Thursday, July 28, 2011

Are cats inherently optimistic?

We don't really have a cat, but there's a lovely black feline with white paws and a white throat who enjoys visiting our apartment from time to time. Well, pretty much daily. Yes, of course that implies we feed her, she's a cat, if we didn't feed her she'd dump us in a New York minute.

We've given this cat a silly name, but it is what it is, so I'll swallow my embarrassment and admit it: "Snowboots" is what we call her. The photo is of Snowboots sunning herself on the rail of our back porch.

Snowboots likes to sleep. As I said, she's a cat. She likes to sleep on chairs. That's fine, except when she's sleeping on my chair at the kitchen table and it's time for a meal, or when she's sleeping on my desk chair and I want to work there.

Naturally, as the bigger mammal, when Snowboots is sleeping where I want to sit I have the power to, um, exercise my authority. I move her. Gently, of course. Respectfully. And often to another nice, soft chair that she is free to sleep on to her little heart's content. Not that Snowboots enjoys this challenge to her absolute freedom of choice. She and I get into this sort of tussle frequently, almost every time she visits.

Snowboots also likes to sleep on our bed, which we discourage by keeping the bedroom door closed. Except when we forget, in which case Snowboots marches in straightaway and settles herself atop the down comforter, just as she pleases, queen of the world.

Sometimes when one sleep-venue possibility is foreclosed, Snowboots will race me to another. For example, if I close the bedroom door before she sneaks in, she might race to my desk chair to secure a sleeping spot there. I sometimes race after to claim my desk chair first, so I won't have to perform a chair extraction. Sometimes I catch up, win the race, and Snowboots is S.O.L. Other times Snowboots wins.

And there's the funny thing.

What does it mean to this cat to "win" a race to my desk chair?

She jumps onto it, and begins to settle herself. Then I catch up, and lift her off the chair, and set her elsewhere. Happens every time.

In the end, I'm the bigger mammal.

Still, she continues to race me for the right to sit on my chair.

Does that mean Snowboots is an indefatigable optimist?


  1. This is a very funny article. Thank you for sharing. Snowboots is a lovely cat.

    I chimed in too: Sleepy Cat

  2. Steve -
    Snowboots...oh how I wish I had read this blog before this weekend.
    Anyway, it's very simple. Dogs believe in God, cats are Gods. So, you may be bigger - but she is has higher authority...just ask her.

  3. Sundy, my orange short hair, rushes down the stairs when I head toward them. Or he did. Then he figured out that sometimes I do not actually go down the stairs when I look like I'm starting to. Now he pauses on the stairs - right in the way - until he's absolutely sure I'm going all the way down.