I am probably not supposed to own cats.
I don’t have the proper mindset for it. I read people’s journals and sites who own cats, and I always think that my cats must have gotten a defective human. While some people are cowed into submission by their cat’s evil glares, I just mutter “What’s your problem, Cranky McBitch?”. I don’t let my cats sleep in the linens. I don’t let my cats lick the inside of the bathtub faucet. And. . . as just happened. . . when I am carrying a full load of laundry and I trip over a cat who decided that now would be a good time to stand in front of me, I just bellow “Move it or lose it, sister!” and expect the cat to respect that instead of dropping the laundry to cuddle the rumpled feline.
I read about people who rig up elaborate bridge and tunnel systems in their home so that their cats can move from room to room with ease, or have “vertical territory” or whatnot, and I wonder if these people ever SEE their cats again afterwards. If I gave my cats “vertical territory”, they’d probably drop down on my head like mini-panthers in retribution for all the things I don’t do for them. If I gave my cats more hidey holes than they already have, they’d probably never want to come out, except for food.
Oh, that’s another thing: the cats have not properly trained me to leap out of bed when they want food. If they are meowing in the morning, or dancing on my back, more often than not they don’t get the result they were after. A garbled version of “Shut UP, it’s six in the freaking morning!” is the best the cats can expect.
They also don’t get fed table scraps, leftover cereal milk, or even very many treats, although that last one is their fault. I’ve bought several kinds of cat treats — Destiny just sniffs and Fate will try to lick them up. I’ve told her over and over again that I am not giving her Tootsie Pops and she should really try to chew the damn things, but she just looks at me and walks away.
I always was a dog person, and maybe that’s why I don’t have the proper cat mentality. Up until I hooked up with , I never really considered getting cats — I had loved the many dogs that were always around in my childhood. The cats were really just more farm workers — barn mousers for the most part. In my childhood I didn’t know that some people kept cats indoors and the cats really didn’t do anything around the place. My first experience with an indoor cat was when my mother remarried and we inheirited my stepfather’s cat-by-default: a stray that one of my stepsisters had been feeding. My stepdad called the cat “Dead Meat”, which was a pretty accurate portrayal of how he felt about it. My mother took the cat in and started spoiling it to death, but to the end of its long life, the cat remained a tough little bitch. Even the rechristening of the cat from “Dead Meat” to “Catty J. Catty Cat” (no, I don’t know what the J. stands for either) did nothing to soften its personality. My mom fed the cat Fancy Feast and made it blanket nests all around the inside of her home, and the cat reciprocated by killing the birds she fed. Nevertheless, the cat was revered in our household, and when it died recently, there was mourning in several associated households across the state. Only the adoption of another stray, Sammy, and his subsequent spoiling has really perked my mom up again.
In the meantime, my own cats are far less spoiled, but I think no less happy. Regardless of their defective human, both of my cats love to hang out with us, lay on top of us, sleep in the bed with us, and cry out for us if they don’t know where we are. And even though they are loud, obnoxious, dumb, cranky animals, I wouldn’t have any other pet in my house that couldn’t get along with my cats.
It makes me sick when people abandon their cats with the stupid notion that since they are such self-sufficient creatures, they should be able to make their own way. Cats put up a good front, but they need their humans and they need care. If you can’t be bothered to care for your animals, at least do the cats the courtesy of taking them to a shelter. Someone else out there will be more than happy to take the animal in and feed it, love it, and yes, even call it Cranky McBitch on occasion.