6 Ways My Cats Would Profit from Opposable Thumbs


I often wonder how my cats would react if they suddenly were equipped with opposable thumbs. I know there are some cats who are polydactyls, but I’m talking about practical, high-functioning thumbs — you know, like the snapping cats in the Cravendale Milk ads.

I’m pretty certain they’d be up to no good. They already give me the Eddie Haskell look (please tell me you know who Eddie Haskell is so I don’t feel 150 years old) to my face and then do whatever their limited little paws allow them to do when I’m not looking. Of course they’d kick it up a notch if they were equipped with extra mischief-making equipment. Plus, I think they’d find additional ways to entertain themselves. Why wouldn’t they?

Here are six ways my cats would take advantage of opposable thumbs.

1. All-you-can-eat buffet

My cats are obsessed with the pantry because they know that’s where the food and treats live. If they suddenly were able to open the pantry or refrigerator, they’d go nuts. They’d probably even invite their friends over for a free-for-all smorgasbord. If I didn’t want to come home to bare cupboards, I’d probably need to take measures. I’m thinking a combination lock would do the trick, although with magical thumbs and superior intelligence, that might not even keep my cats at bay. Sigh.

2. Game on!

I play with my cats, but they generally create their own fun, which can be somewhat limited. Sure, they chase toys and scuffle with each other, but wouldn’t their lives be so much more exciting if they could expand their entertainment options? If they had opposable thumbs, there’d be no end to their fun and frivolity!

Forget about the pre-dinner romp, how about a competitive round of thumb wrestling? And guess who can now operate all those little knobs and buttons on the Xbox controller? Cats. If you don’t want them logging on as you and mucking up your scores, you’ll need to create a special profile just for them. They’ll tell you to go ahead an buy them their own game system.

3. Too many doors to handle

If your cats are anything like mine, they can’t stand closed doors — especially if the door separates you from them. This is especially true of the bathroom door. If I don’t bring Cosmo in the facilities right away, I can count on hearing his pounding paws in a matter of seconds. He’d be ecstatic if his paws could manage to maneuver the door handle. I’d be OK with that, as long as he closed the door after himself. Good luck with that, right?

4. Phone-y behavior

If you read Texts from Mittens, you know about the chaos cats can create if given a mobile phone and unlimited data. We have no explanation for Mittens’ ability to text, but I do know that if my cats had opposable thumbs, they’d be maniacs. They’d suddenly have a new way to hassle me when they wanted treats, and I’m certain I’d start receiving nagging texts an hour before mealtime — especially from Saffy. She’s so lazy and being able to harass me from a resting position would be right up her alley. Maybe no unlimited data.

5. Breakouts

The addition of a magical thumb would have to result in the complete redesign of carriers. My cats would laugh at me as I dragged out the carrier, in preparation of a vet visit. I’d place a cat inside and click the door closed. Then I’d reach for the car keys and when I turned back to grab the carrier, the door would be open and the smug-looking cat would be sitting on top of the carrier. Yes, a complete redesign would be necessary. Until then, a combination lock. Oh, wait …

6. Channeling

I love my TV and make sure to record my favorite shows so I can watch them at my leisure. If cats were able to operate the remote control, they’d become even bigger couch potatoes. They’d lie around all day and watch reality shows, Animal Planet and soap operas — of course cats love drama of any kind. I wouldn’t have a problem with this habit, except I’m fairly certain they’d erase my shows from the DVR to make room for theirs. This is not OK — don’t mess with my Bates Motel. I’m thinking parental locks.

What would your cat do if she suddenly had high-functioning opposable thumbs? Tell us about it in the comments!

About the Author: Angie Bailey is a goofy girl with freckles and giant smile who wants everyone to be her friend. Loves pre-adolescent boy humor, puns, making up parody songs, and thinking about cats doing people things. Writes Catladyland, a cat humor blog, and authored whiskerslist: the kitty classifieds, a silly book about cats wheeling and dealing online. Partner in a production company and writes and acts in comedy web series that may or may not offend people. Mother to two humans and three cats, all of which want her to make them food.

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