Thursday, November 25, 2010

Giving Thanks

I will be the first to admit that humans are puzzling. I have been engaged in research, training, and operant conditioning of the species for the last three years, and they are still a mystery to me. How do they think? What drives their actions? Why on earth are they like that? And Bast above, sometimes despite all my research and observation and study, I still have no idea.

One of the things that I find curious about the human animal is this completely arbitrary notion of marking time. Time! It rules their lives! What hour is it? When do we go? When must I be there? When can I come home? They have obsessed about their "time" concept for a great portion of their history, to the point that humans now let it govern even their sleeping. Namely, they go to sleep not when they are tired, as any sensible cat would, and not several times a day to stave off exhaustion, as any cat or rational animal of any sort would, but only when their little clocks read out a certain hour. And then? Ah, here's the punchline: a bell (a loud, irritating bell, at that) goes off at a certain hour in the morning, and humans, regardless of whether or not they are still tired, get out of their beds anyway, and go about whatever it is they do all day. Incredible!

But one of the oddest aspects of the human psyche and its relationship with time is that humans let this artificial notion of time, 24 uniform hours which somebody decided sometime in human history constitute a day and night regardless of whether or not this is actually so from day to day (every couple of years they have to stick an extra day in there just to get it right. They know this ahead of time. They do it anyway.), rule their morality. They stumble about their lives, moaning that they haven't got enough time for all the things they want to do, and that includes doing right by other humans, and especially, doing right by cats. Well, or dogs, or other animals, I suppose. But I am trying to stay on topic here, gentle felines.

A lot of humans would really like to donate food to their local animal shelter, but they haven't got the time to go to the store and buy it. A lot of humans would really like to take in an abused or abandoned animal, but there isn't the time to devote to helping it heal and flourish. A lot of humans would like to help at those shelters for abused or abandoned humans, but think they don't have the time. A lot of humans look around them at the lost and forgotten and the least of all the creatures of this world, and feel terrible and weep for them and feel worse still about the fact that if the clock says they have only so many hours in the day, they cannot care for their own human kittens and still have the time to contribute to caring for anything else. And I feel terrible that these humans are distressed.

Gentle felines, I realize the irony of this, but here goes nothing, as they say. According to this strange, arbitrary, artificial notion of time that humans have imposed upon their world, they include Days of Note, and it just so happens that, in the place where I live and train my human, today is one such day. I don't know specifically what it's all about, and frankly, beyond a passing mild curiosity, I don't really care. Something about some humans and a ship and turkeys and Native Americans. I don't know. Can't tell you. Not important at the moment. But what is important is that today is the day where these humans congregate in groups to eat (another oddity. I dine alone. These creatures fascinate me!) and talk about things they are thankful for. Therefore, as I see it, now is the chance for astute cats to snap into action. If your humans are misty-eyed about their blessings, roll over on your back and look adorable, but do it on a copy of the Humane Society calendar. If your humans are feeling gratitude, make sure their checkbook is next to that calendar. They can connect the dots. I know they're dim, but trust me in this, fellow cats, with the proper assistance they CAN connect the dots.

And if you haven't got a Humane Society calendar, then perhaps you have one with pictures of distressed human kittens on it. Purr. Paw it. Call attention to it. Lead your human to water, my friends, and it just might drink.

Personally, I am thankful for my human. Honestly. I was seriously down on my luck, to put it mildly, and she applied for the job and was suitable. I am thankful that she is such a good subject. Unlike a lot of my fellow felines, who today are lost and alone and cold and without humans of any sort, or worse, with bad ones who deliberately harm them, I have a human who looks after me, and who I can look after as well. So today is the day when I am going to be certain to call extra attention to those cats---and humans, and human kittens, and other animals---who haven't got anyone to look after them, who haven't got enough to eat, who are cold, who are alone, who are hurt, and hopefully, my human will connect those dots and realize that if she hasn't got the time to help them, she thinks, then we are fortunate enough to have the resources to give to those who do.

Gentle felines, please count your many blessings today, and do the same.


  1. Puss-Puss, this behaviour you speak of is something my human exhibits every single day of her life. Hers is extreme, however. She maintains tha she doesn't have time after the work hunt to sit down and provide a comfy, self-heating, soft place for me to sleep until I have decided that it is time to wake up. Firstly, she states that she must clean the house, wash bedding, de-fur the furniture. My answer to that is that if we are clean, that is all that matters, bedding is better when it has your scent on it and not the smell of horrid human soap, and that I spent much time and effort furring that sofa, thank you very much, and could she kindly leave it along. She tells me she doesn't hae time to listen to my complaints either. The nerve!

    My human has also gone a step up on the bell idea first thing in the morning. I trust that you will agree that when you sleep, it is not advisable to allow strangers into your den. You are vulnerable when you're resting, after all. My human,however, thinks it is acceptable to wake up to the sound of a myriad of peoples voices which come from a small box on the bedside table. There is even occasionally music too. I have to admit that it is a most effective waking mechanism, for it has me on alert immediately. I feel it my duty to protect the human from her own stupidity, and that involves being on the watch to save her from intruders. The thing that gets me though is that she chooses the voices. She used to have a beeping box instead, but maintained that she didn't like it because it woke her in a bad mood. I'm sorry, but waking up at all before you've finished sleeping would put anyone in a bad mood, whether it's through voices or beeping. They are strange creatures, these peoples, but their stupidity does make them indeering, no?

  2. Puss-Puss, it has been many days since your last revealing of your wisdom. I hope your people hasn't prevented you from accessing the computer thing. Is it a prisoner situation? Do you need busting out? If so, smuggle anote out in some stinky wet food. The people will never think to look in that. I will then work on a plan of escape for you, my friend. Worried Tia.

  3. Puss Puss, such wise words, but I do believe that you are a little lenient on apes. Apes will use any old excuse not to do something. This is why they invented the dumb construct of "time" - it stops them living in the present and acting immediately.

    Whicky Wuudler