|Photo by Felinest|
A friend, knowing that I have a cat and have a long history with cats, asked me this week if I thought she and her family should get a cat.
Here is my response.
* * *
No, darling. I would not recommend inviting the spawn of Satan into your home. There is a reason cats possess the slitty-pupiled eyes of reptiles. It is because they are the cold-blooded and Machiavellian cousins of such creatures as crocodiles, alligators, and Komodo dragons, but with less gentleness, goodwill, and sense of charity.
Cats are descended from dinosaurs; they survived their bloodthirsty predecessors by evolving fur, the ability to purr, and the entirely manipulative big-eyed kitten look made famous by DreamWorks’ Puss-in-Boots. They weaseled their way into the caves of the Neanderthals and then stuck out their tongues and middle claws at their dinosaur relatives outside who savaged each other to death while choking on asteroid dust.
Okay, I haven’t actually studied the prehistoric timeline in detail, but I’m pretty sure it went something like that.
Cats would kill us all if they had opposable thumbs. The only reason they let us live is because they lack the ability to open the door and let themselves out. Cats know that if they slash their people’s jugulars in the night they themselves will perish in famine and waste, trapped forever in a dwelling whose refrigerator, can opener, and exit platforms all require prehensile digits to operate.
You asked me if cats can be trained to stay off the furniture and countertops.
Thank you for that, friend. I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard and so long that I actually peed myself.
In my experience, cats can be trained to do nothing. NOTHING. As in, Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.
Some people argue that cat-training fails because cats are stupider than dogs.
Oh, no they are not.
Cats are disturbingly brilliant. And they are as self-serving as the sociopathic lovechildren of Jeffrey Dahmer and Ayn Rand. Cats will do nothing unless they want to do it, and unless the thought of doing it originated with them, and unless it is exactly the opposite of what you want them to do.
Did you just think, “Then I’ll use reverse psychology to train my cat”?
Your cat already knows. Unborn, inside the womb of its treacherous and conscience-less mother, the cat to whom you will subject your home and family has already sensed your plans and is strategizing their defeat with greater complexity and forethought than Garry Kasparov working his bishops and knights and pawns toward an international chess championship.
The only salient, defensible, and rational reason to introduce a cat into your home is if your home is presently infested with mice.
Which brings me to another cat-myth I must refute for you.
Cats will occasionally bring you their kills, or a portion thereof. There’s nothing quite like a mouse leg lying on the floor beside your bed first thing in the morning. Especially if your eyesight sans-contacts rivals Mr. Magoo’s, and you have to squat down, nose to the bloody, bone-bared limb in order to see what it is.
But this is neither a generous nor a sociable act on the part of your cat.
“She’s trying to contribute to the household,” one friend pled when her cat brought an eviscerated rabbit to the back door.
“He wants to share; he’s trying to feed me,” said another duped cat-enabler.
“Kitty is so proud of her hunting prowess!” claimed someone else.
Right. Don’t kid yourself.
What the cat is saying, when he lays a carcass at your feet, is “I could do this to you. Right now. Do you see that of which I am capable? Fear me, pathetic human with flat, rounded, useless claws, and blunt, milk-baby teeth. You are still alive only because I allow you to be so. Now open that can of Friskies before I change my mind and disembowel you like the foul, sewer-dwelling rat you are.”
I beg you, friend. For your own good, turn back now from the cat-seeking path you are on. It leads to no good. The cat will fur your furniture, your family, and your food. It will devour your plants, then barf them into your shoes. It will shred your sofa, your sweaters, and your sanity. When you are laboring in vain to extract from your carpets the urine it utilized to punish you for your unknown sins against it, you will remember my words and cry, “Why did I not listen to my wise friend?”
If you really need a pet, get a pig. Because if a pig behaves badly, there’s something you can do about it.
But my friend, there ain’t no bacon on a cat.
(Unless you've been duped by cats and you hate me now.)