Cats. A User’s Guide

There was a single in the 1980s by UB40, I think, called There’s a rat in mi kitchen. Get a rat in your kitchen, the options are manifold, and all of them rely on the idea of killing it. This is after you’ve had a perfectly understandable fit of hysteria and run around screaming for a bit.

So you can go back in armed with a stout piece of wood and club it to death. If you’re bold you can don a sturdy pair of boots and kick the damned thing into a corner, then marmelise it. You can set a trap. You can lay down a warfarin based poison. Hire a flamegun. Do pretty much anything you like, and you will be applauded by your peers.

It is not socially acceptable to do any of these things to a cat. They’re just as much of a nuisance, but kittycide is frowned upon, and the RSPCA and the cops will come down hard on you.

I love cats. I really like them. But they can be a major pain in the arse. If you have a dog, and you’ve brought it up well, it will be a loyal friend, obey your every word, and defend you to the death. If you’re cooking something scrummy, a dog will simply sit at your feet looking mournful.

Cats, on the other hand…

They are naturally inquisitive. If you’re messing about in the kitchen a cat will want to know exactly what you’re up to. Well, so far so good.

Sadly, cats are also by their nature interfering little snotbags, and they want to lend a hand (or paw, I suppose, more accurately.) Even more accurately, they want to steal whatever it is you’ve got on the chopping board. They aren’t greedy, merely genetically programmed to be thieves. The Artful Dodgers of the animal kingdom.

So say you’re dicing some chicken. Your cat will levitate onto the worksurface. My cat wasn’t very good at this and would often misjudge things and crash back to the floor. Then she would give me The Look that said it was all my fault she’d made an arse of hereslf. What was I thinking of, having worksurfaces at that height?

Then she’d have another go. People have climbed the Matterhorn wearing rollerskates and done a neater job than my cat tackling the jump onto a worksurface. Cat be nimble, cat be quick. Ha. Don’t make me laugh. If my cat tried to jump over a candlestick I’d have to evacuate the house and dial 999, and put in a quick call to the insurance company.

Right, she’s finally managed the herculean task of getting onto the worksurface, and she ambles along and tries to stick her oar into what I’m doing. A quick sweep of the arm, and she’s back where she started, on the floor, but now with the serious hump.

Cats won’t take no for an answer. They are very very persistent.

The dietary habits of the average feline are paradoxically finicky and eclectic. You find a catfood that your pet likes. This is no easy task, but it can happen. So you buy a shedload of it. Next time you put some down, your cat will storm off out through the catflap in a state of high dudgeon.

Basically a cat wants to eat what you’re eating. Anything at all, as long as you’re chucking it down your neck. The cat wants some.

Here are some of the things my now sadly ex-cat liked.


Pork scratchings

Mint and choc chip ice cream

Chilli con carne

Pasta in any shape or form, even uncooked dried stuff. Watching her tackle spaghetti      was a riot


Anything alcoholic apart from beer

Duraglit. She was a bugger for this. Since it’s pretty toxic, I had to remember to leave the lid on the tin, or she was in like a rat up a drainpipe

Bless her

11 thoughts on “Cats. A User’s Guide”

  1. Hah. I am owned by a few of these. You’ve got their quirks down.

  2. WordsFallFromMyEyes said:

    You’re hilarious! Love this 🙂

  3. Cats are funny people. One of my cats likes weird stuff too—she likes Thai curries, butter, whipped cream, cheese, and Coke. I keep telling her cats aren’t supposed to like those things but she seems to think it’s fine.

  4. My cat, Sully once grabbed one of those glow wrist bands and chomped on it. The first I knew was when he was running around with this luminescent blue gunk on his mouth. I think you could have probably seen him in the dark easily.

  5. … and once you think you get cats figured out, you run into a new one and have to start all over again.

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