lack of skill in things that are basic to other cats and sometimes marvelous un-intelligence. Intelligence will vary in animals, and some can be quite cunning while others seem almost oblivious to the world around them. He's not one of the former, and while occasionally he just seems a little slow or skittish, at times he demonstrates his utter lack of survivability.
He regularly attacks himself, both his own feet and tail, especially when draped over the back of a chair, as if they were part of the chair and not himself. He often tries to leap at things, attack things, climb on things, or walk and run along things, all of which typically leads him to pain and misery, yet he continues anyway. He still tries to attack the rat, Aliviya, through her cage. This can't ever work, and it has and will continue only to end in failure and sometimes wounds, yet nothing can curb his enthusiasm. It isn't as though he's trying to eat her; he just wants a new toy.
Today I heard him crying from neoprofz's bedroom, which I realized could mean he'd trapped himself in there again. He sometimes walks into a room only to later attack the doorknob from the inside, closing him in the room. The last time this happened, he made a mess on the floor because there are no litter boxes in the bedrooms. Realizing he may already have used the bedroom as a toilet again, I ran to check on him. I don't know if he relieved himself there, since he was passing gas at the time, but more importantly he'd near killed himself on the new blinds installed by maintenance yesterday.
This apartment came with old-fashioned shades that roll at the top, and you pull them down to block light. They don't stock those any more, so the maintenance man—who was supposed to replace the shades in sweetbastet and tim_dodge's room, but instead replaced neoprofz's—used a large set of modern blinds with the adjustable panels and string to adjust the height. I imagine Vladimir was attacking those strings when he got all three of them wrapped around his neck and interlaced with his collar. In some sort of desperation, perhaps, he crawled between the panels of the blinds to get himself onto the window sill, where he cried and turned helplessly in a vain attempt to free himself.
Through several minutes of terrible effort, with Vlad crying, screaming, flailing and turning, I tried to unwind the cords from his neck, somehow trying to communicate to him that I was helping him and that his actions would only lead to his demise. Eventually I got him curled with his belly upward, as people often try to hold a cat, and soon afterward he couldn't distinguish my attempt to save his life from being petted. This still made things difficult, because he only understood where he wanted my hands to be, not where they should be to resolve the problem he'd forgotten by that point. Thankfully I'm good with knots, and I'm also pretty good at holding cats, so eventually he was free and I petted him into the hallway before closing the door behind me so this couldn't happen again, as I'm sure it would.
I opened the balcony door a bit, but not the screen, just to give him a bit of fresh air and enjoyment after his trauma, and also to keep him occupied and out of trouble for a while, as the outdoor world is often a great distraction for him. I couldn't help but think about how many ways this cat might have died were it not for an ever-present supply of numerous people that have put efforts into keeping him alive. I also can't help but think about how much that could apply to me if it weren't for the merits of my friends, family, and society as a whole, which has been supporting me with unemployment benefits and might later support me with medical assistance and the like.