Until four years ago, I had not had the pleasure of sharing my life with cats. My impression of felines until then? They were snooty, stuck-up creatures who took themselves way too seriously and would rather humans leave them alone — unless they were providing food, chin scratches, or an appropriately positioned lap.
Well, that’s still true, but now that I live with them, I realize that’s the fun of cats!
You love them despite — or because of — that essence of feline temperament known as catitude.
For example, while Calvin will come running at the barely perceptible sound of a treat bag being opened, he will easily ignore me when I’m searching for him during my before-bedtime cat inventory. (Something I do every evening to ensure that nobody accidentally spends a night locked in a closet.)
Cats are also masters of the glare — the squinty-eyed, evil-purr-sonified stare that makes you very happy that looks don’t kill. The funny thing is, cats are so easily affronted that a human living with a kitty will be on the receiving end of that glower 17 times day, on average, for such rude behaviors as simply adjusting your position without permission, or sneezing inappropriately, or petting the wrong cat body part. Sometimes you never know what offense you have committed. Just ask Dawn.
A cat is never wrong. If you see one miscalculate a jump or knock something down, it is because he or she meant to do it. Nothing is accidental. Everything is intentional. And if you question that, well, they know how to track you down. At least that’s what Athena says.
When you share your life with cats, you can’t help but celebrate their catitude. How do your cats demonstrate their catitude? Tell us in the comments, or better yet, write a haiku.
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About the author: Susan C. Willett is a writer, photographer, and blogger whose award-winning original stories, photography, poetry, and humor can be found at Life With Dogs and Cats. She lives in New Jersey with three dogs and four cats (all rescues) and at least a couple of humans — all of whom provide inspiration for her work. Refusing to take sides in the interweb’s dogs vs. cats debate, Susan enjoys observing the interspecies interaction among the varied inhabitants of her home — like living in a reality TV show, only furrier. In addition to Life With Dogs and Cats, you can find more Lilah, Jasper, and Tucker (and the rest of the gang) on Haiku by Dog™, Haiku by Cat™, and Dogs and Cats Texting.
All photographs by Susan C. Willett.