Sunday, January 02, 2005

Catblogging: The Authoritative Meow

Aside from a month I spent catsitting more than a decade ago, I have never lived with a cat. But I’m very fond of them, and as the cat-owners among my friends wryly observe, perhaps the very reason I like cats so much is that I’ve hardly lived with any.

Most cats I’ve met figure out pretty quickly that I’m an excellent source of skritches. What I don’t get, though, is how cats who have never seen me before figure this out before I’ve even managed to see them.

Many Jerusalem streets have stone walls of varying heights from which cats can observe the environment undisturbed. So it sometimes happens that I’m walking down a street, minding my own business (usually obsessively, as I do a lot of thinking and planning as I walk), when I suddenly hear a commanding, authoritative meow from the wall beside me that I can only translate as “Come here and pay attention to me this instant!”

My response is invariably, “I hear and obey,” delivered with the meekness appropriate to a human addressing a cat, followed by the obligatory skritching.

Interestingly, the two cats who did this the most dramatically were, respectively, a Siamese and a Burmese (or Himalayan). I guess cats with points know how to take what they want.

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