In doing some research as to how to make my cats suck less and smell better, I came across this encouraging article, written by the managing editor of The Daily Cat, one Jennifer Viegas. In it, she describes how pets, and cats in particular, can have a positive impact on a person’s health and well-being. After snorting with laughter throughout most of it, trying to compare the sweet housepets she describes with the two rotten animals I live with and finding nothing in common, I decided to counterpoint her hypotheses with my own experience.
**Disclaimer – I love these stupid cats more than I like most people I know. They are treated extremely well and I would never actually do anything to harm them, no matter what I say.***
Cats as Pets Have Direct Health Benefits, such as Lower Blood Pressure.
Apparently Ms. Viega’s cats are well trained and have never used her clean laundry as a litterbox. My small cat, Potato, despite all working parts and no health issues other than being a complete and utter asshole, has a real affection for us. So much is his affection that he feels it necessary to mark his territory on our clothes, shoes, purses, coats, and occasionally bed. If you don’t have high blood pressure yet, I challenge you to get up for work in the morning, step out of a clean shower, and put on a shirt, happily going about your morning routine until you realize that the smell you’re noticing is actually you, and you now need another shower immediately. And now? You’re late. Imagine spending hours setting up a Christmas tree, lovingly putting up each ornament, only to wake up to a cat-sized hole in the middle of it, the tree on the ground, and your ornament from Disney World busted into gazillions of very sharp pieces. Or imagine exhaustedly climbing into bed late one night, sleepily pulling your blanket riiiiight up to your face only to shriek and throw it at the other cat – Ramon, who is helpfully standing on your head – in horror. Take said blanket down five flights of stairs and sleep with a nothing but a sheet in the dead of winter and then talk to me about lowered blood pressure. The above scenarios, no matter how calm you are, WILL make you want to set your cat free and get the blood pumping right to your head, I promise.
Cats Improve Psychological Health.
Bullshit. Have you ever wandered up and down a dark street, in the dead of night, shaking cat treats and yelling, “Potato!! POTATO!!!” while your neighbors look on with a mix of interest, pity, terror, and curiosity as to why a fat blond girl would need more carbohydrates? Have you ever had to apologize to two separate family members, trying to explain that their hospital-requiring bite marks are because Ramon “really doesn’t like to be touched?” Have you ever woken up to the sound of a cat joyfully rolling a golf ball around your house while you lie, terror-stricken, convinced that not only are you being robbed, but it’s by a completely crazy person who is trying to make as much noise as possible? Have you ever tried to reason with an eight-pound ball of fur, to the point of tears, when said ball of fur scratches your hands and hisses at you while you’re trying to work? Because nothing makes you question your own mental health more than when you actually say to an animal, WHILE CRYING, “Please, please, just leave me alone! I’ll do anything!”
Cats are Forever Friends.
My ass, Ms. Viega. MY ASS. Maybe your cats are forever friends. Mine? Are forever trying to escape and murder me. I bet your cat doesn’t curl up against you, purring, right before sinking her teeth into your arm. I bet your cats don’t knock open the bathroom door in the middle of the night just in time to trip you in the dark. I bet your cats never hid in a basement for four days, eating the food you hauled down five flights of stairs but staying hidden from view, forcing you to crawl around said creepy basement with a flashlight, looking inside old refrigerators and trying not to get tetanus from the rusty nails and lumber stored down there. I bet your cats haven’t hidden inside your boxspring so many times that it’s now ruined from all the time you’ve taken a knife to the fabric, trying to set it free. I bet your cat never hauled ass into the basement late one Friday night after you’d had too many beers, causing you to fall down the stairs and bruise your tailbone.
Cats Help When No One Else Can.
I’m starting to hate you, Ms. Viega. Where are these animals? Where are these happy cats that do things other than make you spew made-up profanity? Are they helping you have less houseguests? Because that’s what mine do. One time, Ramon helpfully ruined Valentine’s Day when she tried to eat some roses and then got her leg caught in the chair when I pushed her off the table. Another time, Potato ruined my entire day when I realized he’d peed in my purse far, far too late. Oh, and another time, Ramon ruined my tremulous hold at being a good pet owner when the vet said, “Oh, yes. She’s a difficult one, isn’t she?” after looking at her chart while she was trying to climb inside my shirt, claws first.
Then again, they’re not on Prozac like my sister’s cat, so maybe we’re doing okay? Probably not? All right. I give. The cats suck, Ms. Viega. There’s no getting around it. I’ll send you the medical bills to prove it.