This week: Mews Muse. Or: Why cats do what they do.Edited by: Thankful Sonali
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Ever notice how many cats are the muse
for how many creative people?
Surprising, isn't it?
But it can definitely be funny.
I have to thank Vivian for inspiring me, it was her 'cat' update on Facebook that triggered this newsletter. And I PROMISE that was before all the were released!
Vivian's status: October 1: ·
My Panther is so funny. He wants to go outside but be able to come back inside in a few minutes. I began to let him out and barely close the door so he could bump it open and come in. When he would, I would close the door. I fell asleep in my chair and didn't close the door when he returned this last time. Not a happy cat. He does NOT want the door open when he is inside and wants to stay in. Silly kitty.
See Panther's behaviour, and see how well Viv has observed and documented it. Also, notice how well Panther has Viv trained to do what he wants her to, and to recognise his displeasure when (woe betide) she gets it wrong!
Now, the question is: What is happening in Panther's head?
The answer is: We can keep guessing, but we'll never know.
We aren't felines. We can attribute human motivations to felines, but, till we become Dr. Dolittle and understand mewish, we'll never really know. Dash it, that's a bit frustrating, isn't it?
So let's start guessing.
Panther wants to go out because he thought he saw an acquaintance / special friend, and wants to get back in immediately, because he was wrong.
---- Ditto, but replace the object of his attention with 'mouse'. ----
He wanted to pee, and is trying to be discreet about it when he gets back.
And so on, so forth.
But see, that's our human perspective on it. However outrageous we get, however big a creative leap we take, we aren't cats. We don't have their eyes, their noses, their instincts or their motivations. We can't know why Viv's cat crosses the threshold so many times, or wants the door closed when he isn't crossing the threshold.
Maybe that's why there are more pet cats in literature than pet dogs. (Think about it!) Dogs are more predictable, more 'human', if you like. Cats -- well -- they have minds of their own.
Which means that you can write about them either very seriously, or, by attributing human attributes to them, and doing it with a dead-pan face, in a pretty hilarious manner.
This one wants to join WDC, apparently.
And this one probably wants to play hide-n-seek.
The thing is -- is that what they are really doing? Why is Snowy actually at that screen, or Ringo actually tucked away up there, back there? If we try and give them Feline Cattributes, instead of Human Attributes, would we get funnier? And what are those, anyway?
So -- when we give animals human attributes, are we adding to the humour in a situation, or taking away from it? Being human, will we ever know?
Thanks for listening!
All time favourites!!
This had to be included in a discussion about cats.
It was last edited a long time ago and many of the links in it are now invalid, but the sentiments hold true.
Harry Potter charCATers!
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Question for dog-lovers.
Why are pet dogs as funny as pet cats, to write about?
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In other news, some copies of the trinket I made are still available!
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