At the risk of upsetting my feline friends, I categorically state that human mothers are far better than cat mothers.
I happen to like young creatures – kittens, puppies and humans. Although I haven’t met anything else, I am sure they are all quite delightful. Well, maybe not peacocks.
Young animals are all the same. They want to play, eat and sleep. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Unfortunately, not one of them understands that we older versions prefer the eating and sleeping parts. Oh, we happily join in for a while, but when we have had enough, they should leave us alone. This is where cat mothers and human mothers differ.
When I have enough of a kitten, I walk away, and it follows. I rattle my tail, it tries to catch it. I give it a little claw enforcement, it comes back. And the mother? She simply gets up and walks away as if it is my job to entertain the little brat. What makes her think she can palm it off to me?
Entertaining a human child is quite the opposite. Firstly, they come to play with a warning. The mother always tells them, “don’t hurt the kitty or it might bite”. (Just for the record I have never bitten a human child, or even scratched one for that matter.)
We play for a while, and when I have had enough, I walk away. The mother sees this, takes the child away and entertains it herself. Sometimes she doesn’t notice, so parking myself under one of my favourite rose bushes and letting off the occasional meow is the answer. It has the dual purpose of indicating it is now my rest time, and the thorns are an excellent deterrent for persistent kids. For the tougher ones (usually the boys) I simply shake my tail, meow louder, and the mother runs to take it away. The child gets told to behave and leave me alone, and the mother apologises to me with “Sorry Kitty”. Cat mothers could learn a lot from their human counterparts.
Now, before you think I am a grumpy old fool, let me tell you some of the games I have played with mini humans
Little ones take even less time to train than adults. Once, six small children, on hands and knees, followed me around. What fun that was. The whole restaurant was entertained. In and out of the tables we went, to a chorus of “Oh how sweet”, “Isn’t he a clever cat”, “He is such a patient cat” and, the best one “What a marvelous cat you are”. I was so puffed up, the game went on for ages and, after a short rest, we started all over again.
Customer satisfaction is part of my job description and if participating in hide and seek, chase the straw, even catch the peacock feather, keeps our customers happy I cheerfully oblige.
Just outside the office is my favourite spot. Guests coming to Barefoot or going to the glass shop walk that way. And I can tell you, nearly every human, short, tall, old, young, fat or thin, stoops down to scratch me. Some are really interested and ask Sharon how I got to be the Barefoot Cat. She is so proud of me and happily recounts my past, and tells them what a wonderful, sociable cat I am. Yes, I do think I have found a fabulous place to live.
That’s it for this week. Now, do I go and find a female cat and try and educate her, or do I find a chef to feed me? Just kidding – a chef of course.
Keep calm and purr on