That does it. In my next life, I’m coming back as my own cat. Seriously.
I’ve officially decided that human beings are definitely overrated. Just look at everything that’s happened lately. We’ve had cop killings, terrorism, mall shootings, nightclub shootings, and train attacks carried out by ax-wielding maniacs. And then there’s the collective insanity otherwise known as presidential politics.
Yes, humans are overrated. We think we’re so special because we have opposable thumbs and souls. We also think our ability to reason sets us apart from other animals. Well, for such an intellectually and technologically advanced species, we sure are screwing things up a lot. And for some strange reason, we seem completely incapable of learning from our mistakes.
Yes, people are overrated. And life is complicated.
Don’t get me wrong. Life isn’t necessarily easy for American dogs and cats, either. As much as we love our pets, the sad reality is that there are millions of unwanted animals in the United States. According to The Humane Society of the United States, more than 2 million “healthy, adoptable” dogs and cats are euthanized in shelters every year. The organization estimates that is roughly one every 13 seconds.
Yes, you can chalk that up to human stupidity, too.
But my cats were lucky. We got Tiger from family friends when they moved to Saudi Arabia; if we hadn’t taken her, she would have been left outside to fend for herself. Heals was a stray. A co-worker found her wandering in the neighborhood and took her in, but couldn’t keep her. If I hadn’t taken her, she would have ended up in the local pound. And Eli — my sweet baby boy — my “pit bull in a cat costume”– he was a pound cat with an attitude when I adopted him. I hate to think what would have happened if I hadn’t chosen him.
Today, I don’t think there’s a cat on the face of the earth that has it better than Eli. Eli is spoiled rotten — and he knows it. His chief concerns are when he’ll get breakfast and dinner. Beyond that, his only worries are whether he’s got enough kibble and whether his litter boxes are clean (yes, he has more than one). Oh… I suppose he also worries about being hauled off to the vet, having his claws clipped and how long it will take one of us to figure out that he wants to go out on the deck.
He does not have to worry about being abused or being abandoned. He’ll never have to worry about being neglected. In other words, he’s got a pretty good life — and he knows it.