Please can I come back as a cat?
Curled up in a tight ball of fluff at the foot of my bed there lies a wee furry nightmare, peacefully dreaming about sleeping somewhere cosy (no doubt the same place where she’s having a catnap as I write this!) If it isn’t for a twitch of the left leg or a muffled snore hidden beneath her tail I’d be alarmed that her coma was something far more serious but, as I make a sudden jerking movement with my body, she glances up at me with a look of disgust as I appear to have woken her from her deep slumber. Giving me evils, I soon begin to realise the amount of trepidation one experiences after waking the ‘beast’ so, in unison, we both decide that it’s best to lower our heads and return to our interrupted activities – me working and her snoozing. To some extent this is the most a cat has to worry about in their short-lived lives. While men and women from all four corners of the world work tirelessly, day and night carrying the unwanted burdens on their already slumping shoulders, you can put your mortgage on that the majority of our feline friends are somewhere warm having a pleasant nap; recharging their batteries for yet another day of doing absolutely nothing.
“Surely they must get bored!” I hear the envious cry yet, having resided with these hirsute animals for my entire life (nearly 18 years now), I can assure you that there is never a dull moment in the life of a cat. The word boredom is not even a word that features in cats’ vocabulary (ok, if we’re being picky then yes I’m sure there are very few words that do…) since there’s always something to occupy their easily pleased minds. If they’re not coiled up on my lap, or more annoyingly in my seat, then an afternoon’s glance outside the window seems logical; sitting elegantly poised at the patio doors with the only movement coming from a curious neck as birds fly back and forth to my fat balls (ey up…don’t be crude now). “Shall I stay indoors and look at these winged-toys or go outside to greet them?” she might ponder, before taking nearly 30 minutes to make her decision that, yes, she does want to be let out. Anyone with a cat will tell you that they really do treat their homes like a hotel! If you don’t want anything to do with them, they definitely don’t want anything to do with you – in fact, there’s always a welcoming conservatory round the street corner for them to sneak a sleep in.
Dogs come when they’re called; cats take a message and get back to you later – Mary Bly
You see, the wonderful thing about a cat’s life is that, although they are seemingly independent creatures, they rely heavily on their owners – well, maybe owners isn’t the right word… more feeders. Sat in the kitchen she’ll wait and with a hopeful glance over her shoulder accompanied by a pitiful meow, I fully understand that it’s my duty to feed her but, what I can’t comprehend is how, even with a full bowl of the ol’ Whiskers (other cat food brands are available by the way) she won’t wolf it down. I mean, I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve had to physically pick up my cat and direct her nose within 2mm of the bowl brimful with food! Is she blind or just picky? Of course not. She knows exactly what she’s doing – all cats know what they’re doing. Being so charmingly manipulative, they’ll get what they want, when they want, even if it’s a slight adjustment to the position of your legs to create a steady platform for another nap. Not only that but since when did my food become her food? I haven’t eaten custard in months for fear of being watched by the cream-predator that precariously perches on the arm of my chair. “Begone!” I’ll cry… she stays. Unstirred by my protests she proceeds in watching my every spoon-to-mouth motions as I try to eat my pudding in peace. Yet, for some strange reason I give in to her soupy eyes and, before I’ve even had chance to put the bowl down she’s licked it clean!
Cats are kindly masters, just as long as you remember your place – Paul Gray
If only my life was like this – waking up in the middle of the afternoon and begging someone to give you some food to eat… oh wait, isn’t that what mums are for? Ah but there’s a difference. You see, my worries, and indeed mankind’s worries, go a little further than a cat’s. Whereas sleeping, eating and manipulating appear to be all that a cat is concerned with, we have other (more important?) things to think about. Ensconced in their thrones, high in a snoozing heaven while they watch their servile minions run around them with unwavering adoration, a cat’s life certainly is a good life.
So when the time comes (touch wood not too soon), I hope to be reincarnated as a cat – so long as my feeders aren’t too stingy and the sofas not too uncomfortable.