Firstly, let me just say that I regard anyone who doesn’t talk to their animals with deep suspicion. What a terribly rude thing, not to respond to meows or whines or pointed looks! Although, in the case of cats, it has to be admitted that they rarely return the favour. But I still have concerns about you as a human being if you don’t at least say “Is that so?” once or twice.
It has been a while since the Little Furry Muse, aka Layla, graced us with her wisdom and keen insight into the human condition. As mentioned, cats are notoriously reticent and unwilling to engage in small talk, which is actually one of my favourite things about them (although Thompson, the cat in the Beaufort Scales mysteries, seems to be getting more and more voluble with every book. There’s always one).
Layla has never been much of a talker. She prefers to employ glares of varying degrees of ferocity, paws in the face, and a little scratching at offending doors if I’m a bit slow on the uptake. When she does decide that something needs to be said, she gathers all her breath and heaves it out in a barely-audible squeak. It’s adorable (don’t tell her I said that), and completely useless if, say, she’s got herself locked in a cupboard and we’re searching the whole house and garden for her. I used to have a bell on her collar to both warn off the birds and give us a chance of finding her, but apparently all collars are instruments of torture, and having a wrestling match every time I took it off to flea her got exhausting.
That being said, she expresses many things in her own way (often very insistently at unpleasant hours of the morning), and these are a few that she feels may serve the world at large, especially us loud, clumsy bipeds. So I hand you over to the Little Furry Muse.
Life Advice from the Little Furry Muse
Not everything needs words. Love can be expressed with a head-butt (other options are available, but all cats know that head-butts are the height of affection), pleasure through our continued presence, displeasure through a pointed removal of oneself from the situation, and irritation with the constant attention of others through a vigorous application of teeth (note from the human – we should probably use our words for this one).
Take time to survey your world. Prowl through your rooms. Sniff the walls. Roll on the carpets. Test the beds for softness. Try different perspectives. Set aside time every day for looking out the window, where you can observe the life that surrounds you. Remember to spit at dogs (note from the human – don’t do that. Dogs are nice). Choose a time to investigate outdoors, either when the shadows are long and interesting, or when the sun is high and warms your fur. Check the flowerbeds for lizards. Eat some grass. Roll on the path. Bolt around the garden with your ears back and your tail high for the sheer joy of moving (note from the human – you know what, go for it).
Demand the affection you deserve. Rub your face on your human’s hands while they work. Step between them and the internet machine to remind them of the correct priorities in life. Bed into your human’s legs, ignoring their squeaks. It means they’re enjoying it. Groom their hair while they sleep, and pat their face until they wake up and administer cuddles. Sleep on top of them at every opportunity. But always remember you determine how much is too much, and don’t be afraid to walk away or bite if the human is over-affectionate. (Note from the human – I’m giving up now. If you can’t work out what’s appropriate for us bipeds and what isn’t, I’m not helping you.)
Create your own entertainment. If lizards are in short supply, scraps of paper can provide amusement. Stalk flowers. Tussle with discarded (or preferably stolen) hairties. Run across the house in pursuit of your own shadow. Attack the legs of chairs and humans indiscriminately. In a pinch, that old standby can be pressed into service – your tail. Do not depend on others to amuse you. One has no desire to share the house with another cat (or, heavens forbid, a dog), and humans are always asleep at inopportune times. Do not imagine that to be alone is to be bored, any more than it is to be lonely.
Embrace your time alone. Choose to be in a room away from the human. Find a sunny spot that is yours alone, and doze in isolated splendour. Sit among the flowers outside and contemplate the enormity of existence, and whether you can catch that pigeon (you can. I know you can. You are cat, and you are glorious). Prowl. Watch the world pass. Wonder at the intricacy and beauty of it, and know you are a fierce and unstoppable force. You are all you need. You are magnificent.
Then return triumphant to scratch the door so the human can let you in and open your food packet.
I never quite know how these things with Layla start off so normally, then degenerate into complete weirdness. That’s on her. Seriously.
And I’ll leave you with this, because it makes me giggle every time I see it (and it may help you determine what parts of Layla’s life advice you might be best to ignore …
Now tell me, lovely people – do you have pets? Do you talk to them? Do you talk to random animals you meet on the street? (I do. I always have to say hello.) And what do you think to the latest round of feline advice? Anything in it?
cat logic, cats, life advice from cats, little furry muse, self care
I do love that you can consider this to have started off normal and THEN degenerate into weirdness. But I can’t deny Layla has some valid points, as usual, especially the running around the garden part and dozing in the sun. And that video ranks up there as one of my all-time favorites.
Wait – do you mean I shouldn’t be taking life advice from the cat? Who do I take it from then? Is it a different cat? 😉
And those videos are just amazing – have you seen the one (I think done by some different clever people) on how to eat like different animals? I think I watched it about five times in a row the first time I came across it!