I present you with Dog People. Predictably thrilled by a fetch or a “roll over,” they bore you at parties with tales of buried bones and chased squirrels and “we found him swimming in the pool!” How droll. These folks have dog hair on their tweedy sweaters and spend thousands of dollars on quilted canine rain gear with matching dogwater sippy cups. They will clap you on the back and call you “chap” with no warning. That really bothers me.
Dog people clearly love their adorable four-legged slaves. And we love them for that. Anyone who adores another creature is fabulous in our book. But dogs? Really?
And then there are, purr, Cat People. Like me. A secretive, paranoid type, we get our fashion advice from Ally Sheedy’s character in “The Breakfast Club,” and spend our afternoons secreting away slices of Swiss cheese and petit fours stolen from the local French bakery. The good life.
We are mysterious and highly intelligent. And we don’t just admire cats. We love them. We need their approval, we seek their attention, we are extremely pleased if they allow us to pet them. We really, really love cats. Here are some reasons why:
They are Entertaining
Anyone who has spent any time with a cat knows that they are high-larious. Give them a milk-jug ring and watch them scoot merrily around the house as if infected by an elfin brain worm. Point a laser light down the hallway and watch them bounce off the walls like furry, defective superballs. A cat will turn an insect problem into a nightly carnival act, and do completely irrational things, unapologetically and repeatedly, defying you not to laugh and join in. (Be careful.)
It’s got to be great for them. I mean, imagine being a cat. You’re just hanging around on the kitchen floor, and suddenly THE MOST EXCITING and DELICIOUS THING YOU’VE EVER SEEN flies by (moth) and you completely lose it. Really! Imagine if In-n-Out Burgers and Carvel Ice Cream just flew by without notice, wouldn’t you go a little wacky?
They Reject you and ask for Nothing, except THIS, NOW.
Compared to dogs, cats are really low-maintenance. They don’t need much from you. They don’t get any of their self-esteem from you. You get yours from them, but that’s between you and your psychologist. Anyway, they only really want food and an occasional game of “claw something tender” to be happy. They aren’t interested in what you have to say. Compare that to dogs, who need your advice and guidance on everything.
Cats disregard your opinion and ignore your wishes, and they hate your clothes. Do not ever ask a cat if you look “fat in these pants,” because they will always say yes. But in a way that makes us love them even more. Any successful playboy will tell you the best way to pick up and keep beautiful women interested is to pretend that they are unattractive to you. These guys definitely learned this trick from cats. I have personal experience with this—being rejected by a cat is the single most motivating thing that can happen to a person. It makes you really, really want them.
They Make Delightful Noises
Purr, Meow, Mmmrl, Chatter, Mrrr, Maww, Mgaw Mgaw, Trill, Fancy Meow, Growl, Hiss, Purr, Mowow, Yowl, Meep, Gurble, Waaa, Purrrrrrrrr. ‘Nuff said.
They Take Care of Vermin. Or At Least Tell You Where it is.
Okay, disclaimer, not all cats want to eat mice and spiders. Many of them do, but not all. In fact, I would say that there are five basic types of cats where this is concerned: 1) Kill and Eat Everything – These cats live to kill and do a good job of it. They eat almost all of their victims, leaving only the odd leg or tail or giblet for unsuspecting toes to find late at night. 2) Torture and Leave to Die – These are perhaps the most reprehensible of all cats, as they seem to hunt for sport and they don’t eat their prey. It’s a lifestyle thing for them. Cut them a break, though, for they would probably eat that mouse if there wasn’t such a ready supply of the succulent Fancy Feast nearby. Variation number 3) Watch and Act Tough but Do Nothing – these are arrogant cats who use mice and spiders for their entertainment value only. 4) Make Friends With Your Enemies – these cats are traitors, cuddling with whatever parakeet or hamster or iguana happens to be nearby. Again, give them some space, it’s clear you aren’t taking care of your cat’s needs. 5) Asleep – these cats are asleep.
They Love the Crap Out of You, Even If They Show it in a Weird Way
There’s an old comic strip that shows the difference between cats and dogs. Do you kids know what a comic strip is? Anyway, first in the comic strip, we see a dog who is mourning the loss of his human boss. The dog won’t eat or sleep and stares out the window all day, crying. We next see a cat happily playing with the toe-tag on his dead human as he is being carried away by the coroner. Scarily accurate.
But do not despair. Kitty loves you. How do you know? Because he is with you. Unless you have a cat chained down, he can escape. But he chooses to stay. This is your proof.
Lastly, The Litter Box and Cat Bed
It’s a fact that you can bring home a kitten or cat and basically just show them where the litterbox and cat bed are, and they will take it from there. They know what to do. I remember when we fostered a couple of puppies (temporary insanity) and, I kid you not, they couldn’t do anything. We had to tell the dummies when to sleep, when to get up, when to eat, when to poop, where to poop. It was exhausting.
Not only does your cat not need you to tell them what to do, they don’t want you involved. If you happen to walk in on your cat when he is using the litterbox, he will pretend he can’t see you and then run out as fast as possible as soon as he is done, sending a spray of litter onto your feet as a warning for the next time. I Poop in Private.