They scag our clothes getting themselves comfortable, sometimes they scag our furniture too! They meow constantly for our attention. They steal our food if we leave it unattended. They spend most of their time sleeping. But we love them anyway.
Or, at least, I do.
There’s the scientific thing about their purring at a rate which is calming to humans, and the fact that they’re supposed to be quite intelligent – you’d certainly think so when watching the plots Marmite used to steal food right off my plate. But to me, I think the most prevalent reason for our loving cats is their companionship.
When I was off work due to ill health, Marmite would sit with me for hours purring on my lap and pressing buttons on my keyboard as I typed. She would nuzzle my hand while I held coffee and spill it all over me, and nuzzle my phone as I tried to type messages or play games. They say that you either love or hate Marmite, and unless you weren’t a cat person I can’t think of a reason why you wouldn’t love her.
If you’ve read last month’s series on The Pet Feud you’ll know a little about my cat, and her interactions with my dog. I used a bit of creative license while writing the series, as obviously I couldn’t ask them what their opinions of each other really were. While they really did dislike each other at first, my dog clearly wanted Marmite as a playmate; and although Marmite did get irritated with the dog’s constantly following her, I think she saw her as a lovable rogue.
You’ll notice this isn’t my usual Monday story post and there’s a reason for that. Marmite was in an accident on Sunday night. She’d gone a little senile at 16 years of age, and seemed to enjoy standing in the middle of the road – Queen of the World – expecting cars to stop for her I suppose, or maybe not seeing them at all. But on Sunday night someone didn’t see her and didn’t stop for her. She was brought to the hospital and we were able to say goodbye, with her nuzzling my hand (very gently) until the very end.
So I’m sorry for not providing what I usually would but I wanted to post an ending to the Pet Feud series with a message about how much we love cats in memory of my beautiful friend, Marmite.
Well I didn’t get rid of the cat, seems like they love the stupid creature so it isn’t going anywhere. I’ve tried working on her so that she’ll just leave but that isn’t working either. No matter how much I chase her around and get on her nerves she sticks around like the rodent she is. I’ve discovered that I kind of like the danger anyway, winding her up until she hisses at me is a bit scary but it’s a pretty intense buzz. The adrenaline kicks in and I run (faster than her) but I can always come back for more later.
I chase dogs too sometimes. When mum takes me to the field and unhooks me from the lead I get to run free. There are normally loads of other dogs around and I get to make some friends while the cat’s locked in at home. She can’t steal attention while I’m at the field. They take me to training too, it’s a bit like school and can be a bit of a drag sometimes. But – oh boy! The treat quota while I’m there is heavy. All I have to do is touch a hand with my nose, or maybe sit down and clickclick there’s a treat for me. Easy.
I got a new bone this week, bright yellow and deeeee-licious. I pretend it’s cat flavoured and rip it to shreds. She should be scared and run away but I don’t think she realises. It doesn’t really matter though, she spends most of her time curled up on a dining-room chair sleeping. I’ve never seen anyone sleep so much in my life, there are so many things to do besides sleep! You can run, that’s my favourite. You can play tug of war or fetch. You can find one of the people and they’ll give you a good belly rub…
I love belly rubs. I try to keep my eyes open but it’s so heavenly it’s a tough job. They’ve used them to coerce me before though… into the bath! The worst experience. Come on Noche, there’s a good girl, ooh a nice doggy massage. NO. A nice doggy massage is a belly rub, it is definitely not having gooey sticky shampoo rubbed into my fur. Then they turn the water on and it hisses like the cat and rains on me! It’s warmer than rain which is better, but still not good. When I get out I always give myself a big shake all over them, serves them right for shoving me in the shower and getting me all wet.
But mostly it isn’t too bad here. I have my toys, my bed and my sofa. I have my people, and I don’t have to share them too much because I don’t actually think the cat’s that keen on their attention. I guess I’ll just have to get used to her… and those damn baths!
The dog’s gone out. Emma comes outside and calls walkies with the same patronising tone they use for children, then she attaches some sort of rope-like contraption to her collar and away they go. Then it’s time to celebrate: from the moment they leave I have about forty-five minutes of freedom! I can walk around without her following me… some of us don’t need a lead to go for a walk. They get proud of the dog if she jumps to their hand, I can jump over fences and don’t get rewarded for it. But I suppose the only reward I need is the knowledge of my blatant superiority.
Anyway so they’ve taken the dog out. The first thing I do is see if she’s left any food behind; my food may be that stuff with gravy and real chunks of meat but I don’t mind slumming it now and then with a mouthful of dog biscuits – especially if I’ve already eaten my own food as a starter. She never eats all of her food anyway, the stupid mutt doesn’t understand the worth of a good bit of meat; I’d eat it while she was home but she’d get up in my face if I did that. Next I steal her water. Since the clumsy oaf keeps knocking mine over with her gigantic bumbling nose, I think it’s only fair to sneak some of hers while she’s away… it’s important to stay hydrated after all.
