If I am reincarnated, I want Oscar’s life. My cat one of the most spoiled creatures ever to live. It’s not that we live in opulent splendor or that he has the most expensive cat food available. No, this is more about his sense of entitlement and success in achieving his goals.
- When he first arrived, he was supposed to sleep in his own little bed. For the first night, the only way he would stay in the bed, which was right next to mine, was if I kept my hand in his bed so that he could snuggle up to it. This required that I lay in an incredibly uncomfortable position. If I removed my hand, he crawled over into my bed. Needless to say, we ended up giving away his little bed.
- A few months later, I tried to switch him cat litter recommended by my neighbor. It was these natural pellets that smelled of pine and were broken up as he buried his droppings. He refused to get into the litter box – literally standing on the edge so his feet didn’t touch the pellets. Rather than try to use it or allow himself to become accustomed to it, he went to the hallway and stared at me until I looked at him, at which point, he peed on the floor. Then he turned and walked away. Needless to say, I went to the store and got his old brand of cat litter, which we use to this day.
- He hogs the bed. It’s a double bed for him and me. He lays across the width of the bed, taking up one half. Over the course of the night, he inches his way over onto my side. By morning, I am teetering on the edge of the mattress and have to physically move him to avoid nearly falling out of bed. When I do this, he’s not happy and gives a little annoyed snarl – not quite a growl but definitely not a meow – before moving to the foot of the bed.
- His demand for treats has reached an alarming level. I should invest in the company that makes the treats. He will meow (at well-placed intervals) for hours. He alternates between a sweet and deserving look and Dickensian pathos. If no treat is forthcoming, he sometimes slips and becomes demanding, with a haughty glare signalling his displeasure with my service. But that’s only for a moment – he catches himself and resumes his more appealing tactics.
- When I am watching television, he climbs onto my lap and up to my shoulder, whether I’m ready and willing or not. Sometimes, I’m in the middle of knitting – he doesn’t care and climbs over whatever I’m making, needles and all. Sometimes, he stays snuggled against my shoulder; other times, he comes back down to my lap. I have very little say in the matter.
Oscar gets away with his brazenness by also being cute and sweet and loving and entertaining. I end up laughing at most of the things above, which of course is not the way to impose discipline. But, that’s just it – he doesn’t have to make his way in the world or be responsible. His life centers around our little family in this little apartment. He only inconveniences me … and sometimes Mom if he decides to lay in front of her chair or between her and the kitchen.
By the way, Mom is no help – she takes his side … “poor little fella wants a treat … he’s been a good boy today …”. When he lays on the floor in front of her or in front of her chair, she apologizes to him for inconveniencing him and forcing him to move! She tries to maneuver around him.
That is the beauty of being Oscar. He bats those big blue eyes and we cave.
I look at it this way: I have enough stress in my life without dealing with an unhappy cat!
And, after all, I’m sure he’s been a good boy today and just wants a little treat.