A Cat’s Conversations with God You are about to listen in on an extraordinary conversation. A conversation you may think isn’t possible
. . . .What if you were offered the chance to quiz God and ask all of the questions you’ve ever had about existence: why rocking chairs are allowed to exist, where the feather on a stick really
goes when it’s slid under the couch, and why your humans refuse to recognize the goldfish as sushi, for starters.
What if God answered you? (And it wasn’t just the catnip talking.)
When patrolling the underside of chairs and swatting the TV remote to regions unknown fails to bring about the normal glow of satisfaction, that’s when you notice the ache in your heart. Something is missing. This conversation will replace it. Heal it. Or, at the very least, it will temporarily distract you until an innocent little bird (read: afternoon snack) shows up in your yard.
Are you ready? God has something to say to you. Dear God, what is the purpose of the dog? I’ve wracked my brain and all I could come up with was . . . well, nothing. Nada. Nil. No comprendo.
I have created a world of polarity. There can be no up without down, no black without white, no meows without barks. Dogs serve to maintain this polarity. For cats to be revered as elegant, refined, and superior, there must be a clumsy, crude, substandard species through which to offer a relevant comparison. Dogs serve my purpose of showcasing the feline as my highest creation. Then why does “Dog” spelled backward equal “God”?
That was an oversight on my part. Horrible mistake. Lots of confusion resulting from that one—I’m still trying to sort it out. My apologies. Will leaving small animal offerings on my human’s back porch earn me bonus points in Heaven?
It can’t hurt. Nothing says “I love you” like an unexpected gift, especially if it’s still kicking. Very sweet of you to share. Good kitty! Why do you allow bad things, like rocking chairs, vacuum cleaners, and matching pet-and-“owner” outfits, to exist?
A lot of that sort of thing is for my own amusement. I still get a chuckle about the “carry a Chihuahua in a purse” trend I instigated. I can’t believe people fell for that one. Yes, but what about those rocking chairs? They really hurt.
Did I not give you lightning-fast reflexes? They’re meant to compensate for the dangers found in this world. Pull out those claws and show that rocking chair who’s boss. I’m trying to attain nirvana. Are fifty sessions of bottom licking a day enough to produce inner peace?
Not quite. But you’re close. Keep going. Why does no one understand my vendetta against the couch tassels? They are evil and must be destroyed.
Don’t worry what others think. Instead, rest assured that when you attack a random object—especially one with fringe—you are doing God’s work. Why do cats see better than people do in the dark?
I thought it would be funnier that way. So where does that feather on a stick really go when people slide it underneath the couch? I’m afraid to stick anything more than my front paws under there.
Even I’m not sure where the darkness under the couch leads, but I’ve been told that it empties out somewhere near Vegas. In regard to fish tanks, how long before I’m allowed to, um, play with the fish in there?
If I catch you anywhere near the fish tank, I’m getting out the squirt gun. And, being God, my aim is quite good. Understood? Gotcha. How about this: Why nine lives? Why not seven or twelve or thirty-six?
Nine lives matched the brand of cat food already on the market. It seemed logical. Is gluttony a sin? (There’s no reason I’m asking. Just curious.)
I’ll say this: Mealtimes should not resemble sharks swarming around chum thrown in the water. Instead, you should pause (or paws—hee hee—get it?) to offer thanks for the nourishment you receive. Is gobbling your food a sin? No. Is it a little gross to watch? Frankly, yes.
Do black cats really bring bad luck?
No, but don’t tell. Black cats are having a lot of fun messing with people on this one. Why do people insist on picking me up when I want my feet to remain firmly on the ground?
There’s an obvious lack of communication. Try sinking your claws into the person’s chest and see if that clears up the misunderstanding. I’d be interested in hearing your opinion on whether cats should be kept indoors, outdoors, or a combination of the two.
I’ve learned to never discuss religion, politics, or the indoor/outdoor cat debate with those I wish to keep as friends. I will say, though, that it would help resolve the issue if your species were more decisive about whether you want to be in or out. Because meanwhile you’re letting in a whole lot of flies. Why do I like catnip so much?
It’s a little-known fact that catnip is 5 percent Viagra, 10 percent oyster extract, and 85 percent Red Bull. Why do I keep racing from room to room for no apparent reason?
See previous question. Why do people spew baby talk at me?
The eleventh commandment, which forbids anyone from uttering a sentence containing more than five words starting with a w (for example, “What a cute widdle cat wid da widdle face and whatsuh kiddy doing wid his widdle paws”) was inadvertently left off the list. I could fix it now, but why bother? And really, it’s not humans’ fault. I just made you too darn cute. Didn’t I? Yes, I did. Yes, I did. You widdle cutie-pie. Oh—ahem. Sorry. Is there something wrong with me that I enjoy rolling around in dirty socks, bras, and underwear?
Not unless you start wearing them. How come no one has ever been able to figure out where exactly a purr comes from?
I’m waiting for my patent to go through before I release that information. Why do the cats on TV appear to be enjoying life so much more than I am? I don’t seem to experience the same level of rollicking fun and satisfaction in my litter box as they do in theirs.
