The household cat comes and goes as it damn well pleases - and if you think about it, with no tax returns, overdrafts or emails to deal with, that’s not a bad way to live a very good life, writes Matt Roper
I started out the day on the floor this morning having been to war with an airbed the night before. I woke up between two dogs and a cat – something I’m still amazed at, especially when I consider that I went to sleep alone. And I know for a fact they slept far better than I did.
Oh, to be a household pet for a day.
Cats are strange creatures and I’ve learned over the years that you can’t control them. I have the scars to prove it. I’ve also learned that they’re the only self-domesticated animal on earth. That is to say that they just showed up and figured out quickly that it’s an easier life to live with humans than to be out there in the wild, fending for themselves. Perhaps one day they’ll just up sticks and leave us all in the middle of the night. I wouldn’t put it past them. Cats do as they like, you see.
Dogs on the other hand need humans far less to survive outside the home but somehow they can be trained inside it to sit down, jump up, lie down, roll over, shake paws, fetch things and bring them back again.
But I’m sitting here typing this and wondering just what goes on in the heads of pet owners who feel the need to make a dog jump through a hoop, roll over and then stand on its hind legs panting for approval. You see these people and their pets on television talent shows and I wonder what suddenly happened to all the protesters who make such noise about animals performing in circuses? To me, there seems to be very little moral difference between training a tiger to run around a circus ring and making a poodle hop through a hoop on Britain’s Got Talent.
I also wonder what thoughts cross the minds of the sort of people who push their children onto stages and enter them for auditions. The stage mother of the poor child prancing about in a tutu and the owner of the poodle that performs surely have a lot in common. It’s a combination of vanity, ambition and the smell of hard cash.
But if there are any television producers sitting reading this at home, I’d like to see the reality show where stage mothers are sent to tame the tiger in the ring and where the circus trainer has to sit in the corner of a casting room, sternly coaching somebody’s poor child to get the words right to a song from Annie.
Yes. It is better to live the life of a household cat than the one belonging to a circus tiger or a performing child. The household cat has complete independence, unless you count the complimentary meal breaks and I wouldn’t mind a few of those. Nor does the household cat have to contend with tax returns, overdrafts, emails and airbeds. The household cat comes and goes as it damn well pleases.
Matt Roper is a British comedian touring America. His relationship with Lush goes back to 2011 when he performed for the muddy festival-goers of Lushfest, returning the following year to curate the line-up of the comedy stage. As he travels around the world, he shares his musings with us here in a series of writings – a sifting of thought from a restless but always seeking imagination.
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