By Tinky Ningombam
I am a Cat-lover. Always have been. But not all things have been bright and sunny for our darling felines. The world is filled with a huge amount of cat-haters. It has been a rather unfair world for Cats I believe; they are considered lazy, selfish and arrogant. No wonder they are scheming for world domination.
One does not choose a cat, a cat chooses you. People who are mostly are scared of Cats seem to be themselves insecure, it sort of freaks them out that cats can be so mysterious, I think because they do not understand them. And it is puzzling for them to own and live with something that they do not understand. They need clear intelligence like say “Woof” when you say “Yes”, drool when you are hungry or pee on the lamp-post when you are being playful. I do not have anything against dogs, I do not like them but I do not hate them. I just think that they are not smarter than cats.
Haters say a lot against cats. They please no one but themselves they say. They are not loyal as dogs they say. But I choose to ignore them. So what if they are anti-social? You do have a right to pick who you want to purr to. Of course, cats do not want to be patted by every Tom, Dick & Harry. Cats will go about doing their own business rather than following around you and seeking your undiluted attention even when you are with friends. They will not bark and howl when you go out with friends and leave them alone, they would not be bothered to be left to themselves, no Sirree. That’s called independence.
So, does the choice of your pet define who you are? I would say yes. Everyone has heard the famous saying that married folks start looking like each other, but own a pet and you start looking the same pretty much too. Just get out early in the morning and see people jogging with their dogs, they might not look alike, well at first, but they do act the same. Grumbly ones, happy ones, crazy ones and those with a drooling tongue.
Cats would not expect you to take them out for walks or throw them Frisbees. They will just be lazy and cuddle up to you when you watch your movies and eat Tacos. You do not need to bathe them, they can take care of their own. They are agile , graceful and strong. You are never scared of carrying them around or throwing them in the air. Seriously, what good is a pet if you cannot play catch, throw them up in the air and land on their feet?
What of pet- birds, you ask? You cannot own a pet canary without a cage or a parrot or a duck. Too high a maintenance for snakes, a mouse or even a rabbit for that matter. Felines are the only pets you can keep without a lease. They are first and foremost, low- maintenance; they move quietly, they are more polite. Of all the half a dozen cats that I have had as pets, none of them ran away unannounced, they would purr to me when they needed attention and would come at my beck and call. Some of them would be my excellent siesta companions. Sun-basking in the winters, chewing on strings, climbing trees and collecting dead bugs, what all did I not do with them?
Of all the good to mankind that cats have done, the media and movies have not always been nice to cats, this much we know. What with their movies about loyal dogs, about Dogs who help cops and dogs who become heroes. Cats have been stereotyped all their lives and for what? For being what they are? Super Villians and old witches shown patting cats in their laps. Why the constant connection of old hags and cats, one wonders most annoyingly. Every neighborhood seems to have an old lady with a dozen cats, “Crazy Cat Lady”, they call them, I seriously do not know how one assumes one is crazy when they own a lot of cats. What about people who are surrounded by pets just because they are kind-hearted and loving? And do not even talk about those poor black cats. Just because they are rarer, one calls them unlucky. Totally biased , don’t you think? And above all, Hollywood does not spare them either. Cats are always shown, if not as cute or dumb kittens, too girly for their own good or evil and scheming, the likes of serial killers: making Tom dumb in Tom & Jerry or Lucifer, the stepmother’s cat in Cinderella or bad old Sylvester constantly trying to kill the yellow canary Tweety bird. Even Garfield is obese and cares nothing more than eating and kicking Odie off the table.
Why does one forget that cats are distant cousins of the king of the jungle? That they are fierce and strong? That they are free-spirited, wild and intelligent? That they are independent and are not bound to anyone? That they fight battles everyday just to keep our rooms free from rodent attacks? And that they still make sure to be presentable and pretty when summoned. Now that is a pet you want to live with.
(The author did not mean to offend dog-lovers, well not too much anyway. One good thing about cats though, they do not make you feel like a bum even if you slept through the day.)