Saturday, March 8, 2008

On Conquering the Universe

This may be news to those of you who don't live with cats. Let me say right now that I don't mean to be condescending or judgmental, but I think you're really missing out on one of life's grandest adventures if you don't share your home, and your life, with cats *and* dogs. There is much to be learned from each species...and the lessons are quite different.

The other morning I rounded the corner from the dining room and saw our two cats "meatloafed" in the hall. (The "meatloaf" pose is when they lie on their tummys with all four paws curled up underneath and they look just like a meatloaf in a pan.) This isn't a normal spot for them. (Cats do have normal spots they hang out in.) I started giggling. "What are they doing now?" LoML asked. He knew from the way I laughed that it was the cats. "Well," I said, "they're either planning to take over the universe, or they're thinking about going to bed for a nap." And that's the way of felines. It really could have been either thing. Truly.

One time we got a booklet about bringing home a kitten. It came free with a package of kitten food. We'd both been owned by cats for most, if not all of our lives. We didn't really have to read it, but it was fun to see what the good folks at Purina thought we should know about cats. There was an interesting bit about the social hierarchy of cats. It contrasted them with dogs, explaining how dogs have a definite order, establishing alpha male, alpha female, and right on down the line. It went on to say that each cat believes everyone else--feline, canine, human--to be beneath them..."in no particular order"! We still laugh about that one because it is *so* true.

I have a magnet on my 'frig that sums it up: "This house is maintained entirely for the comfort and convenience of our cats!" And believe me when I tell you that if they only had opposable thumbs they would probably take over my blog and explain to you how we humans are sweet...but not very bright. We don't attend to their every need as completely as we should; particularly falling short in the culinary department. Our Willow is an insulin-dependant diabetic. She does quite well with her disease, but we can't allow her (or therefore her brother, Oz) to have food available around the clock. They have to be meal-fed...and they resent this mightily. They have been trying for years now to convince us to just leave the food out. They have to constantly tell us when it's time to eat for fear that we'll forget since we humans have such feeble minds. They persist in believing that some day they really will have us trained. But for now, they just have to keep after us.


David Spence said...

I thought I had invented the "meatloaf kitty" phrase back in the early 80's! The last phrase I felt was stolen from me was when I referred to thongs as "butt floss." This was during college during a trip to the beach and I heard no one use the phrase for 10 years after that. Oh well, I guess great minds think alike. I have a cat that thinks he can actually read the newspaper by sitting on it in true meatloaf position.-Great post!

Kat said...

I don't claim "meatloaf kitty" as original...I first got it from my sis'n'law...maybe she got it from you! Shall I credit you anytime I use "meatloaf kitty" or "butt floss"? ;D

David Spence said...

No-my dream about being able to retire after my butt-floss line has long passed. By now "Meatloaf Kitty" has become part of the common lexicon like Xerox Machine or Frigidaire, so now that is gone. I'll have to wrack my brain for another new term.