Ever talk to one of these mush-head cat owners who has too much time on his hands
so he sits around worrying about the spiritual nature of Cathood? They say things like "My cat is so INTELLIGENT" and "She can sense when I'm about to go to Cleveland, you know" and--my favorite of all--"I only wish that cats were able to talk to us--I KNOW there are things he's trying to tell me."
Okay. All right. Let's imagine that somebody was so spiritually in tune with his cat, and the cat WAS so intelligent, that the cat COULD talk. Let's imagine that you worked with the cat for ten years, perfecting his vocal-chord work so that, instead of cat noises, he could articulate human speech. Let's say that the cat understood this process and looked forward to it just as much as the owner did.
Finally, after amazing effort, the cat would learn to speak a single word. Do you know what the first word out of the cat's mouth would be?
You know I'm right. Don't deny it.
Now. Let's say this cat, which we'll call Butterball the Wonder Cat, was such a dedicated worker that it wasn't satisfied with just being able to ask for food in human terms, so it continued its vocal training, and after another six months, the cat could speak TWO words instead of one. Care to guess what they'd be?
Now we're really starting to go deep into the spiritual nature of this cat. The human speech training rapidly accelerates from this point, and within just a few more months, the cat is actually able to speak complete sentences. For example:
"Open the orange can now."
Another two weeks and the cat begins to understand conceptual thinking:
"I prefer the Fancy Feast to the Purina."
Four weeks after that the cat might begin to understand the emotional sub-text of sentences, and he would become the Dale Carnegie of cats:
"If you don't mind, stop buying the dry food. It's not to my taste. I won't insist, but I would be much happier with the canned food."
And ultimately, if the cat lived long enough and was dedicated to truly communicating with humans, you could get to the highest spiritual nature of Cathood. Every Wednesday night the cat would hold seminars for humans, explaining secrets of the universe that only cats know.
"First of all," the cat would say, "did everyone see the cashier on the way in? As you know, the cost of the seminar has risen from three cans of Fancy Feast per week to four cans. This simply reflects the recession affecting cat seminars as it does every facet of our lives, both human lives and cat lives. All right, today's lesson involves the principle of rubbing up against a human leg. This means that the cat should be fed immediately. And we're not necessarily talking about commercial cat food here, either. It might be appropriate to give the cat some cheese off your pizza, or a few chunks of sirloin. At this time I will review all human foods preferred by most cats. Please take notes."
And if we all went to the seminar for about, oh, three years--that third year is important, because that's when Butterball the Wonder Cat teaches us how to pass legislation requiring cat food in clean bowls to be left on the kitchen linoleum of all American households at all times--we would finally understand the mysterious and spiritual nature of the Cat.