A Case of the Mundane: Little monsters

Let’s pretend you have a friend, who we’ll call Jeff. Jeff isn’t a bad guy, but he’s definitely a little unpredictable and high strung. You can count on him sometimes but he isn’t the definition of reliable. If you call him, he might answer. He also might tell you to go to hell. He might not say anything. Sometimes the two of you have the best times. Just the other day you threw the ol’ ball back and forth for hours. But other times Jeff is a real dick. Yesterday, as you were passing him in the hallway, he pulled out a crudely fashioned shiv and stabbed you several times. When you asked him why, he simply walked away and left you to bleed out on the freshly washed carpet. It was at this moment that you realized why some people don’t like cats.

Don't let the perfume fool you. She's a cold-blooded killer.
Don’t let the perfume fool you. She’s a cold-blooded killer.

I grew up around cats. None of my family members were ever dog people, so by proxy, I was never a dog person either. Some of my friends had dogs, but as a born and raised masochist cat person I didn’t really understand dogs. They were loud, big, took car-sized dumps all over your lawn, required grooming and baths, and the really big ones sometimes made the news for eating their owners. Why would I want that when I could have a small, unpredictable ball of violent potential energy?

Now that I’m older I realize there are two sides to this twisted coin. Sure, dogs can be needy and the big ones are capable of maiming or consuming full-grown humans. But they also share a bond with their owners that is unlike any other in the world. This is of course only through observation, as I still own two ungrateful little feline monstrosities, which I will be using as a basis for my following review.

Note: As a “professional” reviewer, I am being totally and completely objective. There is no ill-will or malice present in this piece whatsoever.

Let us begin by breaking down the many features and options available when selecting a cat.

Breed

It is a well-known fact that there are numerous breeds of dogs, from Corgis to Labradors to those weird ones that look like some kind of shriveled up sewer rat. What many don’t realize, is that cats also come in many breeds. The Russian Blue, the Ragdoll, the Siamese, and the American Shorthair (Unless you’re rich, you probably have this one) are just a few of many breeds. While you can do your homework and research the many varying traits of these breeds, you’re probably just safer going to the shelter and picking out the cutest one you see, since the quality control on cats is shoddy at best.

Size

This is where dogs and cats begin to really differ. While dogs are available in a plethora of sizes, cats come in two:

  1. Average: This little furry fella likely weighs anywhere from eight to eleven pounds. If they’re on the slightly smaller side they might fall into the 7 pound area. If this is the case, you will eventually be tempted to try and bulk your cat up. You will fail at this, no matter what you try. Don’t worry, nobody will fault you for not wanting to feel your little killing machine’s frame whenever you pet it.
  2. Beyond fat: You don’t know how it happened, but you woke up one day and your cat weighed more than a Volkswagen. Consider this the genetic jackpot. Not only is your cat now an endless           source of comedic relief, it is also unable to hop on the counter and other tall surfaces. If you feel the need to put your cat on a diet, realize now that your efforts are futile and that you will fail. I hope you’re seeing the pattern here.
Old Puma clearly falls into the second weight class.
Old Puma clearly falls into the second weight class.

Color

Cats come in countless colors. Like dogs, the available color choices for a cat vary depending on the breed. As far as I can tell, color plays no role in their behavior as all cats seem to share a high probability of being little bastards. Your best bet is to find a color you enjoy, imagine how its fur will look all over your furniture and clothing, and get that one.

Like spiders and snakes, the more exotic the markings, the more dangerous the cat.
Like spiders and snakes, the more exotic the markings, the deadlier the cat.

Personality

If you’ve ever familiarized yourself with several different dog breeds, you’ll notice they often have very unique personality types assigned to them. For example, Pomeranians are known for being yappy and charismatic, while Mastiffs are regarded as gentle giants with a willingness to please. Luckily for the cat crowd, personality will play almost no role in choosing a cat breed. This is due to cats sharing a universal personality type: unpredictable monster.

They had been peacefully sleeping moments before. Let this serve as a warning to you.
Friendly sleeping partners one second, sworn enemies the next.

It’s easiest if you think of a cat like a new chemical compound. Depending on the surrounding environment, moisture in the air, and if your face irritates it on that particular day, your cat may or may not like you whenever you encounter it. On a good day, it will sit in your lap for an hour while purring away. On a bad day, it will vanish into thin air only to make a cameo appearance from under the couch, severing your Achilles tendon in the process. Don’t take it personally. It’s only following its nature.

Finally, it’s no secret that cats can be antisocial. The sooner you come to accept this, the sooner you can stop trying to force your cat to love you. Why should it? You’ve only devoted a large portion of your time, money, and effort to taking care of the thing.

The Verdict

Throughout my life I have owned four cats. Each of them has given me their fair share of scars, while also providing me with thousands of photos to force on others via Facebook and Instagram. All of them have been unpredictable at best, and the physical embodiment of Hell at worst. But all of them have also given me a lot. They’ve helped me appreciate selflessness, while also teaching me a thing or two about the importance of antibiotic on a wound. I’ve discovered what it’s like to press my barefoot onto a carpet full of regurgitated food, while simultaneously “awwing” over the carpet ruiner purring and rubbing against my legs.

To put it simply: I love the little monsters. Sure, they’ve guaranteed that my fiancée and I won’t own anything nice for another 20 years. Sure, one of them has peed on my foot while I was cleaning their litter box. And sure, they tend to sit on your lap and cement you to the couch when it’s most inconvenient. But during those rare moments when they want your attention, and look up at you from your lap with shut eyes and their body vibrating and full of purrs, you realize why you got them in the first place.

RidleyVinnyChairFinal

 

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