Correcting Your Behavior Since 2017

Cats Rule

This week I will be complaining about my cat and yes, I can already feel your judgment. And yes, you’re quite right, the proper and decent thing would be to speak with him directly rather than complaining behind his back. Well, for your information, I have spoken to him directly—repeatedly—about his challenging behavior and I will tell you, it’s like talking to a brick wall. I’ve tried reasoning, explaining, offering compromise, even offering bribes. My entreaties have produced not so much as the slightest impact. And as for writing about him behind his back, don’t be so quick to assume. The Curmudgeon’s cat frequently parks his inconsiderate carcass directly in front of my computer screen, giving him a perfectly clear view of what I’m writing, while obscuring my own view entirely. The worst of it is, I’m convinced he can’t even read.


What are the complaints? Where does one begin? I have dutifully fed this cat several times a day, without fail, from the day he moved in until about ten minutes ago. And yet, every morning, before I’m anywhere near being interested in rising from my slumbers, here he comes, pushing his soggy nose against mine again and again, talking nonstop—nonstop I tell you—about what, only God knows. He continues his harangue even as I reluctantly emerge from my bed and pad towards the kitchen. Regardless of my repeated assurances that the presentation of his breakfast is imminent, on he goes, like a small furry activist protesting injustice. I show him the plate, the can, the kibble, asking him to please pipe down as I am progressing as fast as I can without coffee. Still, he continues with his lecture, as if he’s been the forgotten victim of heartless neglect, until the very millisecond his meal arrives. Once the plate is down, my cat gobbles for about seven seconds, then walks away, leaving a nearly full plate. And I find myself wondering what all that whining was about as off he goes to enjoy a post-breakfast nap. It must be nice being able to go back to sleep. For me, at that point, all such hopes have been dashed.


My cat brings in no income to the household. He does no chores. He mostly sleeps, mostly in the most inconvenient spots; as I said, he has a fondness for the keyboard of the very computer upon which I am currently typing, which is why I’m writing this quickly while he is out of the room. He talks only of his own needs, making constant demands, and has yet to learn the word “please.” I feel it’s the very least he would do if he had any decency.


My cat has an overblown sense of entitlement. He expects access to anyplace he chooses to go, including bags, boxes, cupboards, shelves, and potted plants. He’ll even clear off my posessions if they happen to be in his way. He does it right in front of me, unapologetically, like a school bully daring anyone to object to his bullying. He demands not only feeding but also scratching, petting, and the use of my shoulders as a perch for getting a better view of things. It must be said, for the evidence is irrefutable: My cat is rude.


One may well wonder why I haven’t told him to pack his bags and find someplace else to wreak havoc. Well this is where the true depth of this conniving little villain’s trickery becomes clear. My cat’s purr has the effect of a hypnotic opiate, persuading me to believe that it’s worth putting up with all the annoyance for the mere pleasure of his company. That’s his con. I’m not proud to confess that it works. Indeed, I feel like rather a sap if I’m honest.


I was intending to write far more, but I’ve made the mistake of going to the kitchen to refill my tea cup and upon returning, I discovered that my shamelessly opportunistic housemate had immediately claimed the very center of my favorite writing chair to continue his all-day nap. And I just can’t bear to wake him. I’ve typed this last paragraph at the kitchen sink.


Damn it, he’s cute when he’s sleeping. Be still my heart; was that a tiny snore?