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Letting RG the Cat Guy rest easy


The Head of the Household and I had something in common the other morning …

… we both woke up sleeping on my side.

I blinked my way to consciousness facing the wall to my left, while she perched on my right hip in the feline yoga position known as the “Loaf of Bread.”

While this particular landing spot was new, it continued a trend of her deciding that, after nearly 11 years, maybe I’m not so bad after all.

Perhaps — in the immortal words of Sister Bertrille — she likes me, she really likes me.

I scoured the interwebs for empirical data to buttress my reasoning for her decision to glom onto my haunches in the middle of the night and discovered that researchers at Oregon State University have published a study saying — among other big words I didn’t look up — “we may be underestimating cats’ socio-cognitive abilities.”

See? So pleased was I to discover that my premise for the Head of the Household’s new-found devotion had scientific underpinning, I was more than willing to overlook the OSU team’s grammatically questionable use of “may” instead of “might.”

It’s been a big year for the scientific study of cats. Just last month a French physicist received the Nobel Prize for his work in feline rheology that led to the conclusion that cats can be considered either a solid or a liquid … depending on the shape of the object in which they stuff themselves.

Wait. Oops, sorry about that … Marc Antoine-Fardin actually received the Ig Nobel Prize, which isn’t quite the same thing — considering that among other recipients was a South Korean high school student who analyzed why humans, while walking, tend to spill coffee from a cup.

Still, the OSU research team deserves some sort of prize for their efforts to reassure us that we matter (we really, really matter) to our cats … and that our own Head of the Household’s recent behavioral change can be attributed to this affection.

So, when I was serving as her mattress the other morning, I felt like the cat’s pajamas.

Although, a cat wearing set of matching pj’s is a rare sight.

About the only animal there’s documented proof of indulging in such human garb was the elephant shot by the famed African explorer Capt. Jeffrey T. Spaulding, who put all his reliance in courage and defiance and risked his life for science … however ignobly.

I saved you the trouble and looked into the entomological derivation of “cat’s pajamas” and let’s just say that, in this case, the best answer I got was “well, we’re not quite sure.”

Most references point to the Roaring 20s when phrase’s like the bees knees, the snake’s hips, the sardine’s whisker, the flying nun and the dog’s droopy ear came into parlance.

On the other hand, cat’s pajamas also are attributed to the elegant sleepwear made by an 18th century English tailor-to-royalty named E.B. Katz — but that seems a tad too on the nose to believe, sort of like Thomas W. Crapper inventing the toilet or Sir Isaac Newton’s wife baking the first fig treats.

Disregarding the notion of getting a cat into a set of pajamas (where would the button-fly go, for instance), it goes without saying (except that, well … you know) that many caregivers will be clothing their cats in a couple of weeks for Halloween.

The best part of seeing any cat in a costume, obviously, is their disgusted countenance as they plot the demise of the human who thought it would be cute to see them in the guise of a dinosaur, a pirate or a unicorn.

Worse, a current theme is to have your Head of the Household celebrate Halloween decked out as something you’d eat.

There are hot dog costumes and egg costumes, sushi and pizza outfits, and something for vegetarians called an “avocato.”

There’s even the opportunity out there to dress them up as a doughnut and coffee — a costume that could eventually lead to another Ig Nobel Prize winner, depending on how much coffee the cat spills during this particular walk of shame.

But, beware, indulging in this particular (and peculiar) fashion trend might come back to haunt you. Remember, revenge is a dish best served cold; and while we didn’t spy any gagh costumes, we did come across something equally as stomach-turning.

Thanks to one cat food company out there, this Halloween your cat can feast on a delicacy called “Tasty Human” … which the makers claim is really chicken, despite the kibble’s soylent green packaging.

Me, I prefer not to ride that terrifying train of thought; content as I am these days to bask in the new-found adoration I’m receiving from the Head of the Household.

Upon seeing these new sleeping arrangements, the third occupant of our home felt it necessary to point out that it was now mid-October and the nights were colder … meaning the cat simply was placing itself in the vicinity of the nearest source of radiating heat.

Pshaw … or words to that effect … I said, pointing out I have science on my side. Besides, she likes me; she really likes me.

Columnist Robert Galvin only sleeps when he isn’t awake at rgalvin@rosebudmedia.com.