Hello, website readers! I’ve been thinking that, since we have the good fortune to know a literate cat, we might get some interesting answers from a cat’s point of view if we had Lucinda reply to a few questions. So, let’s try it — Lucinda, here goes question number one.
CCL (Cantankerous Cat Lady): Lucinda, what do you cats think of the house we two-leggeds live in?
Lucinda: Your houses at first can be a bit overwhelming. After all, compared to you, we don’t get very big, and when we first venture into one of your houses it is so huge!
That’s why we must thoroughly explore this very large space. We mark all surfaces with our scent, both for our protection and for yours. Scary things might live here, and we will frighten them off if we can. Besides, once we have marked the place, we make it more “ours.”
Everything in your house is so big! If we have never been in a house before, it can take us a while to feel comfortable there. When we move in with you, give us time to adjust to this new situation.
Because the place is so large, we check out the highest points in the house that we can reach so we can get a better look around. From up high, we can scan the area much more efficiently.
As for small boxes, you often wonder what attracts us to them. One reason we find it so satisfying to sit in small boxes stems from our desire to find a small space where we will just fit. It takes a bit of the stress out of our lives to find such a protected space.
That’s also why we usually claim the space under the bed as part of our territory. It’s closer to our size, dark, and hidden. It’s hard for you two-leggeds to get to us. Therefore, it becomes our “safe place.”
Consider — If you lived in a world where your daily companions reached a size far bigger than yours, what challenges would you have to overcome?
From our point of view, it’s hard for us to look so far up to see your face. It’s a wonder we don’t need some kind of kitty chiropractor just to straighten out the kinks in our necks.
We enjoy being around you more when you sit or lie down, because then we can see your face so much better.
Why do you think many of us are lap cats? We can give you a couple of reasons. For one thing, your lap is warm, and sometimes you pet us ever so sweetly.
Just think, though, now we have moved much closer to your face, and we can interact with you much easier. We want to stay on your lap, so often we curl up and go to sleep there.
Ah, but your beds! They can lull us into such a restful sleep! We really do like your beds.
I do think it’s rather sad that you walk on floors of wood, but no part of the house has a dirt floor. Because of your insistence of walking on wood, which is far less healthy than walking on the earth, you have to bring in containers of sand so we have a suitable place for cat elimination.
Just think — if some rooms had dirt floors, we could find a spot to do our daily business and you would not have to clean out litter boxes!
Knowing you two-leggeds, though, I guess you would still try to find a way to clean up after us.
CCL: Of course we would. Your “daily business” is not very pleasant to our nose, so we’d have to remove the smell, somehow.
Now, here’s a new question, Lucinda. What is your opinion of canned cat food vs. food you catch for yourselves?
Lucinda: Though some of your canned food we find quite tasty, there’s nothing like fresh-caught! Not only does it taste so good to us, but it has all our daily nutritional requirements, including water. What’s not to like?
You two-leggeds try to provide us with suitable food, though sometimes you feed us things that do not have much cat nutrition. Instead, why don’t you make mouse cat food?
I hear you talk about building a better mousetrap. What a good idea! Perhaps you could invent a large live trap, big enough for one of us and a mouse. Then, when the mouse enters the trap, the cat could be ready to dispatch the creature immediately to mouse paradise.
The cat could receive a salary of fresh meat in exchange for dispatching a number of the rodents, supplying more fresh meat for other cats in need. Perhaps this extra meat should go to shelter cats.
In a way, in the early days your food storage structures supplied a giant trap, and we made our living clearing out the rodents. Ah, the good old days!
And dry food? You coat it with something that makes it irresistible to us, but it may not furnish all that we need. It especially lacks moisture, and CCL has lectured me on the importance of drinking water every day.
Why, then, do you insist on feeding us the dry stuff? CCL explains that you have to use something called money to buy cat food, and sometimes money cannot be easily obtained. The dry food does not take as much money to buy it, and so that’s what you feed us.
CCL: Well, it’s pretty obvious that you prefer food you catch yourself. Can you fit hunting time in your routine, or does your two-legged keep you inside all the time? Tell us how your routine differs from ours.
Lucinda: As many of you know, we cats love our routine. Once we set it, we want nothing to change it. You two-leggeds have routines, too, but you seem to change yours on a whim if you so desire.
We want ours to stay the same, every day. It keeps us calm and stress-free. We know what to expect from one minute to the next.
Then you come along and decide to change things, and since we live with you, it affects our lives too. The new change might frighten or stress us, but as you suffer no ill effects from it, you don’t stress as we do.
Can’t you have a bit of sympathy for us? I know, sometimes you decide it becomes necessary to do things differently, and we don’t always understand why. Please remember that we don’t see the situation as you do, and we may need time and understanding to adjust to the new way of doing things.
Cats and two-leggeds have different ways of facing the day. Most of us must become accustomed to sleeping at night and being awake during part of the hours of light.
We can adjust to this schedule, but it may take some time. From our instincts, we have programming that tends to keep us awake at dawn and dusk, as those times have been traditionally the safest time for us to hunt.
For that reason, some of us just can’t adjust to your sleep/wake hours, so we sometimes become very active when you want to sleep.
If you keep our meal-time routine very consistent, eventually we will learn to sleep when you sleep — well, most of the time. We are still cats, after all.
CCL: Thank you, Lucinda, for your candid answers. Perhaps some of our readers will have questions they want to ask, and we can do another interview later. Meanwhile, may you cats and two-leggeds enjoy each other’s company and remember to honor all our differences. Two-legged or four, we can become comrades for the common cause of trying to understand each other.