The Truth About Cats

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Ancient Egyptians first domesticated cats, quickly elevated them to godhood, and then imposed the death penalty on their killers. They are beautiful, sportive, serene, secretive and aloof. No one owns their souls. They are cats and they never let their owners forget it.

My sister thinks she owns two cats—twin sisters—luxurious, fawn-colored tabbies with distinctive personality traits. When forces of life threw us back in the nest together, my roommate/sister/BFF went the distance in her attempt to warm my heart and soul to idyllic eves with twin cats cuddled in our arms.

I don’t like cats. The whole truth is I could tolerate cats, I think, if I didn’t have issues with their fur collecting everywhere, their insistent wails when I neglect to make opening the back door my first priority upon waking, their silly know-it-all looks when I realize I forgot to put my underwear in the dryer, or that sublime look on their faces after a dip of catnip. Addicts! I could tolerate them, I think, if they did some real work. However, it seems the whole purpose of being a cat is to exist in a vacuum of indolence that highlights my gerbil-like existence. I cook, clean, haul out the trash, buy the groceries, adjust the thermostat, mow the law, wash the car, and go to work so I can earn the money to do all the above mentioned chores as if it really matters.

They sleep. All day. Twenty-three and one-half hours a day. The thirty minutes of their waking existence includes the two minutes outside in the morning, and exactly twenty-eight minutes of cavorting like a herd of small ponies when I turn out my reading lamp at night. I don’t really like cats. Sure, they are fluffy and adorably soft and sort of interesting when a stuffed tiger tail torn from an old Halloween costume is flicked in front of them. My sister thinks they are beautiful and even mentions how cute the inside of their little pink mouths are when they yawn, which they often do from their imperious perch on the coffee table while we are trying to watch Carol Burnett Show re-runs. My sister’s twin cats have names: Sophie and Abbie. Sophie’s newest stunt is sitting in front of the new flat screen when we get ready for a show. Abbie doesn’t have any new tricks. She just uses the same one every night which can only be called, “I need to climb up on your chest and sit on your face if possible, but in the event that is impossible I will settle for sticking my nose in your neck and flexing my left paw over your carotid artery.” Abbie used to be my sister’s cat, but now has us confused, probably something to do with Colleen accidentally leaving her outside for two long hours while I overslept and once awakened by the sound of ten pounds of something repetitively throwing itself against the back door, rescued poor Abbie from her terrifying condition of lonliness.

Cats don’t like being alone. They act like they do, but don’t believe them. Cats like owning people, but what they like even more than that, is tricking people into thinking they are the owners.

Abbie and Sophie have my sister fooled, but not me.

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