Cats by nature are uncomplicated. They come with all the basic features:
- four legs and a tail (or not)
- eyes that can see well in the dark
- ears that turn like radar dishes for sounds that we can’t hear
- whiskers that define how wide a space a cat can get into
- all the standard internal gadgets
- a vast curiosity
- an affinity for small animals, birds and bugs to chase and catch (and often, eat)
- a melodious purr, meow, chirp, growl, trill, wheeze, etc.
- an attuned sense of entitlement
There’s more, of course, but these are the regular bits. Beyond that, cats form loyalties according to their own system of likes/dislikes. They can be couch clawers, toilet paper unravelers, curtain climbers, snack stealers, counter jumpers, bed hogs and comforters.
Cats do not pretend to be anything but themselves; they instinctively know that their worth is immense and that people who have them should feel very fortunate. As has been said before; cats in ancient Egypt were once revered as gods, and they have never forgotten it. Their sense of superiority is locked into their genes; that’s just how they are.
If a cat likes you, consider it a huge compliment. If a cat is cool towards you, it’s hard not to want to charm him/her into liking you. It’s sort of like having royalty shake your hand. One of our four cats was initially quite standoffish with me. If I approached him, he would hiss and sometimes swat at me. Nothing I did seemed to change his mind.
So I finally stop trying to make him like me. We went our own ways; I fed him, kept his water bowl clean, brushed out his long fur when he needed it, and presented various toys to him. Most often he would pretend not to notice me.
One night I woke up hearing a nearby purr. There he was, curled up on the edge of my pillow, snuggled between the Crankee Yankee and me. I patted his head and whispered, ‘well, it’s about time, buddy!’ Since then, we have been pretty happy with each other.
Anyone who has adopted a cat will tell you that cats are basically pretty uncomplicated creatures. They are by turns affectionate, aloof, cranky, feisty, adorable, fussy, unpredictable and infinitely loveable. It isn’t your job to figure them out; it’s your job to serve them. As long as you know these things about cats, and keep them well fed, groomed, comfortable and most of all, safe—life is pretty terrific with them.
I don’t care what anyone says, even the so-called cat experts—cats have their own way of dealing with us. Even the stray cats we always feed have an attitude of entitlement; that is, that is our pleasure and privilege to feed and shelter them. Their stance on the subject is that it is we who should be grateful that they show up at all.
Ah, well, what are we to do? The Crankee Yankee and I realized a long time ago that we are merely the feeders and keepers of feline contentment and entitlement in our home. We adore them, and they love us in their own way.
Seeing things from their viewpoint, cats are indeed pretty uncomplicated. It’s up to us to deal with all that “uncomplicatedness” that cats bring to our lives. It is also up to us to realize that we form our own lives around their lives, not the other way around.
If you have cats, you’d better get used to the idea—quickly.