THE 10 MOST AWESOME THINGS ABOUT HAVING CATS:
- Cats, as a general rule, are not needy. They’re independent and interaction with them is often on their terms. This gets you settled with the fact that it’s really not all about you all the time. (Dogs will cause you to mistakenly believe this.) Cats show you how it really is in the world: it’s all about everyone except you. This is a valuable lesson to learn, and will spare you much suffering.
- Cats are the most awesome spooners. (With apologies to my girlfriend.)
- The cat walk is one of the most awesome things in the world to watch. Cats are actually cool, and it’s who they are, not some put-on. I’m looking at you, Gerard Butler.
- You get to live with the cousins of tigers. That’s pretty awesome—appreciate it. This will be at an even higher premium when tigers are driven to extinction, which won’t be long now.
- A cat purring is one the most awesome sounds in the world. I’ll put it up there with the sounds of rain in the jungle, bird song, a babbling brook, or your doctor saying, “You’re perfectly fine, and this bill is on me.”
- You can talk to a cat. I’m serious, try it. They will meow back at you, and once you back and forth with your cats enough you’ll be able to understand what they’re saying. Mine usually tell me to suck it up and stop complaining.
- They rub up against you. This expresses love as well as ownership. So cats are the only example of a benevolent dictatorship in the history of everything.
- You save a life if you adopt one from a shelter or a rescue. My cats Butch and Sundance were part of a cat colony on the streets of Hollywood. Picasso was a stray on the streets near downtown Los Angeles. Lyle was at a kill shelter and was scheduled to be euthanized during Christmas week in 2010 because he had a runny nose. I’m not kidding—a runny nose. (Lyle is the face of this blog, by the way.)
- Cats are creative muses. I’m convinced of it. If you have a novel trapped in you then you pretty much need a cat napping in the chair within six feet of your keyboard for you to even have a chance of getting it out.
- If a cat loves you, you know you’re something special.
THE 10 MOST NOT SO AWESOME THINGS ABOUT HAVING CATS:
- There is no place safe from cat hair. Especially not the underwear drawer. Corollary: your dark clothes will look like they’re all trying to grow beards.
- Cats are in no way shape or form anything but carnivores. If you’re a vegan, this will cause you endless confusion and inner turmoil.
- Veterinarian trips. Cats will not go quietly and the claws may come out. Stuffing yourself into a suit of armor might help with this. Otherwise you will pay for these unwarranted and undignified kidnappings.
- Cats throw up a lot. You’re going to want to rethink buying a house with a lot of carpeting. My carpeted bedroom floor looks like Laos circa 1970.
- Cats hide sickness really well. It’s probably the worst holdover trait from their wild ancestors (You know, the “show no vulnerability to survive” thing—the same crap that’s drummed into a lot of young boys). Things will be coasting along like normal and then it’s nightmare time.
- Dander balls the size of tumbleweeds.
- Cats operate from a state of fear, with rare exceptions. So they don’t sit well with new people or new places. And they’re always ready to run away. The good news is if you operate from a state of fear, your cat will show you how silly it is to live life in this way. (I am talking about myself, of course.)
- If you get to a place of appreciation of the species, it’s hard to stop acquiring them. I have four. I was not “a cat person” growing up and never intended to get even one.
- Scratching furniture. Remember #4 in the “most awesome” list: you get to live with the cousins of tigers. Don’t forget how awesome that is. Move it up to #1 if you want. As far as the scratching, put up a few scratching posts—cats are drawn to them like Gerard Butler to crappy movies. I mean crappy movies to Gerard Butler.
- As with any animal, the bond you form with a cat is deep and it’s for life. And their lives are significantly shorter than yours.
And the biggest myth about cats I’d like to dispel: the one about cats being ‘aloof’ and not capable of forming a real bond with humans.
It’s real simple: you get what you give with a cat.
One other myth: there’s no such thing as a ‘crazy cat man’—there’s only a ‘crazy cat lady.’