“Fractious” is a well-worn adjective around the clinic, especially when referring to cats. Most cats come in calm, cool, collected, but become fractious as they get poked, prodded, and inspected. To be expected, I suppose. I wouldn’t like it either, especially if I didn’t understand the purpose of it all. I was asked to get Tommy out of the kennel; we were going to clean his teeth. Tommy showed them to me as I opened the kennel door; his fangs stopped me in my tracks. When I reached in again, he hissed, spat at me. Spat, as if he could obliterate my presence with his saliva. He had been tolerant that morning, but his patience had worn thin. Now, he’d just as soon sink his claws into me as to look at me. And he tried sinking his claws, but into other people. The specialists trained to handle such fractiousness.