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I can’t understand my humans.

An Op-Ed from A Cat

Sometimes I just sit and watch them.

I just can’t imagine what they’re thinking. They’ll sit for hours at a time staring at a flat glowing sort of stone and then suddenly run around and out the front door making sounds like, “I’m late! I’m late!”

How do they manage to stay awake so many hours of the day? Maybe they sleep when they leave me here. Yeah, that must be it. I mean, surely they need 18 hours of sleep a day like any normal cat would.

I have grown attached to them, but I’ve noticed that the Red Dot never appears except when one of them is around. I can only conclude the Dot follows them, and I fear for their safety when they are not here where I can protect them. One day, I shall capture it, and then we all will be safe.

Documentary evidence of the destructive power of the Red Dot.

Obviously, I don’t care that much about keeping them safe, except they represent a source of food—one way or the other. I think if I were to take one down, it could probably feed me for several days. I often practice my technique, stealthing up to one of them under the guise of seeking a head rub (and, I confess, I do enjoy it when one of them falls for the ruse). I’m also considering simply disabling one so the meat stays fresh longer, hence I practice wrapping myself around their ankles as they walk.

In any case, I don’t want the Red Dot to take one first. They’re mine!

The Dog.

Just because I care about their safety doesn’t mean I recognize them as being worth anything. The Dog (who left in a box one day with them and didn’t return) used to fawn over them, acting as if they were precious or something when they returned, and hanging about the door waiting for them when they left. She would even leave with them from time to time tethered to that demeaning thing they called a “leash,” but she would never tell me what they did outside. Well, maybe she tried to tell me, I couldn’t tell. She never made any kind of sense.

I also keep a close eye on them because, well, the Dog (whom I never cared for anyway) wasn’t the only one to leave in the box and not come back. I had an older “sister,” a bad-tempered matriarch who was already here when I came to my kingdom, and resented my presence. She told me some tale about how they found her in a paper bag and nursed her back to health, so she had an unnatural attachment to my humans. It was unseemly the way she would purr when they rubbed her head, but otherwise she hardly said a word except to occasionally hiss at me.

Annie, my missing sister

I think she was quite a bit older than me. In any case, she became sort of wobbly, stopped climbing all over the furniture and the curtains like any self-respecting cat, and then hardly left her bed at the feet of the human cub. Ultimately, she left in that infernal box and didn’t return. The humans made this sort of wailing noise for a couple of days, as if they were upset.

All I know is that they were the ones who carried her out, and I have no idea what she did to deserve it. So since then I have tried to not tick them off too much. I miss those days of destroying the couch, but it’s no longer safe!

That’s another reason I watch them so closely, and why I feel an intense need to understand their waste of time and energy.

Still, the humans have some facility in the operation of something called a “can opener,” which makes it worthwhile to not kill them and eat them. Their weak carcasses would only last a few days, and then what would I do? As soon as the one I’m watching leaves her chair, I will remind her that I can see the bottom of my bowl. It’s as if they are trying to starve me.

Plus, I do find them entertaining, although in a frustrating sort of way. Why the heck do they do what they do?

This is really me, threatening a ceramic dog unless I get my way. I didn’t think the humans knew it wasn’t real.

Just this morning, for instance, I could only sit and wonder as one of them wore something like a multi-hued collar on his own neck (as if he were a dog!), then dashed about cramming something he calls a “Pop-Tart” into his mouth and gulping the magic bean elixir that seems to bring him back to life. After grabbing up his Precious Bag (he forgot to put the laptop in), he ran out the front door like I try to do when one of them starts up the Devil Monster Sucking Thing. I don’t know where he goes each morning, but many of those trips involve this same routine.

He would feel so much better if he would just sit down and lick his butt.

Used under CC-by-2.0 from Flickr user Petful.

Right now, I am watching the other big one mash colors around on her face. If it were me, I’d be trying to lick stuff like that off. She could be sleeping, or eating, or batting at the plant in the living room, but no, she sits on this stool flapping about and occasionally contorting her face in a most vile fashion.

That stuff probably feels constricting, the way I felt when they put that stupid bumble bee costume on me. I fought it with every tiger gene left in me, and let me tell you, they paid for their insolence, can opener be damned! Yet, she does this to herself! Voluntarily!

Perhaps you have had similar confusion. I am glad one of them left the laptop open so that I could send you this message. I often try to help them with their laptop by placing myself between them and the keys, since otherwise they would just produce gibberish, but they seldom seem to appreciate the help.

In any case, when the Pop-Tart ape left the laptop here, I saw my chance to reach out to you. Perhaps you can help to explain to me why they do what they do.

Stupid primates.


Based on a true story. Talking ape incidents may or may not be factual.


About the writer

Though Angel Kitty got to the keyboard first, this channeled through Donn King, who helps you communicate confidently. He writes a lot, too, a habit he hasn’t been able to break for nearly 50 years. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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