Monday, December 14, 2009

My Turn: It’s My House, So Follow My Rules, by Erica Kane

I've lived with dogs since I was a tiny kitten, and I have to say that they are literal minded to the point of idiocy, usually, or, at their best, like Levi, they are a mass of neuroses and misguided perceptions. Don't interpret this to mean that I don't like dogs. I'm very fond of them indeed, though the things that worry or excite them are quite beyond my understanding. Do you have to act like hooligans because the doorbell rang? It just means someone's here, but they'll leave soon. You dogs need to learn to concentrate on what's important.

Because of the inattention of the dogs and humans I cohabit with, I have had the opportunity to mark everything and everyone in the house. Those stupid dogs (and humans) see me rubbing my face on chairs, tables, walls, everything, and they don't do a thing to stop me, or mark their things first. I've proceeded with some caution, but at this point I can announce, with no fear of contradiction, that I own the entire house, all its contents, and the surrounding lot and landscaping.

Though my clever encroachments have given me indisputable title to the family home, it is not in my nature to be a tyrant. I shudder to think of what antic rules might be imposed were Levi to become lord and master of our domicile. I have no intention of evicting anybody, human or dog, now that I have obtained title, and as a practical matter nothing will change. I just have a bit more security, which I need for my psychological well-being.

Which brings me to the real object of this essay: my fear of imminent starvation.

Despite being a cat of property and distinction, I am dependent upon dad for my very sustenance, and his inattention makes me fear that I might starve to death in the near future. By noting this now, and publicly, I hope to aid the possible service of justice in the event of my negligent homicide by starvation.

Of course, I free feed. My food must be available to me 24/7. Who knows when I'll be hungry? Certainly not dad! He is so inattentive!

I have what's known as a "gravity" feeder. It holds about two pounds of food. As I eat what's in the bowl, the food is replenished from the canister. It's an amazing invention, so simple but necessary and useful. Rather like the wheel. It's the kind of creation that makes me realize what useful and creative creatures humans really are.

Despite the manifest cleverness of humans, my dad will often let this device become so empty that it holds less than a pound of food! I understand that his intent is to fill it up again, sometime, but who knows how the future may conspire to make that intent untenable?

Once my gravity feeder is one quarter empty, I loudly notify everyone in the area of the potential disaster that lies ahead. If my yowls are heeded at all, it's by dad looking at my feeder and saying something wholly irrelevant like, "Erica, there's enough food there for a month. Stop it."

"Enough food for a month." What then, dad, what then?

So he lets the feeder get ever lower, dangerously lower, until I'm forced to spend much of my energy motivating him to fill my feeder up all the way! I "meow," I yowl, I run back and forth from wherever he is, to my food bowl, and he'll do nothing at all! Dad may be "the dogman," but he certainly doesn't know how to properly appease a cat. It's times like this that I wish I were big, and could make dad do what he's supposed to!

Finally, things will get dangerous. The feeder will be half empty. That's when I switch into high alert, and I will no longer be denied! I will not stop bugging everyone until the feeder is full to the top.

My rational side knows that with the feeder half-full, there is enough food for at least a week. But are my wishes so extreme? Is it too much to ask that my feeder just be kept full? Especially considering I'm the landlord around here. Really, that's all I want out of life.

Especially now that I legally own everything else.

Ed. Note: This is ordinarily Levi's column, but late Sunday night he informed me that he wasn't a machine who wrote on cue. I reminded Levi that he had known about this deadline for a week, and that he himself had insisted on a weekly column in the first place. Levi then asked for a cookie, which he got.

Erica said she would fill in for Levi, and that she had an important issue of which the public needed to be made aware. I told her that would be fine.

She handed in the above at the last minute. It's actually fairly accurate, except, of course, I dispute Erica's legal ownership of the house by virtue of her markings. 

If you don't care for Erica's opinions, feel free to check out some of Levi's past work here.

© 2009, All Rights Reserved, Rich Sands


Jen said...

I assume you immediately complied with her *cough* request and refilled her feeder promptly. Fun post :o)

Four Dinners said...

I live in a house. Wifey lives with me. Daughter does when she's home from Uni.

We are allowed to live here by the true owners.

4 cats and a kitten.

Wouldn't have it any other way!

Jaya said...

I agree with Rich that Erica does not enjoy ownership of the house, and all that is in it, by virtue of her markings. No. She enjoys ownership simply because She is The Cat.

As to the appalling lack of attention given by the humans to Erica's kibble holder, I can only say it is very disturbing to read about this situation. I would advise Erica that vomiting on her humans' heads while they sleep is a good way to get their attention, and let them know that such lackadaisical service will not be tolerated...

philly5113 said...

I like the act like hooligans when the door bell rings. Such a true picture. funny..

tashabud said...

Erica, throwing tantrums will not get your Dad's attention. Perhaps you should butter him up a bit. Show your Dad more love and affection, instead of acting aloof and cold. That should do the trick, I believe. Do this and give us your report afterwards. If he doesn't return your kindness, then, by all means, throw the worst tantrum ever! LOL.

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