5 Ways That My Cats Mess With My Spouse


Some people say cats don’t have a sense of humor, but anyone who lives with these furry little rascals knows that’s simply not true. I share my life (as well as my bed, my food, and my shoulders) with two kitties who definitely have the capacity to enjoy a good joke. My girls — Ghost Cat and Specter — are a pair of practical jokers intent on mocking my long-suffering husband. You see, my cats’ brand of humor isn’t about trying to make humans laugh, it’s about laughing at humans (or rather one human in particular). I fear they are trying to drive my spouse mad, just for the giggles.

Take a look at the five ways my cats mess with my husband and then try to tell me these animals don’t know comedy!

1. By begging for (but ignoring) breakfast

"What? You expect us to eat this food we incessantly asked for? No way."
“What? You expect us to eat this food we incessantly asked for? No way.”

It starts with meowing. Insistent, incessant meowing. Working as a team, Ghost Cat and Specter circle my husband’s feet, scampering around him as he walks into our kitchen at five o’clock in the morning. They sound like old-timey firetrucks or a broken alarm clock. Tails high and voices higher, my cats beg my husband for food as he moves toward the coffee machine. Knowing he won’t be able to enjoy his breakfast in peace until the cats have theirs, my guy gives them what they want.

I’m still under the covers in my bed when I hear the sound of kibble falling into the cats’ dish. I roll over, expecting the house to fall into silence as my three early-rising loved ones eat their breakfasts. Instead, I hear my husband muttering angrily in French, his voice mixing with the meowing, which still hasn’t stopped. I don’t know exactly what he’s saying, but I recognize a string of expletives before he switches to English.

“I gave you what you want! Stop staring at me and just eat your breakfast!”

2. By begging for (then abandoning) takeout

Could you enjoy take-out with this sweet little face looking right at you?
Could you enjoy takeout with this sweet little face looking right at you?

I’m not a good cook, so takeout nights are a real treat for my husband — and for the cats. My husband is partial to chicken, so obviously the kitties are all over him the moment he takes the lid off his styrofoam dish (I keep telling him this wouldn’t happen if he would order vegetarian).

With the scent of poultry in the air, Ghost Cat and Specter beg, plead, and try to steal as my husband eats with one hand and guards with the other. When he eventually and predictably tires of fending them off, he decides to share — tossing a scrap of chicken their way. As if on cue, each cat takes a sniff before abandoning their prize, strutting away and forcing my husband to retrieve the bit of chicken before our allergic-to-everything dog gets it. Five minutes later, the cats come back. They’ve forgotten they don’t like the chicken.

3. By pretending to miss me

Ghost cat rawr
According to my husband, Ghost Cat unleashed some unholy howling when I leave.

“Your cats were so annoying. They cried the whole time you were gone.”

This is a typical greeting I receive upon returning from an outing. You see, I had a baby a few months ago and have been spending more time at home than ever before. The cats love it (even if they have to share my shoulders and lap with the human kid). In fact, the cats love having me at home so much that they’re no longer content when it’s just my husband there with them — or at least, they pretend not to be.

If I go out with the baby for a couple hours and leave the cats at home with my guy, they meow at top volume, actively preventing him from enjoying whatever superhero movie is on TV during his brief baby-free time. As soon as I walk back through the door, though, it’s like someone pushed the mute button on the kitties. They promptly shut their traps and go back to silently sleeping on the sofa (usually just as I hand the baby off to his dad).

4. By being night terrors

She's the monster under his bed.
She’s the monster under his bed.

Not content to disturb my husband’s peace only in daylight hours, our cats have taken to messing with him after dark, too. With a baby in the house, my husband and I rotate the nights that we are the on-duty parent, often sleeping in separate bedrooms so that at least one of us can get some rest.

Well, Specter and Ghost Cat apparently don’t like to see my guy well rested, because they have taken to hiding in the guest room before he goes to bed. They bunker down under the bed or in the closet, and about an hour into his sleep, they’ll spring out from their hiding spot and began clawing at the door, desperate to get back out to me and the baby. I swear, when my husband chases the cats out into the hallway (yelling French expletive-laden variations of “and stay out!”), the kitties share a mischievous glance as they prance toward me, looking very pleased with themselves.

5. By being perfect angels

Ghost Cat is an adorable manipulator.
Ghost Cat is an adorable manipulator.

In evening, lit by the glow of Netflix, Ghost Cat and Specter decide to be cute and cuddly. With a cat or two on his lap, my husband seems to forget that they’ve kept him up all night or tortured him with top-volume food requests throughout the day. As he runs his hand through kitty fur, it occurs to me that the cats are trying to make him overlook how they’ve spent the last 24 hours messing with him at every turn. I suppose the little jokers realize that they do need him on their side. After all, he cleans their litter box, and that is no laughing matter!

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