Cats confuse me.
And the way they look at me confuses me.
I mean, when a dog looks at me, I know exactly what it’s on about. “I want to go outside.” “I want to go inside.” “I want to go to the beach.” “I want you to throw the ball for me.” I want you to feed me.” “I want the rest of that lamb chop you are guzzling with relish while I’m just left to sit here and salivate.”
Nice and simple. I know where I stand with dogs. And they know where they stand with me. I eat the lamb chop. They get the bone. And then we get on with life.
Not so cats. Take this one that’s sitting on this verandah, looking at me. I have totally no idea of what’s it trying to tell me. Probably something like “I know you’re writing some rubbish about cats, using the way I’m looking at you right now as some feeble excuse to cat-bash and I want you to know that you’re getting it completely wrong. Just so you know.”
But I don’t know. Cats are like, um, women. Men like to think that they know about women. But they, er, we don’t. Perhaps that’s why most women love cats. Because they have some secret language to which men and dogs aren’t privy. Wait. I think I can develop this thread of thought. Yes. That’s it. Women are like cats. Men are like dogs. I could be politically correct – or gender-sensitive or whatever it’s called – and put the word “most” before “women” and “men”. Or even before “cats” and “dogs”. But I won’t. Because you know what I’m trying to get at here. Men because they will agree with me. Women because they are thinking “They (men) just don’t get it. And they just don’t get us (women and cats).”
No, we don’t. I mean, take this cat right here on the verandah. I want to say “my verandah” – because I’m paying the rent here. But I can’t. Because I’ve just moved in and the cat, well the cat has been around forever. It comes with the house. Hah. There’s a difference between cats and women. Women seldom come with a house. They usually leave with it. But I’m not going there.
Back to the cat. After realising that it was dealing with quite a stubborn sort of male blogger writing absolute dross about not understanding – or taking the trouble to stop to really understand – her (yup, this cat is both female and a cat), it slinked towards me, blinked alluringly, purred loudly and, as I started to smile, jumped on to the table and swung it’s ass around and into my face.
Nice. Are you getting my drift? No? Well, bear with me, ladies.
While in the early stages of recovering from having my line of vision sullied by a furry black bum, I sought solace in putting on the kettle and then checking my Twitter account. In no time at all, two tweets about cats minced through cyberspace. Both from women. Of course. Let us analyse these two tweets, which are surprisingly different in tone.
Tweet One (from “laurasomethingorother”): “Oh, sorry. And kitten. PsychoKitty reminded me that I also need to extend my greeting to all feline inhabitants of Earth. So…meow meow.”
Let us pause for a deep breath here. Right. Now, I don’t know about you – and I really don’t want to read too much into this, probably because it scares the hell out of me – but I would say that somebody has woken up somewhere in the world and feels bad because she said good morning to all of her cyber-friends (known to her or otherwise) without extending the same greeting to all of the cats (known to her or otherwise) of the world. That are united only in their penchant to sit around and stare at us. And, once they have concluded that what they are staring at is male and not taking the trouble to understand what it is trying to communicate, stick their asses in our faces. Before sliding off to try to kill a bird.
What is that all about? Why did “laurasomethingorother” feel moved to purr out a “have a good day” tweet to the planet’s cat population? You tell me. Somebody who knows a lot more about these things (undoubtedly a woman, or perhaps a psychotherapist in San Francisco or Green Point) might place this firmly in the category of phenomena which encompasses why females feel the need to own 96 pairs of shoes or why, at age 47, a woman neatly props up a small army of cuddly toys on her pillows before heading off to her high-powered office.
I don’t know. Because, I am all too slowly realising, I am not meant to know. It’s like why one never sees baby pigeons. Or why Julius Malema hasn’t spent some of his hard-earned dosh on hiring a PR spinperson. Or why mosquitoes exist. Simply inexplicable. Like this frigging cat that, after licking the same bum that it just shoved into my face, has resumed the “Sitting In The Same Place On My Verandah While Staring At The Silly Old Blogger Who Just Moved In And Thinks That This Is His House” position.
Tweet Two (from “amandasomeoneorother”): “Why do cats wash themselves, loudly and right next to your head at 3am?” Ah, I’m more confident about this one. Because you didn’t kick it out of the front door, close all of the windows, block up the chimney and fortify your bed with steel mesh before going to bed? Duh.
Right. I’m now feeling better about everything. Well, almost everything. And you’ll know why I added that caveat. Yes. This bloody cat.
I am suddenly reminded of a hilarious skit produced by Eddie Izzard live at the Palace Theatre in London back in the day. Yes, the one to which the now-very-famous cross-dressing funnyman turned up dressed as neither a woman or a man. Or as both. Well, he had put on full make-up but clearly hadn’t had the time to choose a frock so he was wearing guy’s clobber. This wasn’t nearly as confusing to me as cats. Or women. Anyway, Eddie did this really funny number where he compared the reactions of both a cat and a dog to a new model of car which had whizzed by.
You might know it? The cat sits back, paw on chin, and ponders over the torque capability of the new Renault Clio 1.6l SRX while the dog, tongue lolling out of one side of its slobbery gob, runs wildly after the car, shouting “Wait. Wait! Take me to the park!”
Hang on. I’ve just had an epiphany. A revelation of sorts. Which is quite unnerving. Especially as this infernal cat is now sitting on the table, its back to me, flicking its bushy tail around the screen of my laptop.
Doesn’t Eddie’s gag precisely illustrate the difference between women and men?