Daily Archives: February 3, 2007

In Defense of the Cat


I was recently much-dismayed to find out that two of my closest friends are, and have long been, unrepentant cat haters. Sadly, I know they’re not alone. I’ve met many people who are only too happy to disparage the noble name of cat with their misguided biases and their sweeping characterizations of the finest of man’s furry friends.

Maligned, misunderstood creature, the cat.

How can anyone not see the poetry of form and movement that is a contented house cat? How can even the most casual of observers not admire the unwavering strength of his self-possession and the unapologetic nature of his curious cat ways? How can one not be charmed when he graces your lap with his presence, not because he is slavishly chained by the imprint of his doggy DNA, but because he chooses to?

A cat curled up in delicious slumber on his favorite chair, or basking unashamedly in a puddle of sun on the rug, while the life of the home moves to and fro above his head, speaks volumes of the happiness of his home. And when he plays, he is a whimsical delight, creating from the overlooked ephemera of our days–a piece of string, a paper bag–worlds of unparalleled discovery and intrigue.

The cat is a complex creature, a being of light and shadow, of moods, of motivations, of dreams undreamed by human kind. His conversation is of the cleverest kind, wordlessly conveyed by the twitch of a tail, the steady gaze of emerald eyes, the sardonic tilt of a head. He is a keen judge of character, and maybe that is the rub. There are few people who can bear to be seen so clearly.

It’s been said that no one really owns a cat, and I must agree. Even to those within his living space, he offers his friendship capriciously. But if one consents to take you into his affections, it is a kingly gift indeed, and well worth the price of changing the litter box.