Title: Cat Got Your Life? Image-drawing: Head of a Blue Kitty with black eyes peaks sideways.

Come Back as a Kitty Cat

Title: Cat Got Your Life? Image-drawing: Head of a Blue Kitty with black eyes peaks sideways.I don’t believe in reincarnation, but if I could come back as any animal after my death, it would be a kitty cat. As a writer, I’m at home throughout the day and able to observe my cat, Olaf, as he goes about his life. It’s not much of a life but, damn, does he have it good. Too good. It’s sickening looking at someone every day who has it better than you do.

When I get up in the morning I have a “to do” list. Most of the time it’s stuff I don’t want to “to do.” Clean the kitchen, write something, pay some bills, make that phone call where I know I’ll be on hold pushing buttons and screaming verbal prompts into the phone that are never heard correctly. C not P, you stupid lady! Okay, let’s try this again… Cats have one thing on their “to do” list which is “whatever I feel like today.” Even if my cat could use his little paws to make one of these dreadful phone calls for say, not paying his vet bill, he would get me to do the dirty work. Probably pull the old “circle and rub my leg” routine that has served him so well in the past.

The pesky kitty also has a “to do” list for me too. It is the same every day. Feed me is always number one. The non-stop meow whining makes that quite evident. This is one reason why being a cat is enticing. Could you imagine every time you were hungry all you had to do was go up to someone in your house and just keep annoyingly meowing until they fixed you a plate of something? Then have the audacity to not even leave a tip. Even employees at Starbucks who get paid to do their jobs set out a tip jar.

That’s the thing that’s intriguing about being cat. Their attitude stinks and, let’s face it, who of us would not like to go around with a pissy attitude and no repercussions. As a matter-of-fact, the felines are rewarded for their lousy “the world revolves around me” demeanor. Humans wind up fired or divorced. A cat ends up with a full belly and a nap.

It makes sense that the word “me” is in the sound “meow.” A cat has three things on his mind, “me, me, me.” Their faces even look like royalty, which is perhaps why they demand to be treated as such. If my cat is in the mood for a petting he will just jump on my lap. Doesn’t ask permission. Doesn’t ask if I mind. Has no fear of a lawsuit. It’s just “pet me” time. I always tell him I have things to do. I have a “to do” list, you pet leaching beast! The words mean nothing as they fall on deaf, furry ears. I know he understands me but he knows having his needs met is the most important thing to accomplish right this minute. It takes place over feeding starving children in third world countries or the fire on the stove.

My cat has only three jobs in life; eat; use the litter box; and sleep. Once in a while he’ll catch a lost bug in the house, but even that’s not a sure thing. I’ve seen him go up to crickets and smell them then walk away. I’m like, Is that all you got? Come on, I just petted you for an hour. Who knows what he would do with a mouse… probably get a card game going.

I’ll look around my messy house with looming headaches and tedious tasks dancing in my brain trying to get myself in order and figure out a game plan for the day, then I look across the room at this balled-up lump of cat solemnly asleep. He’s been like that all morning. He looks up at me, blinks a few times then goes back to sleep as envy and disdain rage within me. I want to do that, you lazy fleabag! How did you get that job? He just proudly sits there, grinning, believing he invented the catnap. My kitty has an extra benefit. He is what I would consider an alarm clock cat. Every morning, at the same time, the habitual monster leaps on me and wakes me up, just like an alarm clock. I just have to make sure I wind up his tail at night. And when he jumps on my chest he’s got three settings; meow, purr and scratch your ...To read the full article, login or become a member --- it's free!

by Jeff Charlebois

Cartoon Image of Jeff with a mic next to his book, "Life is a Funny Thing".

Read more articles from the Laura Dern Issue.