Dear Future Cat Person
Maybe you grew up with a dog; or a bird, or without pets. Perhaps you had a cat, but didn’t connect. Or, perchance, you grew up in a staunchly aquarist household. Whatever the reason, you now consider yourself to be “Not a cat person” or say you “Don’t like cats”. Well, I’ve got big news for you- You’re a cat fan, you just don’t realize it yet! I know, I shit my pants when it happened to me, too.
Let’s unpack this.
Just reading the word makes you want one, like “sandwich” or “giant bowl of weed.” As most people are, you’re a fan of naps. But, you’re struggling to take your nap game to the next level. Or worse, maybe you have no nap game at all. Enter, cats. Wanna be the best? Learn from the best. Cats. A 6-month old kitten has forgotten more about napping than you’ll ever know. Location, duration, position; cats are highly proficient in every phase of the game. A 20-30 minute cat nap (they’re so good we named naps after them!) will improve alertness, reduce mental mistakes without leaving you groggy or interfering with your nighttime sleep patterns. Get a cat, learn to nap, live best nap life. Repeat.
When cats see rabbits, they have an instinctual urge to chase. When we humans glance at a catchy little headline, we have an instinctual urge to click. 10 minutes later, it’s just you and whatever strange corner of the internet you find yourself in. You’ve entered an internet rabbit hole. More a state of mind than a physical location. Your tenacious curiosity sounds positively cat-like, to me. Hhmm, very interesting.
I press on.
Netflix, chilling and cats go together like Arnold, action and one-liners. Cats were bred for binge watching TV (not true whatsoever). While not all cats are lap cats; all cats, in a trusting environment, have the ability to chill and ‘Flix with the best of ‘em. However, it goes beyond that; cats are the living embodiment of aspects of our favorite shows. Game of Thrones, The Sopranos, Sons of Anarchy were successful because of their brutality, the character’s reckless abandon. Want brutality? Reckless abandon? Cats eat hearts. Lamb hearts, duck, chicken, mouse. Got a heart? They’ll eat it. As obligate carnivores, they have to, they need the taurine within the heart muscle. Simultaneously cute and vicious. Like Jason Momoa. Nothing is more metal than a kitten powering through a raw chicken neck with it’s adorable little, flesh-ripping, teeth.
A cat’s natural instincts are to hunt and play. They stalk, pounce and kick (the hell out of) their prey. Using toys that encourage these instincts will strengthen your mutual bond, improve attitude and help create a schedule. A feather on a string is a perfectly suitable cat toy. Add a stick for enhanced control, but it’s not necessary.
Cats are easily entertained and want a connection with us. So how does this relate to what you, the human, likes? Ball In A Cup. A super simple, old-timey game of catching a ball in (you guessed it) a cup! The ball is tied to a… you understand how it works. They’re a human string toy. I assume people in Conestoga wagons used these a lot. Today, phone games are the electronic equivalent of catching a ball in a cup. Actually, I bet that game has been turned into an app. Wait here, I’ll check... OK, I couldn’t find exactly what I’m talking about. Maybe I should update my reference? Regardless, we like interacting with simple toys, just as cats do. And simple, at-home games are TikTok-dance-video hot right now.
What was that? Did you see that? I sure did! ‘Twas a fleeting glimpse of your future-self cuddling a charming, selfish, delightful little booper as you both watch Netflix contemplating your next nap, or snackies, or both. As the irreplaceable Chris Farley once said “Don’t run away from your feelings!” I was raised with a dog and didn’t accept cats into my life until my mid- to late twenties. What the hell was I waiting for? Gaining the trust, love and friendship of any animal is a powerful, humbling experience. I was limiting myself to just one type of booper (dogs) when, in reality, any relationship with any booper is hugely rewarding.
Maybe you already have a pet, or you’re comfortable with your current (catless) situation, or you’re still trying to shake your devoutly aquarist upbringing; but consider adopting (or fostering) a cat. There are so many cats in shelters out there in need of help. In return they offer bad ass friendshippery (not a word), free nap lessons and a lifelong bond. Maybe, you’re not so anti-cat after all.
Have you adopted a pet? Have you always liked cats? Tell us in the comments!
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Follow Mikita and Dahlia @chicagoblackcat