“Isn’t it lucky that cats have two little holes in their fur just where their eyes go.”
– Victor Lewis Smith
I genuinely feel quite sad for those people out there who have never made friends with a cat; who have never felt the unique peace of laying their ear against a perplexed-looking kitty’s chest and listening to the perfect contentment resonating from a deep purr.
Even some people that have cats (although, that’s technically incorrect, as it’s well known that cats ‘have’ humans, and not the other way around) don’t take the time to experience the bond that could be. To them, their moggies are reluctantly fed and shooed out of the way – just another peripheral to family life, like the saucepan set and garden furniture.
I love dogs, too, but with their lanky legs, easy excitability and over-enthusiasm, they’re buffoons all of the time. Cats are graceful, elegant, cunning and only buffoons some of the time.
It’s a curious relationship we have with our pussos, and odd that we weave our lives around them so willingly. Some say this is due to mind-control, but I think it’s actually down to love.
They make even the clearest headed and most sensible person act like they have serious psychological problems. It’s like all that crazy talk and speaking in tongues, from both women and men, when their child is born. Upon meeting a kitten for the first time, it’s etiquette to talk to it in a very silly voice… and it’s a voice that stays with you for all your days together, unlike with human children, unless you’re a very, very patronising parent. I talk in different voices to all three of my cats. I just want to point out that I’m not mental – this is a cat thing.
Cats are known for their love of comfort, warmth and Sunlight, yet how many of us self-proclaimed ‘cat lovers’ have delighted in dropping our worried kitty into a foot of snow, just to see how they’d react? That’s not very nice, really, but we’ll be doing the same the next time there’s heavy snow.
Likewise, in a bath, with kitty at one end and the water creeping up toward them, waiting to see how close it can get before the cat decides enough is enough and take a hike.
Why can’t I walk in a straight line up the stairs without the cat trying to trip me up? And how come, most often, cats stroll lazily around, yet they seem insistent on running up stairs?
Why is it, when I make a mug of coffee and carry it back to my room, that the cat insists on walking directly below the steaming, hurty hotness?
What is it that makes cats think that it’s fine for them to scratch the bathroom door and barge in to watch you on the toilet, when if you watch a cat doing the same, they give you a look that lets you know you’ve temporarily become their enemy?
I shouldn’t need to be a champion Twister player to get into my own bed. I guess it would be easier if I were to shoo them off and not clamber around them, but for some reason, I’ve never tried that out. Mind control?
And there are times when they really spook you out, especially in the middle of the night. I went down for a coffee in the early hours of one morning and Orion, my big, fluffy, black cat, quickly ran down the stairs, skidded in front of me, looked at me with ears back and mystery in his eyes, then turned tail and hurtled straight back upstairs. He never explained why.
Particularly freaky is when they go stock still and look intently at something… that isn’t there… and you conclude you have a ghost in the house that only kitty can see – but kitty’s just doing it to mess with our minds. There is no ghost!
When human babies grow up, they become different and rubbisher, but dangle a string in front of a cat of any age and you have your kitten back, for a moment. Not even the grumpiest and non-compliant of our kitty friends can resist the wrigglies!
There’s nothing like a friendly head-butt from a happy cat, or a chilled-out snuggle on the bed, both just watching things and going nowhere in particular for a while.
I guess that’s why cats seem the more popular companion for writers. They’re happy to sit on the desk beside you and be stroked now and again; they’re rarely in a hurry, whereas a dog wants you to take it on a walk and throw things for it.
Anyone who can say ‘just a cat’ and mean it misses out on one of the greatest joys of life: real friendship and love that has no conditions attached.