Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Feline good

If I’m going to be reincarnated, I want to come back as a cat.

But not any old cat – I want to come back as a pampered puss who is fed on demand, given the run of the place and is never expected to contribute anything more than a purr. In short, I want me as an owner.

There’s something ridiculously hedonistic about cats. They just wallow in the sheer sensual pleasure of whatever feels good, right now. They have no embarrassment about it, no “Sorry, could you just hang on a mo’. I just want to... oh, that feels SOOOO good”.

No, when a cat is in his or her personal pleasure zone, the rest of the world can just go to blazes. Their gratification comes first.

Dogs, on the other hand, seek our permission to enjoy themselves. And then, when given leave to go for it, they launch themselves into it with unbridled joy and enthusiasm, tinged with disbelief at being given the go-ahead to enjoy themselves.

Not so cats, they are much cooler about the whole thing. Their pleasure is not something we bestow on them – it is theirs by divine right and there’s no need to make a big deal about it. The cat’s creed is: If it feels good, do it (and sod the rest of them). It’s as simple as that.

We don’t own cats, they simply deign to accept us as their chosen humans, to act as their hand-servants while allowing us to bask in the reflected glow of their regal glory. So don’t expect to gain your cat’s respect or be able to command it to do anything. Where your dog will sit there with his tongue hanging out eagerly lapping up every word you utter, the best you can expect from a cat is ‘Yeah, whatever. Have you finished?’

Having said that, your average cat doesn’t ask much from us to fill its everyday pleasure quota. So long as they are fed on demand and allowed to bugger off whenever the mood takes them, they are perfectly capable of gratifying themselves, thank you very much.

The simple act of keeping clean seems to be the ultimate sensual experience for your feline friend (let’s face it, if you could reach the parts they can, you would, wouldn’t you?). I read somewhere that cats lose more fluid every day washing themselves than they do through urine. That sounds unbelievable but if you think about it, it makes sense. They spend hour after hour licking every conceivable part of their body (usually in full view of your more squeamish visitors) and smoothing themselves into a stupour of satisfaction. And when they’re done they sit there blinking at you with a look of almost Buddha-like serenity.

Yup, I definitely wanna come back as a cat.


  1. I think they are also master psychologists and periodically - out of boredom, no doubt- decide to test your mental status by changing their behavior to get you to do something differently and work around them.

    Then they go back to doing things the way they did before and look at you quizzically. (They must take notes to share with other cats.)

  2. My cats have set me off again and so I was thinking of this post and thought I'd send this along to you...

    I remembered reading this Gary Larson cartoon years ago and i finally found it! ("What dogs hear" and "What cats hear"!!) http://healingmagichands.wordpress.com/2007/12/18/some-favorite-cartoons/