• What do people see in cats?

What do people see in cats?

Dear Stanley,

My people are talking about getting a cat. I’m not sure what to expect. What are your thoughts?

Springer Spaniel
Kansas, USA

Dear Bobby,

I can tell you what to expect, my friend – trouble with a capital C. For ages now I’ve been trying to work out what it is that people see in cats. As far as I’m concerned, other than an undeniable cuteness when young, they have few, if any, redeeming features.

I mean, just look at their behaviour – there they are one minute, all sweetness-and-light, lying on the mat in front of the fire, purring away and doing their harmless-kitten-playing-with-a-ball-of-wool impression; and the next, they’re off, prowling around the garden, ripping the throats out of innocent baby birds, or disembowelling some harmless little shrew, just for the fun of it. Apparently they’re good at catching mice, but seemingly there aren’t usually any mice in homes where cats live, so that’s no argument is it?

And talk about fair-weather friends! I ask you – can you seriously imagine a cat ever doing a ‘Greyfriars Bobby.’ I take it that you’ve heard the story of Bobby, the Skye terrier up there in Edinburgh who devotedly waited in vain at his master’s graveside for fourteen years?  Now it’s certainly true that he apparently wasn’t the brightest dog in the world (“the last puppy in the litter to open his eyes” as my Uncle Paddy would say) but can you imagine a cat displaying such loyalty?  Fourteen years? – you’d be lucky to get them to hang around for fourteen seconds, and then they’d be off, scrounging around the nearest fishmonger’s bins, or rubbing themselves up against  the next gullible sucker with that “butter wouldn’t melt in my mouth” look in their big round eyes.

No, there’s no doubting it in my mind – “Cometh the hour, goeth the cat,” is their motto.  You can take it from me, Bobby, you can’t trust a cat as far as you can swing it. So watch out.

Yours from this side of the Pond,

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