It’s the middle of the night, or more accurately, the start of the morning. Today is a good day–I’ve only been up for an hour. To my left the elder cat has gone berserk, convinced that my disinterest in her plight is really rapt attention. Cat the younger sits beside with a truly piteous look, just happy to be in the room but also wanting the same things.
They attempt various ploys for both. Medea’s favorite trick is to jump four feet into the air, bringing all four feet down on my keyboard as I type. Maleficent’s is to come up beside, give a long low MrrrrroW? and then stare longingly with those magnificent gold eyes.
Lucky for them, I have a heart of stone. It’s shower time, and then on to the workplace for another day of joyous creativity and problem solving. I too require noms, but years of iron self discipline enable me to work long hours with the gnawing void. I’ve got a robe on against the NovCember chill, and am envious of the gatos’ sleek fur and seeming indifference to the environment.
The cats? not so much. Free feeding was my norm for both cats and self for 30 + years, and to be perfectly honest I was the only one getting fatter. Today’s cat food is better, more nutritious, and sadly higher in calories than the kibble I dribbled out to my furry companions over the decades. Just a small scoop at dawn and dusk is enough to keep them going all day, and a small amount of overage is enough to pack on the pounds.
Why is it that our pet food is so much more advanced and balanced than people food? We’ve been feeding people a really long time, and should have some inkling of what it takes to sustain a healthy body. Are we really so inefficient? To be fair, it is expensive, but it’s a fraction of the cost we spend on the two humans in the house. One bag (which lasts the better part of a month) costs less than half what we spent on a “simple” meal out Monday night.
Less than half.
I have a theory, and I’m sure people won’t like it. Cats lead better lives than we do. They know how to manage their resources. They understand and adapt to their environments far better than we, and though just as hungry at 6 AM, they can go without for a while longer. Were I to let them out, they’d secure breakfast in short order, find a nice cozy spot to nap in, then arrive faithfully at my door for a lap when they felt I was deserving.
The cats ask not, they tell. Or more specifically, they act. When she’s ready for a lap, she jumps right up and settles in. When they know I need to be up (to feed and pet them, of course), it’s circus time with hilarious and frustrating antics. when it’s time to go upstairs, downstairs, or to chase a crinkly ball, they just do it.
Cats are not polite. They feel no guilt for taking “right” actions, nor should they. They realized millenia ago what the optimal living conditions are : make the monkeys do it.
When Humans try this, we get fat, overworked, and in need of chemical support to operate each day. But when people take right actions, a wonderful transformation takes place.
People are happy, live better lives, and have time to cuddle with a cat or the monkey of their choice.
Have to go, someone’s running up and down the stairs. It’s still an hour till I’ll realize the rightness of their actions and fill the bowls, but it is so very fun to watch.