January 20, 2011

Saying goodnight to your cats

Blog, I seldom say goodnight to you (sorry), but I do very often say goodnight to my cats. Last night all three of them were in a rare mood to be curled up in adjacent areas, and as I made the rounds to give each a pet and a goodnight, I remarked upon the weird human custom of saying goodnight to our pets.

With cats in particular it has to be baffling. I can imagine them saying to themselves, "Geez, I've gone to sleep 35780 times in the past 24 hours, and I didn't feel obligated to say goodnight to anyone on any of those occasions. Not even the ones which actually occurred during the hours of darkness. What is it with these humans and their ridiculously simple sleep schedules and crazy customs?"

Selke did not say goodnight before conking out within the comforting confines of the wrought-iron side table legs.

Cody did not say goodnight before passing out on my computer keyboard.

Or underneath this patio chair.

This cat that I don't know probably didn't say goodnight either, before falling asleep under this squash.

I guess I have to admit, it would be bizarre if anytime a cat was ready to nod off, he or she felt obligated to say goodnight. That would be even more annoying than Selke's insistence on having a meowing fit during our favorite TV shows ("Selke, no talking during 'The Vanilla Ice Project'!")

Cats also don't seem to care about acknowledging that they are leaving the room for the night. Actually my husband Davie isn't always big on that either. At any rate, it's no slight when they slink off for parts unknown without so much as a fare-thee-well. Obviously they really don't get it.

Why then is it that I feel I ought not pad up the stairs to bed without a proper goodbye to at least those cats which I can locate? Honestly, my emotions tell me if I passed Pookie snoozing on the back of the couch without acknowledgment of some kind, she would be all "Sheesh, I guess I'm chopped liver! And oooh, that sounds good. Later maybe ...zzzzz."

In point of fact, saying goodnight to cats is not for the cats, it's for us humans. Well, it's for us humans who lock their cats out of the bedroom, anyway. No point in saying it if the door is open, because the feline(s) in question will most likely join you at some point while you are a-slumber. But for people like me, we feel like we are leaving the poor little furry creatures alone for the night, deprived of our companionship...practically shunning them with our closed door and our refusal to acknowledge (in the case of Pookers) their proud howling at having caught and exterminated that jingle ball.

Actually, I think it's a nice custom, foolish or no. Once each night we get to acknowledge by that little gesture our bond with our pets, and remind ourselves how much a part of our lives they are. And I'm just silly enough to think that maybe, in some corner of Cody, Selke, and Alice's little brains, they are glad about it. I like to think they really do miss me during the eight hours I spend so quietly behind the bedroom door.

1 comment:

  1. Love this write up! I don't have a cat but I do feel like I need to say goodnight to my dog. I even fluff up her floor bed for her. Sweet dreams fur friends.