Every Cat’s Worse Nightmare

Cats are by nature, brave and fearless creatures. Dignified, too, with a formidable composure. A dog, on the other hand, may be loyal and loving and can learn nifty tricks, but they whine. Hard to have composure when you’re whining.

A dog will whine when you leave and whine when you get home; they whine for a goodie, and whine to go out. If you’re eating something that smells good, or if you’re eating something that doesn’t smell good, or if you’re eating something that has no smell at all — you could be gnawing the draperies–they sit at your feed and whine for a taste.

Not a cat, though. If a cat wants food, they’ll sit at their dish and Look at you. Even if you’re in another room, they’ll sit at their dish and Look at you. You could be out of the bloody country, and right in the middle of a meeting in Japan, when you’ll get this crawly sensation in the back of your neck — that’s your cat, Looking at you.

They’re asleep when you leave the house, and asleep when you get home — except if coming home means food, and then they’ll twirl about your legs, making a nuisance of themselves until you give in and take care of what should be your number one priority: feed the cat.

If a cat wants attention, they’ll either jump up on your lap, or, preferably, your computer keyboard. If you’re cooking, they’ll jump up on the counter; if you’re sewing, they’ll walk in front of the machine. And if you happen to be in bed, reading a hard cover book, well, whatever you do, don’t lay on your side, book open on the bed.

If you’re asleep and they want you up, they’ll jump on your stomach. No, they take a running start, and then leap on your stomach, all four paws landing in the exact same spot. I don’t know about other cat owners, but if I’m asleep and my Zoe wants something, she presses her cold nose against my mouth and then gives me a good lick, right on the lips. If you’ve ever seen what cats do with that tongue of theirs, this isn’t the most pleasant way to wake.

Dogs aim to please, and if you’re unhappy with them, a mild reprimand is enough to send them into dejection until they’re forgiven. When they are forgiven, or when doing their favorite thing (tugaway with your favorite shoe, ride in car with window down, go for walk in woods and roll in dead things), they shake their butt more than a hot disco dancer, and jump about more than a four year old having to pee.

Not a cat, though. No, a cat manages to convey most of their emotional responses through one simple form of communication: the purr. And let me tell you, a purr is a devastating weapon, capable of reducing even the coldest of us to smooshy faced indulgence. When a cat turns on all its formidable charm–wide eyed kitten playfulness, followed by cuddlesome eyes half-closed purring–you melt into a puddle of acquiescent goo.

No, there’s only one thing that will crack the composure of a cat: static electricity. Yup, nothing worse for a cat than a cold, dry climate and a house full of synthetics.

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