Doesn’t it sometimes seem that we are busy ALL the time? That we keep on stacking up things we feel we must get to until we are fairly tottering under a load of SIFIMD (Stuff I Feel I Must Do)? When a stray five minutes happens, do we take the time to breathe and say, ‘wow–five minutes all to myself!’ I know I don’t do it enough.
However, our three cats have ways of reminding me to keep things simple. For example, my boy Pookie, loves to stretch himself out on my desk right between the computer and the keyboard. When I reach for the mouse, he rubs his head on my fingers, knowing that I’ll feel better if I pat him. How does he know these things? No matter how busy I think I am, this always makes me laugh–and slow down.
When I think that I just have to do this, that or the other thing, Nala, our girl kitty, will inevitably wind herself winsomely around my ankles to butter me up for a few treats. (It works every time, BTW!) This, too, makes me slow down.
I feel I must change the sheets every two weeks, and I swear the cats know the schedule. Should I try to do it sooner, Plumpy-Nut, our indoor/outdoor male, will have chosen that time to stretch his considerable bulk sideways across the bed. He looks at me with those piercing green eyes and seems to say, ‘now, you’re not going to upset my after-breakfast nap, are you?’ So I put it off for another day.
When the Crankee Yankee and I are in the living room in our respective chairs, all three of them usually are in there with us. If something happens that they don’t like; such as the Crankee Yankee’s penchant for loud, noisy and argumentative news anchors on TV, or me reading a book instead of paying attention to them–at least one of them will do something to distract us. Plumpy has no shame; he hops up on the Crankee Yankee’s chair, spreads himself out on his lap, and drapes his big fluffy tail over the remote. Cute and clever. Or Nala and Pookie will have one of their ‘pay attention to me’ play-fights (what we call ‘whappity-whappity fights’ because all they do make fake slaps at each other).
As we know, cats are crepuscular (meaning that they are active at twilight and often beyond). So just because we, the humans, have gone to bed doesn’t mean that the cats are ready to bed down yet (seeing that they usually sleep all day anyway). So often as I am settling into sleep, I’ll hear Pookie meowing his ‘come see what I’ve got’ cry–which, by the way, gets louder and more repetitive until I get up. There he’ll be, holding one of his toy mice in his mouth, looking for praise for saving us from such an evil creature. I pat him and exclaim, “good boy, Pooks! Did you catch that mouse all by yourself?” I swear he winks a “yup” at me before he trots off, satisfied that he has once again saved his family from disaster.
Nala likes to sleep right next to the Crankee Yankee at night, and cuddles up to his back, neck or her favorite–curled up around his head. Our bed butts up against a window looking out at the back yard, and since I love a cool breeze at night, it’s always open. The Crankee Yankee says that his head gets cold at night because of this, but not to worry–Nala’s got that covered–she’s a night-time night cap for him.
So, does this mean that cats actually are smarter than we are? Absolutely. In fact, if an alien to this world watched our daily lives with our cats, he would say, “Wow–those furry creatures must be gods! See how the humans feed and tend to them, and how tenderly they treat them? Why, they even clean up their waste for them! They MUST be gods!”
You think the cats don’t know this? Of course they do–in their very DNA, they know that the Egyptians once revered them as gods, and they have never forgotten this. In fact, all our three show the appropriate haughtiness and attitudes of the gods and goddesses that they are.
Sigh….more evidence to show that cats have always felt that we are merely staff.