Let’s face it – people who love their animals tend to anthropomorphize them. We ascribe human characteristics and personality traits to our pets. Maybe it’s a reflection of our inherent nature to connect and identify with the world around us, to see a part of ourselves in something other than ourselves. I’ve discussed this in a few of my posts, but most recently in my post Cats Mimic Their Owners. Hardly a day goes by where I don’t have some kind of anthropomorphic thought going through my head. I will see Toby or Timba do something or portray a facial expression and in my head or out loud I will say what I think they are thinking or saying. This tendency of ours is taking off in social media in the form of putting captions to photos and sending them off into cyberland to go viral.
Lately I’ve been thinking about what my cats do and what they’re good at. Pouncing on me and picking at the door when I’m not in the bedroom are at the top of the list, but number one is just being cute. Hey, I have to exercise a little bias every now and then! It didn’t take long to realize that, in true anthropomorphic form, there are several professions and occupations in which Toby and Timba would absolutely thrive if they were human.
1. Masseuse: I used to have a cat named Grace who was hands down – or paws down – the best kneading cat ever. Minus the drool, massages from Grace were heavenly. She was declawed so there were no unpleasant acupuncture surprises. She would knead me several times a day, as much as I’d let her. The plus side? She knew how to spend time on her clients. Sadly though, I had to find Grace another home. Toby has never kneaded me or anything in his life, but some time after Grace was gone, it was as though he felt a need to fulfill that role. Now he employs himself regularly as my personal masseuse, and I have to say, he’s not too bad. He’s no Grace, due in large part to his kitty ADHD. Just as I am beginning to enjoy the bliss side of Toby paws, he stops and lays down on me or springs from my body (aka his personal trampoline) and bemuses himself with something else. Sigh. Toby, if you want to succeed in life, you’ve got to not only focus on quality but quantity.
2. Surgeon: Toby would also be the surgeon in my little fur family. Well over 10 years ago a doctor diagnosed me as having a lipoma in my left side. It is a benign tumor of fatty tissue and feels like a big knot. Oddly it seems to feel larger than at other times, and I think this has to do with intestinal pressure perhaps making it more protuberant. At any rate, Toby seems to have an affinity for locating this mass, and he faithfully encounters it when he’s occupied being my little masseuse. He takes his tiny paws, otherwise knows as drill bits, and digs them into the spot directly or sometimes around the edges of it. I could swear he’s trying to get that thing out of me. It is by far one of the most painful nerve pains I’ve ever encountered whenever he hones in on it. I’d love if my cat were a well-paid surgeon bringing home the big bucks for mama, but I just have one tiny suggestion for improvement: Can a cat mom get a little anesthesia before you dive in, Toby? Thanks!
3. Sumo Wrestler: This is where my big boy thrives. When Timba was younger he was a hellion to be around, that is, if you are a cat. To get the full picture of just what a piss-n-vinegar rascal he was, take some time after this to read My Cat, The Bully. He has mellowed out with a little age and probably with a lot of help from what we sensitively refer to as “the surgery” (aka neutering). Timba now playfully interacts with Toby instead of harassing him into an all out Fur Fest. Timba has also gained weight, but he has a large frame so he doesn’t necessarily look fat, just large. So the times he tactically seeks out Toby, or the times that Toby foolishly seeks some fun with his now-only playmate, it’s more of a wrestling competition instead of a badgering boxing match replete with four sets of switchblades (when I don’t clip the nails, that is). So if you were to visit me, it would not be an uncommon thing to see my sumo wrestler pinning my Tiny Toby, rolling around the bed or floor and squashing the “oomph” out of him. Timba may have Thai roots as a Siamese cat, but he’s all Japanese warrior at heart!
4. Detective: While Toby exhibits the usual amount of kitty curiosity, Timba would be the official detective of my fur family. Absolutely nothing escapes his attention. When something new enters the home, or when a noise makes itself known, Timba is on it like white on mice. He’s also subtle, and this is a strategy necessary to thrive as a detective. Timba moves slowly, not because of his size, but because of intent. It’s his best offensive trait and it wins him the prize he seeks, or a bunch of laughter from me. I have a feeling that if I lived in the country where I’d feel safe letting him be an indoor and outdoor cat, I’d have more than the typical share of “presents” at my doorstep due to his sleuthful expertise. The downside to his investigative skill would be that he will inevitably find what he isn’t suppose to find and put it in his mouth. I have managed to eliminate the rubber band and twist tie household risks, but God forbid I drop a pill or a piece of garlic when he’s watching. It is a race to see who will get there first!
5: Interior Decorator: Both of my cats would definitely thrive at interior design. They are creative in how they approach their environment and very astute observers. Like I said, when something new comes into the home, enter kitty paws and noses for a full tactile inspection. They move things around on me, and often for the worst. At least in my opinion. I’m sure when the shelf they jump on (to window watch from) topples over they merely shrug and wonder when I’m going to put it back up for them. When the cat post tips over as they play ring around the rosy around my bed they just use my body as a post or springboard. They also like to re-arrange the placement of their toys, which secures the accrual of new toys. Five minutes after purchasing a pack of mice and balls they are all under the bed, where mama cannot and will not go. I do delight in one particular arrangement, however. Whenever I’m gone for a while, I come home to a pile of toys on my bed. It always makes me smile to think my fur babies missed me and were wanting me to play with them. And let us last but not least forget the one accentuation that all cat owners must endure: hairballs and spews. Why, Toby, do you have to spew from the cat perch where it splatters so inconveniently? Perhaps he’s a burgeoning artist?
So there you have it! What careers or occupations do you think your cat (or dog) would thrive in? Comments are open and welcome 🙂