by Kuro Ameiro
If only the cat would listen.
|Dearest Cat of the Household;|
I didn’t know how else to tell you. But I had to do something before the whole family woke up as zombies before the apocalypse because you kept them up all night.
You’re getting on our nerves.
You whine for food, even though you’ve only eaten three pieces of the cup of dry food you’ve got in your bowl. You twine yourself around our legs when we’re in the kitchen because you want to remind us that it’s feeding time. You give piercing meows just in case we didn’t notice you tripping us. You stretch yourself up our legs and stick out your claws, just in case we couldn’t hear your meows. When we finally give in to your petulant begging and give you another cup of food, you take a bite and leave.
You race around the house to see the neighbor’s cat walking around. You act like spying on her is the most important thing in the world. When you can’t get through the window, you meow persistently at the cat, hoping you’ll get her attention. And if it isn’t the neighbor’s cat you’re trying to get at, it’s a bug that’s sitting on the other side of the window. When we put up plastic on the windows to keep the air out, you claw it, hoping it will tear away the window with it. Because you have a big fluffy coat to keep you warm, you do not care that you are making the rest of us cold.
You do not let us come up or down the stairs safely. You take naps conveniently in the night on the stairs. You know that your dark fur will keep you from being seen, so we will trip over you when we come up or down the stairs. If you are not taking a nap on the stairs, you are standing or sitting on the top of them, in the dark, waiting for us to find that you are there. Then you mew at us, as if we had done you a great harm. If you are not taking a nap, or sitting at the top of the stairs, you are at the bottom of the stairs. You grip the bottom step fiercely and slide yourself back and forth on the step, attacking anyone’s foot that causes the offense of stepping on the step.
You hate water, but you’ll sit in the bathtub, or even drink from the toilet. Your favorite time is coming into the bathtub right after someone has showered. Even though you have a full water dish downstairs, you find it a lot more convenient to drink the droplets that drip out of the faucet. When we wish to use the bathroom, we must race you to use it. And if you reach the bathroom before us, you stop right in front of the door, so we must trip over you to get in. Then you give us an affronted look.
When you join one of us on the bed, you’ve got to check every available spot. Not because you’re looking for a good place, but because you’re searching for the dog. You know the small dog loves sleeping under blankets, so you have to find her, and step on her. When she growls in protest, you must sniff her, because you are considering napping there. If the dog is not there, you find the most inconvenient spot for us, and settle down, purring. But you growl at us if we have the audacity to move, thus upsetting your comfortable position.
You sneak into our closets and refuse to come out for hours. You find boxes to chew, clothes to sleep on, Christmas decorations to ruin, ribbon and paper to play with, and things to knock over. If we try to drag you from your wonderland, you bite us and growl at us, as if you were in the right.
You destroy the Christmas tree’s branches and swat at the ornaments. You chew on the needles and the tiny ornaments, thus distorting the figurines. When we put citrus peels on the tree, you wait until the scent is gone, and continue your agenda. You bunch up the Christmas tree skirt, and when we straighten it while you are doing something else, you get disgruntled when you come back.
When we unwrap presents, we find that you steal our wrapping paper. You ignore the treats we got you, and take off with the wrapping, ripping it to shreds so we can’t use it for our wrapping paper fight. If we try to take it from you, you shred it so it becomes unusable. Perfectly reusable tissue paper becomes confetti as soon as it comes out of the bag. You leave nothing untouched.
You act like a dog and sit at the door, waiting to be let out. You do not care that you are an indoor cat and so try to open the door by gripping the handle with your paws. If we do not watch for you, you zip outside as soon as you hear the door open. Then you get mad at us if we accidentally close the door on your tail. If and when you get outside, you roam around for hours, only to come back and meow pitifully to be let back in. You manage to find the burr bush in all seasons, and get angry when we have to fight you to comb -or cut- the burrs out of your long stomach fur.
If we are wearing something interesting on our feet, you hide, then attack, backing off in a fierce manner. You do not care that we have the power to punt you into the next room, so you will attack us again and again, giving your playful meow, as if saying, “Why aren’t you playing with me?” When we do play with you, you get bored quickly and go upstairs to take a nap in the bathtub. If we don’t play with you, you keep demanding our attention in every possible way you can come up with.
You jump up on the table and counters, even though you know you’re not supposed to. You are particularly attracted to butterscotch apple cake, and have even gone so far as to take a chunk out of one sitting on the counter to cool. You do not care that someone is watching jump on to the countertop. You get confused when we yell at you and throw you off the counter when you’re caught. You play with anything you find on the table and do not care that you ruin the food by doing so. You could care less that you have a million toys to play with; you want what’s on the table.
You are a total food thief. You are worse than the dog when someone leaves their plate unattended on the floor. It doesn’t even matter if the person is gone; you’ll nab a piece of meat off the plate with or without supervision. If someone has the misfortune of having Cheerios, he or she will find that you have taken half the bowl.
You chase bugs around the room. It matters not where or what it is; whether it’s a spider on the floor or a fly on the TV screen. You do not care that we may be watching a movie, or a show; you will smack the main character if that’s what it takes to get the fly.
And the most annoying thing of all is what you do at night, and early in the morning. As soon as everyone goes to bed, you wander the whole house, cat toy in mouth, meowing as loud as you can. I do not know how you manage to meow clearly with something in your mouth, but you do. If you’re not begging to play, you’re racing up and down the stairs, singing us your own carols, no matter the season. You make sure that everyone hears you, and if someone is sleeping in the living room, you serenade him or her, right by his or her ear. You have a desire to be our alarm clock, waking us up with your cries at four in the morning. Or perhaps as early as midnight.
You stink up the litter box.
You take naps on the books we’re reading.
You lick yourself.
You claim anything as your territory.
You attack the dog.
You play with our pens and pencil.
You play with and chew up our toys and electronics.
You are, in essence, a complete and total nuisance, and a pest.
So, I now must say this. Because we must endure your meowing, and put up with your assassination attempts, you must put up with us. When we pick you up, you should not protest, and when we cuddle you, you must not meow, but purr. When we comb you, you must behave the way you expect us to behave when you lick our ears. You must endure us when we kick you down the stairs, even when it’s on purpose, and you must expect a flick on the nose when you try making off with a morsel of our food. You must expect to be pushed around, as you are our cat, and not our master.
And you will be locked up in the dog crate or thrown into the basement if you sit outside one of our doors and meow at four in the morning.
In other words, put up with us, because we put up with you.
The Cat Owner Who Wants to Sleep.