Rant & Rage: The cat’s out of the bag and in my face

I thought I was a cat person. All my life, I’ve had feline friends all around me.

I thought I was a cat person. All my life, I’ve had feline friends all around me. Granted, it has been some time since I have shared my living space with a cat—but my latest “roommate” has become quite a nuisance.

I don’t know whether it is because all my past cat companions have been raised with dogs, and therefore learned certain superior pet traits, or if this new guy is something unique, but this new cat seems to lack any sense of boundaries. I thought cats were independent; at least, that is what had been promoted of them to me from various friends as they encouraged me to add a new friend into my life and my bare apartment. How could that hurt?

This cat has no idea what personal space is. It is constantly coming up to my feet, crawling over my shoulder, or trying to get into my lap. If it could talk, it is as if it would be saying “pet me, I’m cute.” And I have no problem with a little pat now and then, maybe some playtime with some string, but this is getting ridiculous. I mean, this is a pretty straightforward deal here—I pet it every now and then and feed it, and in turn the cat keeps mice out of the kitchen.

But it doesn’t stop there. I’m trying to watch my stories, and the cat is there. I’m trying to read a book, and the cat is there. I’m trying to write this very column, and the cat is marching all over my keyboard, stretching its paw out at me, already purring as if it is expecting me to just drop everything…and of course I do, because the thing is so damn cute when it does that.

But it goes beyond the constant in-my-face interruptions. I am convinced that it has observed my behavior and has adapted beyond the capabilities of most ordinary cats…it is conniving, I tell you.

For example, on more than one occasion it has paused TV shows I’m watching on Hulu. Out of nowhere, suddenly a paw will appear in my peripheral vision and hit the space bar on my computer—and the cat is stretching for it too, it knows and it’s sneaking. And I’m positive it’s no accident—it’s aiming right for that space bar, and it knows that pressing it will stop the show. One moment I’m watching “Maury,” and the next moment the screen is paused and I’m prevented from knowing who the hell the father is. This is promptly followed by the cat rolling over and giving out a “meow.”

It also knows when it’s time to get up. Before my alarm can even go off, I’ll wake to find a cat’s head nudging me in the side of my face. But unlike the alarm clock, the cat doesn’t have a snooze button to hit…though I’ve been tempted.

When I’m not picking up after the thing, it’s circling me. It’s a constant cycle of furry feline affection that is interrupting the peaceful island oasis that is my apartment. At one point I theorized that the cat could be the reincarnation of my ex-wife, come back in time to torment my remaining days. But that was a ridiculous notion—after all, unlike my ex, the cat is affectionate.

And you’ll notice that earlier I wrote “if it could talk,” and didn’t just impose a voice over the cat, as many cat people would do. Cats don’t have voices—at least, they don’t have human voices. We all know those people who have a special voice for their cats, usually a different characterization per feline. These folks are also more likely to stuff the little guy into a reindeer outfit for Christmas, or a pumpkin costume for Halloween.

Let’s not call these people “cat people” anymore. As with their counterparts in the dog community, let’s just call them what they are—crazy people. The difference between a cat person and a dog person who dresses up their pet, though, is that in most cases a dog has a good chance of getting away. Seriously, have you ever seen a picture of a happy-looking cat dressed up in whatever seasonal getup they’ve been forced into? I didn’t think so. ?