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  • annehope19

I Believe People Are Just Like Cats

First of all, let me apologize to all you cat lovers out there. I harbor no hatred for cats in general. But my experiences with them have led me to believe they are hard to trust.

Someone once asked me, “If you had to categorize people as a type of animal, which animal would you choose?”

I thought about the question for a good while. Finally, I responded, “Cats…they’re like cats. When they want something or when it suits them, they snuggle up to you. But at other times, they don’t want to have anything to do with you. They rarely listen, and you just can’t count on them. They seem to be extremely selfish.”

Does that describe anyone you know?

I must admit I didn’t grow up learning the art of trust. It came later in life through much pain, many trials, and a legion of errors. I would venture to guess I’m not alone in that department.

Learning how to determine if a person is trustworthy is difficult. In my experience, I have resolved to run from charming people. They indicate a huge red flag to me. 

But it was not always so. For some reason I was a magnet to that type of person. Now, I can’t help but compare that genre of person to cats.

Just to make sure my ideas about cats were not only in my biased imagination, I researched the facts on, written by Layla Morgan Wilde. The information I found convinced me further of the likenesses of people to cats.

Cat facts

A house cat’s genome is 95.6% tiger. They are predators who walk around on their soft pads and sneak up on their prey. Or you. Charming people do that, too.

Cat behaviors include scratching, stalking, pouncing, and urine marking. I had a roommate in graduate school with a cat. That cat hated me and I’ll never know why!

He clawed my belongings, scratched me when I was within range, stalked me around the house, and constantly urinated on my bed. No matter what anyone says, trust me, you can’t get the smell of cat urine out of a mattress!

People are like that, too. When they feel threatened, they scratch and claw. To show dominance, they mark their territory by wanting to do something that will have a lasting, indelible impression. Most efforts, thank goodness, don’t leave the immortality of cat urine.

I can just hear many of you cat lovers protesting through the words I am writing. I know, dogs urinate on things too. But dogs are different. They mark their territory to communicate a “pee mail.” I know this because my dog gets delightfully giddy when walking the neighborhood smelling the “pee mails” of his pals. It’s their way of saying, “Hi!”

Back to cat facts

The claws of cats are curved downward which allows them to climb up a tree. But they can’t climb headfirst down a tree. They have to back down. 

People, too, are eager to climb up the trees of relationships only to find themselves sheepishly backing down the tree after the newness of the relationship wears off. Or perhaps the relationship just didn’t meet their expectations. 

Cats are also nearsighted. People are also often “nearsighted” in the way they relate to others. The tendency is to over focus on the “me” while losing perspective of those around them. 

Notorious for ignoring people, cats are independent little cusses who only want to interact with you when they want to. I find people to be much the same for the most part.

And just in case you didn’t know, as predators, cats have contributed to the extinction of 33 different species. The way humans act in war, I would say they have much of the same killer instinct.

Cats are believed to be the only mammals who don’t taste sweetness. That’s good because cats generally have really bad teeth anyway. (I also run from people with bad teeth.) At least I don’t have to worry about a cat eating my dessert!

Cats use their whiskers to feel the world around them. This is why an owner should never cut a cat’s whiskers. People use their “whiskers of charm” to feel around and determine which small spaces of your life they can fit into and cuddle up against. Just remember, it doesn’t mean they are going to stick around.

Just as cats can spend up to a third of the day grooming themselves, people tend to spend a lot of time grooming, styling themselves to display their best behavior. Sometimes it takes a while to get underneath all that grooming to see who the person really is.

Cats generally find it threatening when people make direct eye contact with them. Do you know any people like this?

Did you know cats have an extra organ that allows them to taste scents in the air? Yup! When cats stare at you with open mouths, they are actually tasting a scent. When people stare at me with open mouths, I have no idea what they’re doing. I hope they’re not tasting a scent!

It’s not unusual for cats to yawn as a way of ending a confrontation. Has your significant other ever done that? A yawn is the same as saying, “Talk to the hand!”

Cats are stubborn creatures. They will often refuse to eat food they find distasteful to the point of starvation. (Need I say anything about humans being stubborn?)

Finally, cats generally have 18 toes. Five toes are on each of the front paws, and four toes are on each of the back paws. Cats are just weird! But so are people.

As I grow older, I’m trying to let bygones be bygones with that cat from my college days. It was a nasty experience, and one I felt I certainly didn’t deserve. I’m learning to love cats more. And I’m striving to be friendlier, more trusting of their idiosyncrasies, and more forgiving of their need to scratch and claw.

Likewise, I’m trying to improve in all these ways as I interact with people. Some days are easier than others. But as I allow myself to be more vulnerable, I find the weirdness of people to be oddly interesting. I’ve actually begun to embrace their wackiness.

I can now keep smiling as they back down a tree, be patient with their stubbornness, and not take it personally when they ignore me. Even when it hurts a bit.

I’ve given up trying to change people. It’s a waste of time to keep banging your head on that wall. 

You can’t make someone love you. You can’t force them to respect you. You can only follow the golden rule we learned as kids. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Then hope for the best. 

Thank you for reading my article. I’d love to hear your thoughts. And once again, my apologies to cat lovers. I realize some cats are wonderful. And many people too!

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