Greetings, two-legged readers, from your literate cat, Lucinda. I know that you celebrated a most important holiday yesterday, July 4. You call it Independence Day. It seems to me that we cats need a Cat Independence Day so we can have our own day to remember our remarkable history.
Our Egyptian Ancestors
We cats have come a long way since our early beginnings. We like to consider the high points, such as the years in Egypt when folks thought of us as gods and goddesses. In fact, in those early years, we discovered you had need for varmint control, so we domesticated ourselves and took the job.
Of course, that changed us forever. Many of us came in from the jungle and chose homes with the Egyptians. After all, it would be wasteful to let all that food run around, uncaught. We saved the day. We ate our fill and kept the food supply of the Egyptians intact.
A Cat Is Not A Dog
It seems you feel compelled to compare us to dogs. Believe me, we represent an entirely different species! You have a saying that emphasizes the difference: “Dogs have masters; cats have staff.” Yes, we are independent. We do not bow down to you and rush to do your bidding.
My CCL (Cantankerous Cat Lady) just did a post for this website in which she explained the reasons why we are so independent. You might find it of interest. Basically, we cats act on our own, not because you wish us to do something.
That doesn’t mean we don’t care for you. Actually, we often become quite fond of our two-legged companions. Just because we believe in independence doesn’t mean we can’t give love and affection. Once we bond with you, we care about you a great deal, but we still retain our sense of self.
Independence Formed Our Behavior
Your author, Rudyard Kipling, put it well. when he said the cat walks by himself, and all place are alike to him. Read the whole story — though the cat retains his independence, he still finds a way to come in the cave, sleep by the fire and drink the milk offered to him.
You have stated that you can’t herd cats. Very true…the reason rises from the fact that each of us has our own idea about how things should go. If we don’t want to go in the same direction as the herd, we will go our own way. Herding doesn’t work.
It’s also true that you can’t get a bunch of cats to pull a sled. Oh, yes, if you hooked multiple cats to that sled and convinced them all to pull, they could do it. However, it’s not in their job description so they won’t cooperate. You would have to produce an incentive that would have great appeal.
There’s a basic difference between dogs and cats. Dogs, being pack animals, believe in working together toward a goal. It’s called “cooperation.” A cat won’t cooperate unless convinced he will gain from doing so. Cats, being solitary creatures, don’t want another cat getting in the way.
And how would a team of cats ever decide who would be the lead cat? Every one of them would think he or she would qualify most as leader. The whole situation would lead to a very large cat brawl.
Don’t Believe All You Read
I have, however, heard a story about the goddess Freya, who rode in a sled pulled by two large Norwegian forest cats. You can’t always believe everything you read, though. I understand that this story, based on myth, is just not true.
You have another saying about dogs and cats that contains a bit of truth: “A dog comes when it’s called; a cat takes a message and gets back to you.”
Of course, the dog comes when called, because he does all in his power to please his master. A cat, having his own business agenda, may be in the middle of an important hunt or some other vital project. He will return when the task reaches completion.
A cat wants to know what reward he will get by complying with your wishes. “What’s in it for me,” we say. If we don’t believe the whole thing worth our time, we’ll simply ignore your message.
How We See You
You see, when we think of you two-leggeds, we consider you our equals. Of course, you grow much bigger and you can do things that we cannot. However, we have skills that you don’t have, as well. Have you ever run up a tree? Caught a mouse without a trap? Learned to purr? I rest my case.
Nonetheless, we regard you as part of our family, but not as master or mistress. We don’t feel the necessity to cater to your every whim, as the dog might do. Instead, we walk beside you. With our combined skills, we can form a great partnership.
Other skills we have that we feel worth mentioning: We can help improve your health. Having us as part of your family helps reduce stress and anxiety, protects you from heart attack, and, by using our marvelous purr, we can even help heal broken bones.
Have you ever heard a dog purr?
Bringing The Jungle Indoors
Since we no longer live in the wild, your home becomes our jungle. We know all the hidden corners and hidey-holes. We find all the small places suitable for hiding. When you play with us, we can imagine a great hunt with chasing, pouncing, and other cat art forms. We practice our skills.
As you can see, good reasons exist for a Cat Independence Day. Such a holiday would provlde recognition to cats for all they do, and would enhance our already proud history. Perhaps we could have a cat parade with floats showing our courage, skills, and creative ideas.
We cats believe we deserve our own celebration to commemorate our remarkable personal history.