"If animals could speak, the dog would be a blundering outspoken fellow; but the cat would have the rare grace of never saying a word too much." -Mark Twain
Here is an animal that demonstrates affection, demands food and attention, has its own unique habits and clearly would speak English if it could.
I am very grateful to have my cat Watson in my life. Even if his whiskers are not long enough to beat the world record. (Which is 7.5 inches, just incase you were wondering. Watson tops off at 5 inches.) I love him anyway.
Like I said, I never had a cat when I was growing up. My family had dogs, first Amber and then Keeley. (Two wonderful yellow labs who will someday get their post.) I had friends who had cats, but mostly they were farm cats, so getting Watson was a big learning curve.
From running around with his tail in full bottle-brush mode while we play, to stalking and pouncing me when I least expect it. He also has a tendency to eat boxelder bugs right off the wall and bring me the bodies of chewed-up spiders as gifts. Watson has both jumped into a bathtub full of water and fallen into the toilet before it was flushed, ripped apart a new roll of paper towels and shredded a tube of wrapping paper.
I mean it when I say this cat has become quite an important part of my life.
When I got Watson, I didn't realize how frequently he would barf or how much of my property he would destroy. Yes, I have to clean up his hairballs, trim his nails, scoop his litter and buy expensive prescription food. I have scars from his claws.
But, despite all of this, I love him and his stoic company always seems to comfort me.
He sits in my lap while I watch movies and play video games. He's bonked my face and wiped away my tears with his fur when I cry. He sleeps with me every night and lays next to me purring until I'm almost asleep. He talks to me in his quiet cat-voice and then sings loudly when I prepare his favorite food as he winds his way around my feet.
I got Watson from a friend of my mother's... I had been staining their deck and one of their cats had kittens. I just just taken my first teaching job and I was also working on moving into my new house. I actually got to see him when he was 5 hours old - his eyes and ears hadn't even opened yet. He could fit into the palm of my hand.
Now he's a full 17 pounds and plays fetch better than any dog I've met. (Mostly because I hate the tug-o-war aspect of playing fetch with dogs. Watson just drops the toy at my feet and I throw it and he brings it back.) When I took him home at 8 weeks he looked like this:
"Cats are the connoisseurs of comfort." - James Harriot
It is, after all, what cats do.