“Cats is so dumb” is a theory I postulated quite a few years ago after closely observing the many strange habits of these feline creatures. I was originally a “dog only” kind of person. My only exposure to cats during my youth was the job of cleaning up their waste matter from our yard, so it’s easy to see how we didn’t get off on a good note. The only other interaction I had with a cat was my Aunt Jo’s pet cat that was named “Snoopy”. I always thought this was a strange choice of name since Snoopy was known to everyone as Charlie Brown’s fun loving mutt. There was absolutely nothing fun loving about this cat version of Snoopy. If anything he was the anti-Snoopy. To begin with he was the size of a small mountain lion, or he seemed to me at the time to be that large. He would occasionally be docile enough to let you pet him and just about the time you would let your guard down, Slash! Just a little blood and pain to remind you that I am not your friend. Things didn’t get much better as I got older. I spent a good deal of time washing and cleaning my car, only to have one of the neighborhood tomcats promptly back up and spray all over my nice clean wheels. This created no love loss for me and cats at all, but it did greatly improve my aim with a garden hose.
Then I met my first wife, who is more a cat person than anyone I’ve ever met. I used to accuse her of having a “fuzzy face” which in no way insinuated that she needed a close shave. She had the ability to speak in child-like tones and rub her fingers together and the next thing you know she was holding the most unruly, undomesticated feral scrapper on the block. She would hold them for a few minutes and then let them gently hop down where they would promptly cross the street and bite, scratch and generally maul the hell out of the nearest neighborhood kid that looked at them wrong. Over our years of marriage we owned quite a few cats. She broke me to them early on by proving how much easier they were to house train than any dog. They didn’t bark or try to tunnel under closed doors; however the first cat absolutely would not stay out of the trash can. He was fed on a regular basis and certainly never placed in a position of starvation. Yet he would overturn the kitchen can on a daily basis, scattering trash all over the floor like a small child emptying a large bucket of Legos. So began my continued observation of feline habits that reek of a distinct lack of brains.
Many ancient cultures actually worshipped cats, although I can’t think of one of them that are still thriving to day. The most prominent in my mind was the Egyptians, but they also worshipped cows, dogs, goats, hawks and the sun itself for that matter. Which makes one wonder, did the cat really carry that much authority or were they just trying to cover their butts by worshipping almost every creature they took a liking to? So much for history, back to my original theory.
Other cats we owned would try to sleep in places physically too small for their bodies to fit, yet they would continue trying for hours. Others were not content unless they were on top of something, be it the furniture, refrigerator or any type of shelving, watching object fall to the floor with great fascination. What a shock to find that Newton’s law of gravity has withstood so many tests.
The poster child for my theory was a lovely little female we affectionately called “Ducky”. Here was a cat the refused to walk on grass, was generally petrified to be outdoors and had repeated fights with her own tail. Not chasing her tail in playful fun, No sir this animal stalked and attacked her own tail with the kind of verve and tenacity reserved for a snake and a mongoose. It was commonplace to hear the hissing and growling usually associated with tomcats battling over territory only to find one cat with mighty chunks of hair missing from her tail, strewn about the dining room carpet as if some medieval massacre had taken place.
I’ve seen many pictures of cats that make them look regal and intelligent, although the same could be said for more than one political leader who would later be regarded as an idiot.
We presently own two cats. I don’t concede to the widespread belief that your cat owns you. Especially since we do so many things they consider unpopular. Like cutting their claws, putting on collars and of course the requisite flea bath, which is always an experience to remember. These two cats of ours continue to prove my theory day in and day out. Like trying to stand on top of a doorknob, being quite certain that you can hide a ten pound body behind a single table leg and no matter how much you scratch the plastic sides of the litterbox, it wont cover the poop you just left behind. Our resident tomcat, named “Hamish” is currently bucking for top honors in the Cats is so Dumb Hall of Fame. Here is a cat that patrols our house with greater frequency than a policeman passing the donut shoppe. Without fail he must open cabinet doors in the kitchen and both bathrooms. He doesn’t actually go in the cabinets, but I suppose he must make sure that a frying pan or bottle of toilet bowl cleaner doesn’t decide to take legs and come out to fight. Which if they did would be no protection for us since Hamish is the epitome of the term “fraiddy cat”. The very sound of a strange voice in the yard, and Oh My Heavens, not footsteps on the deck! Any of these related triggers will make him lower his body to the floor and make haste for the area behind our bed. His rapid movement combined with his lowered profile gives the effect of the fastest moving throw rug you’ve ever seen.
He also eats dry leaves like they were candy, which he then almost instantly throws up, but it never discourages him from trying again. The again the same could be said of humans about getting drunk, but at least our euphoria lasts longer than three seconds and we usually don’t throw up until the following morning. I fully believe if our drinking cycle were as fast as his leaf cycle, many a producer of alcoholic beverage would soon be in bankruptcy.
Hamish does however serve the very useful purpose of scratching and howling at the bedroom door at least an hour before your alarm clock is set to go off. He also gets onto the dining table in our absence and licks the silk tulips until the petals fall open. It does give the illusion that the flowers are dying on a regular basis. But his crowning glory is watching the effect of a little Hershey’s Kiss. This tiny foil covered item calls out to all that is bad and mischievous inside of him. Not because he wants to eat it, but because he must attack and kill it. Then it must be battered around the house like some kind of demented hockey puck. He will climb to any height to knock one into the floor. He will creep and stalk with careful and calculated skill to approach such a dangerous adversary. Who would ever have thought that his instincts as a hunter and killer would have been brought to bear on a piece of chocolate wrapped in tin foil. Somewhere his tiger ancestors are rolling over in their graves.
I rest my case.