The No Cat Zone: how people and animals are alike

 

The culprit.

The culprit.

“Jerry, I have a sign on the door that states ‘No Cats!'”

“Yes, I know. But this is where they want to be. I just can’t say no to them.”

I implemented the “no cats” ban in my office soon after I noticed threads dangling off the side of my brand new recliner; the Charlotte La-Z-Boy I bought last summer. I made the deduction right away that one of my cats, or both, thought the chair served very nicely as a new scratching post.

I posted the sign on my office door right after that. Taking a scrap of paper and scrawling “No Cats” with a black Sharpie pen, I imposed my ban. I knew the cats wouldn’t pay attention to it, but I hoped Jerry might. In the meanwhile, I covered my new chair with an ugly cream-colored blanket in the event a cat decides to slink in without my knowledge.

Ugly blanket chair

Ugly blanket chair

Before I imposed the embargo, the cats had wandered into my office on occasion. But as soon as they realized the room had become a forbidden zone, they couldn’t wait to get in.

They wanted to be in my office all day, every day. It’s not that I would open the door and they would come charging in, blazing past my feet. It’s more that I would open the door and there they were resting on the futon beside my desk. They would look up at me as if to say, “We own this room. Don’t even think of making us leave.”

How did you get in here? Is Jerry letting you in? They don’t answer. It’s their secret.

The sign that no one pays attention to.

The sign that no one pays attention to.

Animals are so much like people. Don’t we want things even more when we’re told we can’t have it? Jerry once said to me, “Bronwyn, don’t ever get a tattoo.” I had never thought of getting a tattoo. But then, after his request that I not get one, I suddenly desired ink designs on my skin. Maybe I will get myself a tattoo. Maybe I’ll get a tiny flower design on my ankle or maybe a huge battleship imprinted on my chest. I like the idea of having the choice. And I don’t care too much about being restricted from that choice.

Here’s another example of animals, or in this case feathered friends, acting like people. I have two hummingbird feeders. One allows the hummingbirds to rest as they sip the nectar. The other feeder has no place to rest, so the hummingbirds must beat their wings like crazy while drinking from the feeder. Now which hummingbird feeder do you think is most popular? The one with the rest stop? Of course. Why work when you can rest? Humans don’t want to work if they have the choice to rest. I know I would rather sit in my beautiful chair, now covered in an ugly blanket, than go outside and dig a ditch. Do I want to sip tea while resting in my chair? Or sip tea while hurtling dirt? You see, hummingbirds are no different than us.

The feeder on the right is like a restful resort and the one on the left is like getting a drink while running a treadmill.

The feeder on the right is like a restful resort and the one on the left is like getting a drink while running a treadmill.

Rabbits, and we have lots of them here, don’t gnaw on my plants in broad daylight. They wait until it’s dark and then they sneak into my yard and proceed to feast on my pansies. Likewise, people don’t gnaw on my pansies in broad daylight either. See? Another example of how animals and people are alike.

These are the only two pansies the rabbits haven't devoured since I surround them with plants rabbits hate.

These are the only two pansies the rabbits haven’t devoured since I surround them with plants rabbits hate.

I took my “no cats” sign down. I gave up trying to keep my cats out of my office. The blanket covering my chair is so ugly to them they don’t care to be near it. They prefer lounging on the pretty afghan on the futon.

So, I surrender.

Cats? Where are you? The door’s open.

C’mon in.

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