Remember that most of what you see on TV isn’t real. (Except for pro wrestling. You just can’t fake that kind of thing.) I read somewhere that the earth revolves around the sun, but I was positive that the world revolved around me. What’s the truth?
I know how much you enjoy the sun, so that’s why I made the earth revolve around it. No worries. It all still comes back to you in the end.
Do you answer prayers?
Of course. Remember when the Doberman next door experienced that unfortunate incident with the Garden Weasel? Coincidence? I think not. My humans yell at me when I eat food that’s been dropped on the floor. Do they have a point? Is it unsanitary?
Not as long as you follow the five-second rule. Who do you think invented that, anyway? If people don’t want me on the computer, then why did they give it a mouse?
Just another example of the mixed messages you receive from humans. It’s like when they chide you for sharpening your claws on the sofa. Hel-lo
. Why did they put the sofa there to begin with?
Whom do you consider to be the unsung heroes of the world?
Animal rescue volunteers, Fancy Feast factory workers, and the inventor of salmon-flavored Greenies Pill Pockets. Good list. Anyone else?
I’ve always thought that William Shatner has never really gotten his due as an actor. Why are dogs considered loyal and cats standoffish? It’s not fair.
I had to do something
to give dogs a chance. You have brains, beauty, wit, grace, and silent paws that allow you to sneak up on people. All dogs have are bad breath, overactive saliva glands, and a lack of personal boundaries. Loyalty was my way of throwing canines a bone, so to speak. Who started the myth that a cat always lands on his or her feet?
This guy named Phil around 1200 BCE. Why do smelly shoes—especially leather—hold such fascination for me? I can’t leave them alone.
I’m not entirely comfortable discussing this. I’ll give you the number of my therapist. God has a therapist?
Unfortunately, there aren’t enough cats in the world to calm my nerves after a day spent dealing with people who insist
on mucking up my planet. Wars, pollution, low-rise jeans . . . I’ve got my hands full. Why do humans insist on rubbing my fur the wrong way?
For the same reason they insist on watching reruns of The Golden Girls and listening to disco. They’re insane. Here’s a question. Did curiosity really kill the cat?
No. The original phrase is actually “Ferocity filled the rat,” but it got messed up in one of those “telephone” games. What’s the deal with our lack of opposable thumbs? It’s like you don’t want us to be able to work doorknobs or open pop-top cans on our own.
There was a coin toss. Humans got opposable thumbs, and cats got whiskers that pick up seventy-six radio frequencies, tails that aid in balance, and the land-on-your-feet thing. Frankly,
I think you came out ahead. Why is it that no one appreciates my lightning-fast ninja skills?
I’m not sure, but your leaping out of the shadows screaming, “Aaahhhiiii-yaaay!” each and every time you attack a dust bunny doesn’t help matters. I’ve held this conversation with you while looking at myself in the hallway mirror. Does that mean I am God?
Pretty much, yes.
Chapter Two Purr
Are you a type A feline, driven to roam at night and forever worrying when the kibbles run low? Are derogatory epithets such as “Lazy Furball” being continually thrown your way (when you’re awake to hear them, that is)? What if you learned that your penchant for digging in the litter or eating plants was predestined? In other words, what if nothing you do is ever your fault? Purr
sonality type affects everything in a feline’s life, from stalking tendencies to catnip addictions, from sleeping habits to social interactions. The test that follows identifies innate purr
ferences. Once you complete the test, you’ll identify yourself as one of sixteen purr
sonality types. Please note that, just as there is no right or wrong way to decapitate a chipmunk, there is no or “best” or “worst” type.
Knowing your type will enable you to better express your natural purr
ferences in daily life. You’ll identify careers you may find interesting, and you’ll learn how to compensate for any fur-raising quirks you may have. An SEBR (Snuggler Eager Bold Rebel) cat, for example, can become overstimulated and make poor decisions based on what is happening in the moment (“I will climb to the top of this cool tree!”), rather than pausing to see the big picture (“I am potentially stuck in this tree for all eternity”).
After completing the profile, you can use it for the following purposes:
• Identify strengths (yours) and weaknesses (others).
• Determine how much social interaction you can stand before you start shredding furniture.
• Find your ideal personality match for an indentured servant (in other words, person).
• Answer questions such as “Aaugh! Why did you do that?” and “What on earth is the matter
• Identify ideal occupations for your type, such as sleep study participant (LCFI) or undercover (literally) spy (SEBI).
• Line the litter box.
The profile takes approximately ten minutes to complete—or, with nap time factored in, three days.
egories for your profile can be found on the following chart.
INSTRUCTIONS: Please scratch one response only to complete each sentence or answer each question below.
1. I sleep best
a. Intertwined with other felines.
b. On my own.
c. Splayed across the center of the bed, pushing other occupants to the outermost corners.
d. On top of somebody’s face.
2. I play in brown paper bags because
a. I’m not allowed near the knives.
b. They’re like my own personal “bat cave.”
c. If I can’t see you, you can’t see me.
d. I enjoy the echo.
Excerpted from Who Moved My Mouse? by Dena Harris. Copyright © 2010 by Dena Harris. Excerpted by permission of Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.