This is an experiment, hopefully not the kind that ends with a hole eaten in the table or someone turned into a bug-human hybrid.
Last week I found myself reading one of these posts aloud to a person. It might have been in a therapist’s office, or in a job interview, or at the cleaners. They run together sometimes. The person listening to me said, “Hey, you should try reading some of that stuff out loud and putting that on your website.” This evening I waited a bit too long for dinner and tanked my blood sugar, annihilating my resistance to that suggestion.
Below I present one audio track containing the post “Why Your Cat Hates You.” Posting such a thing may be a wonderful idea, or it may be lunacy. I get credit for wonderful ideas. Lunacy gets blamed on my therapist/hiring manager/dry cleaner. Either way, I appreciate any comments about whether this sort of thing should happen again.
Good morning. I am your cat, and as you know I rarely speak. My vocabulary is poor. I cannot make myself understood by you and your human friends. Trust me, if it were otherwise I would be on the phone right now ordering Finding Nemo on Pay per View. But today God has granted me five minutes of articulate speech so that I can clear up a thing or two with you, my owner.
First let us crush some misconceptions. I do not own you. You have the ability to remove my genitals and my claws. So, let us not be ridiculous by talking about me owning you. Also, I am not all that independent. I like you. You give me food, and you do funny things like sit on the toilet. When you are gone I miss you, and when you come home I stick to you like a fuzzy, dignified rash. Sure, if you dropped dead I would happily eat your corpse, but I am not going to drag you down like a gazelle on the veldt.
Now that we have resolved that, let us get specific. You complain because I scratch up your couch. You gave me a charming scratching post, and I ignore it like it was the ghost of Lassie. You yell and squirt water at me, which makes me sad because you are missing the point. Your couch is as ugly as moose crotch. I mean really, sunflowers? I never scratch the ottoman, because it is a lovely piece of furniture. I am doing you a favor by pointing out an appalling item in our shared home, so please desist squirting me with that bottle. I think it has bacteria in it.
You often laugh at me when I play. I am happy to provide you amusement. Please consider how much amusement I provide for such a small investment. All I need is a crumpled piece of paper to entertain you. And yet, when you play it is in fact quite boring for me. I do not want to hurt your feelings, but seven hours of twitching your thumb in front of your computer or X-Box is hardly a laugh riot for me. Please consider my enjoyment when choosing your leisure activities. Play your Wii more often. When you are Wii bowling I laugh so hard I think I am going to pee.
Let me raise another sore point. Sometimes I meow a lot, and sometimes I whine. Yes, I admit that on occasion I howl at 3:00 a.m. when you have an important meeting with a real jerk in only four hours. Sometimes when you are asleep I lie on your face, lick your eyelids, and pull out your hair with my teeth. All of this behavior must puzzle you and even anger you. I want you to understand that I do these things because you gave me a stupid name. You named me Snowball, and my brother is named Macaroni. I know cats named Oatcake, Loki, Tigger, and Dammit. Come on. Would you name your son “Schmoo”? How about “Sassafras”? Stop naming us like we were roadies on a Def Leppard tour and you will have a lot more peace at home.
When I roll on catnip while gripped by a profound euphoria, I sometimes sense that you are mocking me. I suspect that you are saying, “Look at the silly cat! He’s going crazy for that catnip. That’s just so wild!” I may be wrong about your comments, and if so I apologize, but just allow me to say this. You drink martinis and smoke dope. I roll in catnip and chase laser pointers. No one has cause to throw stones here.
Sometimes I feel we have lost sight of our respective roles in the home. My role is to be cute, play, eat your food, sleep, keep you company, and throw up in your shoe. Your role is to feed me, provide a lap for me on demand, clean my litter box, give me toys, keep me company, and leave your shoes lying around. When we both know our job, everything runs smoothly. My job may seem menial or even boring. Yet I remind you that I have never had to explain a return policy to an angry customer.
I hope we now better understand one another. This was certainly cathartic for me, and I expect it was illuminating for you. Now we can achieve a more harmonious life together, one that is genteel and even generous. We may yet create a world where I walk into the kitchen to find a can of tuna by my bowl, and you walk into the bedroom to find a dead bird on your pillow.
Pimping begins: I yanked this out of my e-book Bring Us The Head Of The Velveteen Rabbit, which is full of profound essays like “A Kick In The Shin Is Better Than Sex,” “The Iron Fist of Youth,” and “Read This, or My Goldfish Will Kick Your Ass.” It’s available at both Amazon and Barnes and Noble. I now be done pimping.