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Am I Hallucinating? I Must Have WAY More Cats Than I Think

The room was empty a minute ago -- but that's when I wasn't in a hurry, asleep, heading for the bathroom, or taking a heavy pot off the stove.

 |  Jun 11th 2013  |   14 Contributions


What is it about cats? Whether you have one, two, or like me ... uh, more, it appears they can magically multiply so it seems you have many more than you thought. If you’re not quite sure what I mean, let me share some examples:

Before I go to bed each night, I always get my clothes ready for work for the next day. I think I am alone, but as soon as I open the closet door, it is instantly filled with cats. How do they do that? How is it they are already on the top shelf? How did one of them get into my dresser drawer? I swear they were all sleeping soundly on their cat condo before I got ready for bed.

Then, of course, during the night as I try to sleep, there is always a cat or two on the bed. Each is tiny enough to curl up on my lap in a compact ball during the day, but at bedtime, somehow their bodies transform to the size of a Saint Bernard, and they take up the entire square footage of the bed. Those cats that didn’t budge when my alarm clock went off? They are now on the floor in quantities far more than I thought I owned for me to trip over as I stumble my way to the bathroom.

This bed sleeps seven comfortably ... seven cats, that is. Photo by Dan Power

That's not including the additional bonus pool of cat vomit for me to step in. How is it that a cat can strategically project a hairball to step in no matter what the location? Are they somehow taught hairball projectile vomiting as kittens by their mothers?

Why can’t I open the back door without an army of cats appearing? My cats are indoor cats, so why do they think they are going outside? Also, why do they deem it is best to come out of nowhere to rub against my legs lovingly when I am taking a boiling pot of spaghetti off the stove to drain? Or what about cuddle time? It’s never on my terms. I call them, and they ignore me. But as soon as I have settled on the couch and want to stretch my tired legs and relax, they decide it's time to bond and I will be covered in cats. Naturally I cannot get up now, even if my legs get a serious cramp and I desperately need a restroom break. On that subject, if I am not in a rush, there will not be a cat in sight when I go. The instant I am in a hurry, though, such as when I am running late for work, a cat will jump onto my lap and begin to settle for a long nap. This is the very same cat who won’t sit on my lap on an actual chair if I call him to join me when I have all the time in the world.

And just where do you think you're going? Photo by Dan Power

Then there's litter box syndrome. The cat goes. I scoop. Repeat. It's an endless game of poop and scoop to the point I wonder whether the neighborhood cats are coming into my house to use the litter box. Then come the little moments of the day that make me wonder where all those cats came from. My house is so silent that I could hear a pin drop. That is, until I start to read a book, a newspaper, or a magazine. Then, out of nowhere, a cat will appear and sit on my book, newspaper, or magazine. The same is true with freshly washed laundry sitting on the bed waiting to be put away -- or an empty box or a paper bag. Instant cat magnets. 

And speaking of cat magnets, why do my cats feel they must bond with my mother-in-law when she comes to visit for the holidays? She is not a cat person, yet they will be all over her and will ignore the rest of my family who have been begging for hours for their attention. I believe it's a cat conspiracy because the same thing will happen when I start to cook that holiday dinner. The cats are practically invisible for most of the day, to the point I wonder whether I have any cats at all. Then, the moment I call everyone to dinner and set the food on the table, several cats appear and proceed to not only jump on the table but to swish their full tails over as many dishes of food as possible, with a sneezing spasm thrown in for good measure. I will of course, have to feign innocence that they have never jumped up on the table before and pretend to scold them for being naughty. 

This is our little secret when company comes over. Photo by Dan Power

The only time I feel like I don’t have any cats at all is when the cat carrier comes out. Oddly, all the cats vanish without a trace.

Deborah Barnes lives in Florida and is the author of the book, The Chronicles of Zee & Zoey –- A Journey of the Extraordinarily Ordinary. She is the creator of the award-winning blog Zee & Zoey’s Chronicle Connection, which covers the everyday journey she shares with her cats as well as cat-related topics humorous and serious.

Read more from Deborah Barnes:

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