A Housecat's Story

An article featured in The Cat Fancy magazine

When I crinkle my eyes closed, I am smiling at you. A brush against your shin is a hug, a message that says, "I love you and want you to smell like me."

Please know that I adore a long stroke down my back, but stop before my tail, as that is my rudder and its momentary confinement panics me.

Know also that I love a good scratch around the ears, but detest my feet explored. Balance is life or death to a cat and my feet are as important to me as breathing.

Feel free to tickle my chin, but be gentle and do not break my wiskers; for me they are important tools.

If I trust you utterly, you will be allowed to stroke my belly.

Though I can communicate silently with others of my kind. I vocalize for you. I will meow, hiss, yap for dinner and chirr my curiosity. I know a single brrppp makes you laugh and slop me with a kiss.

I will tippy-toe when I'm trying to be cute. And when I sit with my back turned and with only one ear honed in your direction, I am not ignoring you, by any means; I am being coy. I love to perch, burrow, strut and stalk.

When I jump on the bed to be with you in the dark, it is not because I need to sleep. In most cases, I have been sleeping all day. I am there because of your warmth, your companionship and to share the air you breathe.

I know when you are melancholy, and I will stray nearby if you are in pain, but I don't understand the necessity of vacuuming.

There was a time when I loved the 'other feline' in the house and have mourned his loss with a grief unmatched.

I am always listening.

I watch you shave or apply make-up out of a true fascination with all things requiring attention to detail.

Know that I am clean and dignified, even when I am belly-up on the windowsill in the sunshine. I can feel sheepish about my antics when you expose me to catnip, but I look forward to it anyway.

I crave peace.

My three favorite things are: mice in the walls, your voice on my neck and the can opener.

I can slink and sidle, soothe and steal and make myself scarce.

Know that I find you noisy, sadly fur-less and strangely excitable about a single hairball, but I forgive you out of grand benevolence. I love it when you wrap gifts or read the newspaper. I understand the aching sweetness of a spring rainstorm...and a good cry.

Know that I will purr when I am hurt or frightened, as well as when I am content.

No, I don't clean my plate. It is instinct to leave a cache--just in case.

Contrary to popular belief, I don't mind the vet because of the way it smells, the other animals, the inevitable pain or the travel. Rather, I hate to go there in case you leave me.

So, even when I stare into the corner late at night and spook you half to death, or I stroll casually over your computer keyboard, or even when I appear to barely be impressed by your rantings about work or school, know that I am a seperate nation from you with all my borders open.

I reserve the right to certain terms and conditions, but my spirit would be inconsolable without you.

Live beside me.


by Theresa Malizia, Warrenton, Va