I have three strictly indoor cats. The other day, my less than pet-obsessed husband, Max, asked me a stupid question.
“Which cat is your favorite?”
“What do you mean? I don’t have a favorite.”
“Surely you like one of them a bit more than the others, non?”
“You’re lying. My favorite is No├®.”
Max really didn’t seem to believe me, so we decided to (somewhat) objectively figure out a dilemma of cat ownership: which cat is my favorite. We’d base it on various crucial kitty criteria. Each cat would get a +1, 0, or -1 rating in the different categories of behavior and traits, and the cat with the most points at the end would be the “winner.”
We waited until all three cats were off sleeping to rate them. I didn’t want any of them to overhear and have his or her feelings hurt. (Parents — I recommend doing the same if you plan on using the rating system for your children.)
Let’s meet the contenders:
Noe— a seven-year-old ginger tabby who I adopted as a kitten from a rescue group in the north of France. He’s been with us since the beginning of my life as a Canadian expat in France, and, apparently, is Max’s favorite of the three.
Skinny Mini — a five-year-old tortie Sphynx who came to us as a young adult from a responsible breeder close to us here in the French Alps. She’s lived with us for almost three years now.
Fly — a seal tortie sepia colored Sphynx from the same breeder. Fly is just over three years old, and we’ve had her for almost a year.
First category: Shedding
Cat hair is a huge dealbreaker for some people. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard, “Oh I love cats, but I hate cat hair!” Considering two of my cats are nudists, the clear loser in this category was poor No├® who has a mutant coat that sheds ALL. THE. TIME. Seriously, he’s the softest cat you’ll ever pet, but when I brush him, I get enough fur to make each of my Sphynx cats a winter wardrobe.
Skinny Mini is “hairier” than tiny Fly (who is nearly completely nude) so it’s only fair that Fly takes this category, paws down.
Fly: +1. Skinny Mini: 0. No├®: -1.
I’ve written about how high-maintenance the Sphynx cat breed is before. They need regular ear and nail cleaning in addition to weekly baths, and they can leave greasy stains on household surfaces and bedding. Skinny Mini is the grimier of my two Sphynx cats, and her skin and ears require even more cleaning than Fly’s. No├®’s only setback is his shedding (see above), but it’s not much compared to how much time I spend taking care of the girls’ personal hygiene!
No├®: +1. Fly: 0. Skinny Mini: -1.
3. (Destructive) behavior
If someone asked me which of my cats is the most well-behaved, I’d have to go with No├®. He’s a friendly guy who loves rubbing up against feet, but he doesn’t actually do much. No├®’s not the kind of cat who will knock over stuff, destroy things or jump up on counters and flimsy shelves. Skinny Mini and Fly, on the other hand, are typical Sphynx cats who are high-energy and very curious. They stick their noses into everything, and the only way I could decide which rating each got was based on how destructive they are in comparison to each other. Skinny Mini likes to get into stuff, but Fly likes to break stuff. Leave your wine glass on my coffee table? Shattered on the floor. Forgot your cellphone on the couch? You didn’t like that tactile screen much, did you? Oh hey, what’s that? It’s Fly, hanging off the back of our flat-screen TV causing it to sway dangerously back and forth.
No├®: +1. Skinny Mini: 0. Fly: -1.
4. Kitty cuddles
Basically, how much does each of my cats love me. No├® favors Max (which is why I suspect he’s my husband’s favorite), Fly seems to love on each of us equally, and Skinny Mini is definitely a mama’s girl. She’s on my lap right now kneading away at my leg and purring up a storm. No├® sleeps with Max, and the nudists sleep with me. No├® hates being held, Fly doesn’t mind some days and will try to claw your face off other days, and Skinny Mini would like nothing more than to be surgically attached to my bosom. She’s a needy girl, but I like needy. Skinny Mini allows me to put my maternal instincts to use without actually having a human baby and that’s a huge point in her favor!
Skinny Mini: +1. Fly: 0. No├®: -1.
Don’t get me wrong — each of my cats has his or her own distinct and delightful personality, but in terms of (my own personal) entertainment, which one is the most interesting? As I mentioned before, No├® is sweet and laid-back, but he likes to sleep a whole lot. He doesn’t like to play with the other cats, and he’s a bit of an aloof loner. Fly is a funny girl who loves drinking water from running faucets and hopping into the shower with me. She’s curious, but as the breeder warned me, “not the most intelligent cat.” Skinny Mini is not only curious, but she’s smart as a whip and the chattiest of the three. She’s a bit neurotic, a pinch pyschotic and completely enchanting. There’s never a dull moment at my house with these guys!
Skinny Mini: +1. Fly: 0. No├®: -1.
And my favorite cat is …?
According to the results of my ridiculous rating system, Skinny Mini is my favorite cat! So what does that even mean? Perhaps if I needed to hire one of my three cats for a job, I’d hire her. But I’m not hiring a cat, and I’m not playing favorites (*cough* Max). What I am doing is caring for and loving the three cats that I have, unconditionally, and with all their shortcomings. Goodness knows they accept mine!
Do YOU favor one of your pets over another? Let us know in the comments!
About Crystal Gibson: A child-sized Canadian expat in France who is fluent in French and sarcasm. Owned by a neurotic Doxie mix, a Garfield look-alike, and two needy Sphynx cats. An aspiring writer and pet photographer with a love of coffee and distaste for French administration, she can be found blogging over at Crystal Goes to Europe.
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