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Life in the Cat House

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Not long ago, someone asked me why people keep cats.

That’s an interesting question that probably has no clear answer.

After all, cats don’t perform duties the way trained dogs do.

Nobody has ever had a guard cat, or one that can perform search and rescue. Cats spend most of their time sleeping, and when awake they eat and fill a litter box.

On one level, keeping cats around doesn’t make much sense.

About the best that can be said is cats do have some entertainment value.

It’s fun to watch them swat small objects around or see them swipe a paw at string.

They purr when they are getting attention, which even hard-hearted people find difficult to resist.

Cats are warm and fuzzy, too.

Of course, cats are independent, often choosing to ignore the same people who feed, house and care for them.

Cats seldom show much appreciation because they, like tax collectors and toll booth workers, believe what they get is their due.

I have heard some people say cats are pets for women and dogs are pets for men. That’s nonsense and whoever said it didn’t know what they were talking about. I know plenty of women who like dogs and there are lots of men who like cats.

I have also heard there are two types of people without any mention of gender, cat people and dog people. That’s more nonsense. We have both at our house and so do many other people. It’s possible to like cats and dogs, although it may not always be equal.

Cats are warm and fuzzy, which appeals to many people. Cats have a slightly higher body temperature than humans, which makes them feel warm to us.

The fuzzy part varies with the breed of cat, but most are soft. That combination of warmth and softness makes them nice to hold.

The ancient Egyptians supposedly admired cats because cats can look mysterious. It’s hard to tell what a cat is thinking just by looking at it.

When you get to know a cat well, you find they do have facial expressions, but to a casual observer it can appear they are expressionless.

They are not really mysterious once you get to know them. Frustrating, yes; aggravating, yes; mysterious, no. Well, maybe sometimes they can be a bit mysterious in the way they think, but seldom in the way they act.

The more I think about it, the more I realize there really is no answer to the question of why people choose to live with cats. Having cats around is a lot like having kids in the house full time.

They can give you pleasure, make you laugh at times, maybe even make you proud on occasion, but they can also drive you bonkers at times.

Often all that can happen within a minute or two.

I suppose the honest answer to why people live with cats is simple. They do so because they can’t help it.
Cats get a hold on humans and never let go.