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10 Things Cats Probably Think About While Staring

When cats zone out, I'm sure they think of crumbs, injustices, and litter box coverage.

Angie Bailey  |  Sep 15th 2016


All cats spend a fair amount of time staring at, well, nothing. Their empty gazes beg the question, “What in the world is happening in that fuzzy little mind?” Well, I did ponder that question, and here are 10 things that came out of my fuzzy little head.

1. Fondly remembering crumbs eaten earlier in the day

I think there were cheesy cracker crumbs and maybe a few corn cereal pieces. The corn really paired well with the cheese. I should remember that combination and look for signs that it may appear again. Did I miss a few pieces? I looked in only one corner of the kitchen. Those humans are pretty messy. There might be more in other corners. I can picture them. Delicious. 

2. Doing math to figure timing for the next meal

I slept for about three hours (I think). Breakfast was an hour before that. That means it’s about five hours until dinner. Wait a minute — is my math right? Maybe I slept four hours. In that case it’s only four hours until the next meal. Maybe I slept even longer than that and food will come even sooner. What if I slept right through dinner? What if I won’t eat again until morning? This is concerning.

"Must.find.straw."

“Must.find.straw.”

3. Making mental pros and cons lists

Do I want to get up and move to the newly formed sun puddle? Pros: warmth, making the other cats jealous. Cons: I have to move from a comfortable position. Yeah, I think I’ll stay.

4. Trying to remember where they left that unwrapped straw

Where did I last see that pink-striped straw? I swear I batted it into the guest room this morning, but it wasn’t there when I went back later. Maybe I was in the main bedroom. The carpet looks the same in every room — it’s so confusing. I need to find that straw. It had the perfect number of chew marks on it. I planned to slide it across the kitchen floor tonight, but now I may have to make an alternate plan. Maybe I had it in the bathroom. Was there really carpet or was it tile? I can’t remember. Now my night will be crap.

"That ear feels ever so slightly unclean."

“That ear feels ever so slightly unclean.”

5. Wondering whether they’re clean enough

I may have spent more time cleaning my left ear than my right one. My right ear feels slightly less perfect. I’m usually so great at making sure my body is pristinely detailed. Am I slipping? Yesterday my ears felt equally clean. Why does it feel uneven today? Should I clean the ear again? Or maybe clean it twice the amount of time later? I can’t handle this any longer. I have to take care of that ear.

6. Admiring themselves

Look at my perfect stance. I look exceptionally good today. My paws are nicely lined up next to each other. I hope someone notices me. I mean, I look good every day, but today … wow. 

"Damn, I look good."

“Damn, I look good.”

7. Wondering whether they adequately covered their litter box “business”

That was a fairly large dropping I left in the box. I dug a lot before I “went,” but now I’m concerned I didn’t kick enough litter on top of it. I usually need to kick only five or six times, but the dimensions of this nugget were nearly twice as big as other ones. I think I should have kicked 10 to 12 times. Or maybe even 12 to 13 times. These thoughts are haunting me! Make them stop!

8. Deciding whether the recent vet trip was a sleeping or waking nightmare

I was locked in the plastic jail cell and then I was in a cold, white room. Someone poked at my body and put something inside my bottom. Then I was back inside the plastic jail cell. This had to be a nightmare. I can’t imagine anything this horrible really happening to me. Wait a minute … was I abducted by aliens? I think I might have been abducted and probed!

"Aliens. Definitely aliens."

“Aliens. Definitely aliens.”

9. Remembering all those who wronged him or her

Mr. Boots took my catnip cigar this morning. That was bad. My bowl had 12 fewer piece of kibble than the other cats’ bowls. That was bad. I was abducted by aliens. That was bad. The human moved me when I was in the middle of a satisfying nap. That was bad. 

10. Not a damn thing

In all truthfulness, cats are probably sitting there with empty thought bubbles floating above their heads, but it’s way more fun thinking of them doing math and cursing their enemies.

What do you imagine your cats think when they’re zoned out?