The Problem with Cats

I have a literal pet peeve that I just have to share, mainly because it confuses the hell out of me more than it annoys me. Actually, no, that’s not true. It annoys me a lot.

Obligatory disclaimer: I love my cats. They’re my furry children…okay…well not quite… but they ARE my fuzzy confidants, my purring comrades. I love, love, love them.

At the same time, I hate my cats. Okay, now hear me out. Any cat lover will understand this paradox. What I specifically hate is when I find them staring at nothing. I’ll be reading on my couch or thumbing through a magazine in bed and I peer over to see them sitting docilely facing what?  An empty corner, that’s what. Or they’re perched as stoically as a Buckingham Palace guardsman gazing intently….and I mean INTENTLY… at a blank patch of ceiling.

The obvious thing to think is that maybe they’re looking at something really tiny. But I get up and check. Not once have I found the object of their scrutiny. I would expect a tiny bug stuck in a spider web or a piece of fluff dancing in the breeze. Nope. Just empty space. Sometimes, after I have paused the movie or put down the book, climbed up on a chair to peer at the ceiling like a demented Mr. Magoo and I’m sitting back down, they are done staring at whatever it was and are now looking at me, with dare I say, humor in their eyes. As if to say “ha! gotcha!” But I can never be sure. So every time, I’m back up on that chair, checking out the ceiling. Like a fool. 

And then there are those times when they’re happily playing with….nothing. Absolutely nothing. So what is drawing their undivided attention? And just who or what are they playing with!? It vexes me and then I get annoyed because I often get frustrated when I don’t understand something. Not to mention it’s just plain creepy.

What’s even worse (and something else I’m sure cat owners can attest to) is when I wake up in the morning — or worse yet in the middle of the night — to find their huge dilated eyes only inches from mine as their feline vision bores into me. I have no clue how long they have been there staring at me. And regardless of that, it bothers me to think about what could be going through their heads. Something tells me they’re not thinking, “Wow, I’m so glad Wendy takes care of me. She’s so, so good. She’s the best.” More than likely they’re hatching some fiendish plan to overthrow me as head of the household and becoming their own cat powered sovereign state. 

It’s said that many of our domesticated animals have a sixth sense; something that feels a presence that we humans can’t pick up on. Maybe when my cats are staring at “nothing,” they are actually being entertained by a ghost or some invisible demon or entity that I just can’t see. I simply refuse to go down that path because I just do not have time to worry about unpaying house guests hanging about the place along with everything else I’ve got on my plate. All I can hope is that if they are seeing spirits maybe, just maybe, those invisible beings like me and will tell my cats not to stage a coup. But knowing my luck, they’d probably just team up to take me down.

Don’t let that pretty face fool you.



5 thoughts on “The Problem with Cats

  1. You apparently have not heard of the Zen of cats. They are (not all but many) the best practitioners of Zen meditation, examples to the rest of us trying to achieve a similar state of empty mind. Check pics on Upaya website and you will see people facing a blank wall to meditate.
    As for staring at you… I would suggest maybe they are simply willing you to wake and acknowledge then

  2. Many years back I used this as the opening seed to a NaNoWriMo work. I would go back and finish it, but it’s not the same with the cat not here to stare at me while I write and give me the words telepathically!

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