Of humans and cats: who owns whom? | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, September 22, 2016 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, September 22, 2016

Of humans and cats: who owns whom?

I have always had a love-hate relationship with my cats. Underneath those irresistible coats of fur, lurk ego-crushing and demeaning beings who will make one's heart go mushy and then squash it into pulp with its very demeanour, like your ex. These moving balls of fur have got the whole human race at their paws. Even though the social pyramid has placed humans at the pinnacle, the reality depicts a feline dominance over them. Speaking of pyramids, ancient Egypt appraised their feline friends as demi-gods and killing them would result in death penalties. These cats would be given their own private tombs and probably would have a laugh from 'kitty-heaven' while the owners shaved off their eyebrows to mourn. 

During the middle ages, cats were treated as sinister beings, affiliated with witchcraft, and as a result they were burned to get rid of bad omen. This scenario began to change during the early 1600s which brings us to today, when cats are deemed the hotshots of this era. From being Godfather's pet to Schrödinger's mystery pet, they are superstars with their own line of products, movies and of course memes.

Although listed as the second most popular pets worldwide, cat owners often complain and whine about the tantrums they have to put up with, gradually succumbing to frustration over their indifference. Shortly after being adopted, they are quick to establish authority over the households. Your hard earned furniture, including yourself will be quickly converted to their scratch posts which they usually do to inject their scent in marking their territory while your laundry becomes their favourite spots to get cosy in. The term 'an immovable object' will come under a new light when you will come back to your room to find them sitting on your keyboards and not giving a care in the world. Further domination is decoded as they develop their way of vocalisation around humans, meaowing their way into ordering us for instance, to open doors for them. According to a few theories, a cat deems human as a big, dumb cat who they can summon to give them a head-scratch and food. This assessment is further fortified by the fact that when cats bring dead rodents for their owners, they are basically rubbing it on their humans' faces that they are the superior hunters and that we need to learn. 

Their very posture also demonstrates supremacy. Being the epitome of grace and agility, they think of us as clumsy creatures as we trip over them and not vice versa. They will often lie on their back, prop their head up, putting their tummy on display asking for a rub from their peasants aka humans. Reshad, currently studying at Tufts, agrees with this, saying, “My cat Pootin looks over in Sphinx-like posture from the highest perch – usually shelves or cupboards – signifying an air of royalty.” Even  after all the services and libations offered, men have to get used to the constant feeling of being looked down upon, being laughed at by those judgmental eyes and getting blanked in public raising the amount of embarrassment even further.

These 'aristocats' are enjoying their reign in the current world, triggering dilation of eyes and a melting of hearts from humans. Further, studies have shown that owning a cat, or perhaps, getting owned by a cat boosts one's chances of being found attractive for dating. Finally, while these felines demean us whenever they are presented with an opportunity, they sometimes consider us worthy for a 'purrfect' warm snuggle and that takes away all the hurt and humiliation and we happily provide ourselves for another day of servitude. 

Iqra likes to think about spending the rest of her life with her one true soulmate, a Belgian Blue cow named Shoikot who has a degree in Feelosophy. Send her pictures of your cow to iqralaqa@gmail.com

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