I have noticed that when a woman has her first baby she tends to view her child as a miracle who is obviously doing things that no other child has ever done. Well, now I have a pet for the first time in about 12 years and I feel like I am exhibiting the same behavior as a new mother. Please indulge my fascination with my cat.
In the month that has passed since I took in an injured stray cat I have learned a lot about her. I’ve also been reminded of what prima donna’s cats can be. As I was cleaning her litter box this morning I started thinking about what a sweet life a domestic feline has.
- No one ever really “owns” a cat.
Ownership would mean that the cat can be directed to do what the “owner” asks. A cat doesn’t do anything unless it really wants to. It deigns to allow a human to wait on them hand and foot, or to be more specific, paw and paw. In exchange for gracing me with her presence, I take care of all the cat’s needs, wants and desires. I think that tells you which one of us holds the lower ranking in the household.
- Other people clean up their messes.
Every morning when I get up the first thing I do is feed and water the cat. Next I get to clean her litter box. I have tried to take care of my own needs first, but it just isn’t worth it to me to listen to her kvetch at me for not taking care of her first. If I have the audacity to try and fix my breakfast before I’ve taken care of the cat, I get serenaded in the key of really pissed off the whole time I’m in the kitchen.
- Cats get to lick themselves wherever and whenever they want.
I eat my breakfast in the living room, where I can watch TV while I eat. Once I am done eating, I will lay the plate on the floor for the cat to help herself to anything that is left. After she has finished with my plate she returns to the ottoman and proceeds to thoroughly lick herself while I attempt to work. She could care less if another sentient being is in her presence, she licks herself like it’s her life’s mission. I sometimes feel a little like an unintended cat voyeur. Okay, let’s be honest, a jealous voyeur.
- When cats want attention, they demand it and usually get it
At night, before I can lay down to rest, I play with the cat in a feeble attempt to wear her out for the night. If I don’t entertain her sufficiently, she chooses to entertain herself in the middle of the night. One of the things she finds highly amusing is attacking my feet and legs. This is even more entertaining if I am sound asleep when the guerilla warfare begins.
- When cats want to be left alone they demand it and usually get it
The cat decides when she wants to interact. Much like Greta Garbo, sometimes she just wants to be left alone. Her preferred hiding places are under the bed or lying on one of the dining room chairs. On the rare occasions when I need to find her, she is not amused at being found.
- Cats sleep 50% of the day.
Teenagers seem to be the only other semi-domesticated species that need this much sleep. While my cat certainly has her moments of frenetic movement, usually when I’m trying to sleep, most of the time she stretches out and sleeps anywhere that looks marginally comfortable. When I first brought her home, she would not venture out from under the bed. After a month, the only place I haven’t found her sleeping is on top of the dining room chandelier. I’m sure it’s just a matter of time for her to figure out how comfortable that must be.
- The ancient Egyptians considered cats to be sacred and no cat on earth can be convinced this is not still true.
I have never met a cat who was not sure that the world revolved around them. They feel like it’s their God-given right to poke their noses into anything that interests them. If, by chance, you attempt to focus on anything besides the cat, they will step right into whatever you’re doing and demand your attention. Is there a cat owner in the world who has not had the cat lay on the keyboard when the owner is attempting to work?
- Cats never need someone taller to reach things for them.
Cats seem to be able to leap anywhere they choose. Sugar jumps from the floor to any higher surface with grace. It seems she has springs in her feet to transport her upward. The only part of my home she can’t jump up to is the kitchen window. I have a cart with kitchen electronics on it in front of that particular window. One day, though, I walked into the kitchen to find the cat climbing up the side of the cart. She looked like all she needed was a rope and carabiners and she’d be set.
- Even on the rare occasion when they’re clumsy, cats are graceful about it.
I have on multiple occasions watched Sugar roll over when lying on a piece of furniture and fall off. She, being a cat, always lands on her feet. She pops back up and strolls off like that’s what she meant to do. Maybe I should have little score cards made so I can judge her landing.
- No one can tell a cat what to do.
The rest of us all seem to have bosses or significant others who we need to try and keep happy. As a result, these important people in our lives have the right to make suggestions on how we conduct our lives. It is just a fact of life for humans. A cat on the other hand, could not care less what suggestions you have; they will do whatever they damn well please. If what pleases them pleases you, then everybody’s happy. If not, oh well.
I am glad to have the cat in my life. There is something nice about being able to say, “Hi Sugar, I’m home,” when I enter my apartment. I am sure that some days she even notices I’m there. After all, every cat needs someone to take care of their wants and needs. It just needs to be on their schedule.