Once I’m fed and watered it’s time for a bit of unadulterated attention from my humans. I love a good nuzzle, and a scratch behind my ears. They sometimes pick me up for a cuddle which is slightly irritating but it’s worth putting up with for the extra affection. It’s so much nicer to get loved up without that pesky dog jumping up at me, she gets so jealous she seems to forget that I was here first!
So once I’ve fulfilled my love quota I pop back to her bowl for another slurp and then see what the weather’s doing. If it’s not looking too shabby outside I’ll do a bit of sunbathing, I find the warmest piece of floor and nap in it. Glorious. Unfortunately though my humans seem to have chosen a fairly grim place to live in terms of the weather, which frequently destroys the possibility of sunbathing. On these occasions I hole up under the dinner table and have a peaceful nap on one of the chairs. Or even the sofa since I’m allowed on it – yet another advantage of not being a scruffy (and rather ginormous) dog.
Inevitably the dog will wake me up soon, but those forty-five minutes of freedom are perfect. Dog-free is just the way I like my life to be. If only they’d get rid of her permanently, I’d thoroughly enjoy the peace and quiet… maybe I’ll tell the humans that I’m allergic? Not that they’d understand me: humans are so bad at learning languages, and they never even tried to learn cat.
I knew it from the moment I met her one sunny afternoon. She’d come to visit me at the foster home, my sister was there too with some different visitors who’d taken quite a shine to her. I was worried because I don’t have a tail, and all dogs know that wagging is a proven method of bagging an adoption. But she loved me anyway, or perhaps even more for it, and I ended up going home with her.
The first sign of imperfection was revealed on the journey home – a car. Why anyone would like to sit in such a machine is beyond me. It launches you from one side to the other so that you slide across violently in the back. I thought it would be the end for me, the end of my pitiful life at six months old.
So I was understandably excited to arrive home and escape from the metal box on wheels that they travel in. For a few days I was the jewel of the household. Mum let me snuggle on the sofa with me while she curled up with a book. She played tug of war with me in the garden. She let me sleep with her sock and bought a brand new teddy bear just for me. It was heaven.
But then I met her.
The demon creature that lives in the conservatory.
At first I thought: well here is a new playmate, I can’t wait to meet her! But she hissed whenever I got close, and stuck her hackles up like spears on her back. She even made a swipe for me when the humans weren’t looking! So I kept my distance, and glued myself to mum’s heels.
But then the unthinkable happened – mum picked the cat up. She stroked the thing tenderly, as though she actually loved it! Although how anyone could love that thing is beyond me, all she does is lie there until there’s some food to steal. The little Cat-thief! At first I felt dejected that mum hadn’t taken my side in our feud, but then it morphed into anger.
Bummed. That’s the only word I can think of to use in this situation – I am bummed out.
Seventeen years I’ve lived in this house, loved and entertained this family and this is how they repay me? I guess you must know the feeling, when the people you love bring someone else into the family and you’re second best all of a sudden. It’s not even fair because everyone knows I’m the superior one. And I’ve been here longer…
There was another before this fluffy giant they brought home with them. She was nicer though, still huge and smelly but at least she left me alone! This new one, she follows me everywhere. I go to grab some lunch, she follows me. I go back inside, she’s right behind. She herds me out of rooms with warm laps and loving hands that scratch my neck the way I like it. She trots along at my heels when I’m off for a stroll in the garden. To be honest with you, I’ve had just enough of it thank-you-very-much.
I suppose there’s that one thing she does have on me as far as the humans are concerned – tricks. The best trick I can do is to sneak across the lap of an unsuspecting human to steal a heavenly morsel from their plate. This stupid mongrel sits at demand, lies down at demand – hell, she even rolls over for their entertainment! It’s pathetic really, as though she has no backbone. She’s just a stupid mindless beast that takes up space in my home. It’s not as though I can’t do the tricks… it’s more a matter of…Well I might as well say it – there’s no chance on this planet that I’m going to work for my treats when I get them for free.
Luckily for me, there is still one person in this house who prefers me to that irritating brat. She gives me milk, treats and plenty of attention. The only time I don’t like her is when she drags that spiky thing through my fur to make it ‘shiny’, afterwards I can parade around the house and show my new coat off to the ruffian. Her hair is too long and shaggy to be beautiful. And she is way too annoying to be cool. She hasn’t really got much going for her.
Then again, I am biased. But how could I not be a cat person? I am a cat after all…
If you’re a dog person please don’t hate me! My dog’s perspective will be up next week!