Our girl cat, Skittles, was strolling across the floor, headed toward the door to go outside. My wife, Vivian, stood and watched her.
“Talk about somebody impressed with their own importance,” Vivian said.
My thought was Skittles might not be feeling important as much as she was happy. Then I considered that people feel important when they are being coddled. There is no reason it shouldn’t be the same for cats and few cats are as coddled as Skittles.
She had just awakened from a nice three-hour nap, her tummy was full and she was going out to bask in the sun. She gets plenty of petting and occasional treats such as salmon juice. That’s pretty easy living for a cat.
It’s been said that if you feed a dog, you have a friend for life. If you feed a cat, you have a friend until time for the next meal. Our cats are well fed (actually they are probably overfed), so they stick with us day in and day out. They get everything a cat could ever want handed to them.
Both Skittles and our boy cat, Ozrow, think we have a house just for them. The people in the house are only accessories present to make kitty lives more comfortable. They think the deck, the porch and the yard were all built as cat playgrounds. They know people leave during the day sometimes and might be gone for hours. They think the primary purpose of those trips is to pick up more cat food.
Ozrow usually acts more important than Skittles does. He struts around and sits like a king on a throne surveying a kingdom. That’s not to say he thinks he is more important, just that he acts like it. Skittles is quiet and reserved most of the time. Ozrow is more outgoing than a circus clown running for political office, at least when no strange people are around. Both cats run and hide when other people show up.
We try to keep the cats at least a little humble but it’s about like carrying water in a sieve. Some things are simply impossible. The cats pay no mind when we say the world does not revolve around them. Of course, they can plainly see it does. If it didn’t, we wouldn’t be spending so much time catering to their whims.
We don’t fall to our knees and worship the cats, but we do about everything else to make them feel exalted. We even twist into uncomfortable positions at night so the cats can sleep where they want in the bed. We watch over them and give them better care than many human children receive.
Cats don’t work, nor do they worry about bills. They naturally expect their food to be available when they want it and they think they are entitled to a warm, comfy place to sleep. If you have all that, why wouldn’t you feel important? That’s the kind of lifestyle rich and famous people have, even though it’s made available to most cats without a thought.
I suppose there are many reasons cats can feel important. But the real reason is because they actually are important to the people who serve them.