Mina the Cat
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If Humans Hate Meetings So Much, Why Do They Keep Having Them?

Seriously, people. You could be doling out skritchies instead.

Mina the Cat  |  Jul 31st 2012

Sometimes Daddy or Mommy come home looking exhausted. They’ll be tense and angry looking and they will require a little coercion to start with the scritchies. Inevitably the following phrase comes up: "I hate meetings."

Mommy and Daddy may be lying liars who lie about some things: "We’ll be home soon," "I’ll give you dinner soon," or "No, Mina, I’m not going to do exactly what you want right now" are some of their favorites. But they told the truth about meetings. I know. I was forced to attend one.

I discussed most of the horrors of staying with my editor last week, but this part was so terrifying and awful, I felt it warranted special mention.

While I was there, the office had some sort of issue. They claim it was IT related, but I think they just wanted my consultation, and were too proud to ask. So, as a result, all of the senior Catster staff converged on my editor’s house. Since I was an employee who happened to be present, I sat in on several meetings when I didn’t have more pressing demands on my time, like chasing the other cats around the house or cleaning my anus.

Meetings are a dumb human concept based on the silly presumption that groups work better than individuals. Anyone who has watched four humans try to order a pizza and decide on toppings knows this simply isn’t true. Meetings are an even worse idea for cats. We don’t do "structure," "cooperation," or "brainstorming" well. All of these three words, as far as I can tell, are human words meaning "I obey the will of someone else."

We cats have a different policy. I like to call it "I don’t obey anyone." Because of that, we don’t hold a lot of meetings, and most of them end with one of us chasing the other one around the house. Generally, the dominant cat chases the "lesser" or "obedient" or "human-like" cat. I pride myself on never being chased.

So these human editors get together in one place and then start doing what they tell each other to do. I made sure to attend (wander in and out), contribute (meow periodically and distract people from work), make suggestions (shed fur), and take charge (fart near people to distract them from boring topics) if need be. I am certain my contributions kept people on task, and the task it kept them on was giving me scritchies. So, as a result, unlike most meetings, the ones I attended actually accomplished something, if, by "something" you mean grooming the fur around my neck and ears.

I consider those to be incredibly important; far more so than "dealing with IT issues" or "discussing staffing" or "blah blah blah style guide." Editors actually talk like that. They say "blah blah blah," or they say other things and I don’t listen and just interpret their crazy human language as "blah blah blah." I’m pretty sure that it’s the former and they actually say that.

I would like to comment that for a group of humans who run the hippest online lifestyle magazine for cat owners, this was a group of professionals who provided only amateur-grade scritchies. I’m thinking that it may be time to add a new staff position of Scritchy Consultant, whose entire job would be training the thumb beasts how to complete their most important task.

The way I see it, scritching kitties is good for human health (medical benefit), decreasing stress (improves morale), and, most importantly, making the cat happy (improves morale, medical benefit, and interior design benefit). Some people seem not to understand the medical and interior design importance of a happy kitty; however, cats who have been scritched happy are less likely to eat other pets, gouge out their thumb-beasts’ eyes, or destroy the curtains, which is important on all three scales.

I tried holding a meeting to this effect, but the editors refused to attend, citing more "pressing work." I’ve also considered writing a column discussing scritchy technique; however, as Frank Zappa’s cat once told him, "Writing about scritchies is like rubbing your head against someone’s leg about architecture." There are some things you just can’t write about. Or discuss in meetings with editors, apparently.

I swear that if I ever attend another meeting, the only agenda item will be about hiring the Scritchy Consultant — or I swear I will poop on the meeting room table.

Need more Mina? Of course you do. Browse the Mina archives for some high-grade feline contempt.