Your People – A guide to different types of humans, by Lightning
Think Like a Cat, Pam Johnson-Bennet. The Cat Whisperer, Claire Bessant. The New Natural Cat, Anita Frazier. From books to magazines, humans think they have it all figured out. They’ve got the specifics of cat behavior down to a ‘T.’ Somehow, they’ve failed to notice the bite marks and claw scratches across the covers of these ‘cat bibles,’ which were supposed to be a hint that they have no clue. Which is why I, Blackie’s Lightning, a cat myself, have chosen to create a guide to the different types of humans. As important characters in the lives of their humans, cats must know exactly what they are getting themselves into if they pick a human without much care. It is also important to be able to identify the different types of humans that arrive as guests in any cat’s household. There are three basic types of humans – the Unfortunates, the cat people, and the non-cat people.
The Unfortunates are an easy class of human to identify. Unfortunates are classified as anyone who hasn’t had a chance to own a cat of their own. Unfortunates make great houseguests, as most are enthralled with the idea of cats in and of themselves. During dinners, it is always nice to be able to jump in the lap of an Unfortunate and terrify him or her completely, enjoying the look on their face as they scoot back their chair to discover the cat sitting in their lap. Because Unfortunates have never owned a cat of their own, they usually react positively, not shooing the cat off immediately or standing up in horror. Sometimes a cat is lucky enough to even grab a tidbit from dinner -- whether offered or not. However, in these situations, it is best for a cat to stay alert and on the lookout for the other two types of humans, the cat and non-cat people. Either one can banish a cat from his feast in the blink of an eye. When having Unfortunates over as houseguests, it’s also a great opportunity for a cat to benefit from some serious stroking. Some Unfortunates even ask for brushes, and usually have a light enough touch to keep from impaling the skin like most non-cat people would. All in all, Unfortunates are great visitors.
Unfortunates, while making excellent houseguests, do not make good pets. Unfortunates do not have any experience in being owned by a cat, and therefore are a hassle to try to train. For the daring cat, they can try taking an Unfortunate under their wing, but it’s a serious and dangerous undertaking. During most case studies, Unfortunates tend to believe that they own their cats. As any wise cat would know, this is simply not so. Such behavior and mindset can lead to banishment from beds, furniture, and even countertops! Many Unfortunates make the mistake of labeling cats ‘indoor’ or ‘outdoor’ pets, and attempt to regulate a cat’s whereabouts. They have a hard time understanding that a cat will be in when it wants, and out when it wants. Unfortunates also have trial periods of trying to force only ‘cat food’ upon their felines, and in extreme situations, pick out foods no real cat would ever touch. It’s always said that you can tell a true cat person by whether or not they have at least four cans of rejected canned cat food in their fridge – a rule that most Unfortunates haven’t learned.
Most cats would believe that cat people and non-cat people are opposites, when in fact, it is the Unfortunate who is most opposite the cat person. Cat people make detestable houseguests, but wonderful pets. When invited over to a cat’s house, cat people usually make the mistake of gushing over the cat’s household and stature. Because they are kept on a tight rein by their own cats at home, cat people tend to try to pour out affections on the cats that they visit. While this can at first be a good thing, excessive amounts can get quite annoying. A starved-for-attention cat person has tendencies to over-pet other cats, and ignore warning signs like the flick of a tail. Cat people also delve into discussions with other humans about different types of cat litter and food that they’ve found their cat likes. This is a warning light to all cats! That cat person must be removed from the household as soon as possible. While they are so wonderful as owners, it is hard to imagine they’ve forgotten their training. A cat makes careful litter and food selections over a lengthy period of time, and once content, shouldn’t have things messed with. No two cats are alike, and when a cat person tries to tell another pet that one product or another is superior, a cat’s own human is likely to try the product. This requires another round of training and product selection, which usually ends up in a different litter and food from what they normally would ‘request.’ Very, very rarely is the product suggested by another cat person the product a cat will choose.
As pets, however, cat people are usually already very well trained, and willing to accept their place in a cat’s household. They’ve been through their initial training with a particularly brave cat during their stage as Unfortunates, and are well-versed in the rules of the cat’s home. Cat people rarely over-pet, never attempt bathing, sleep on the edge of the bed their cat hasn’t already selected and are perfectly willing to move should the feline’s mind change, and, as always, are marked by the cardinal four cans of rejected food in the refrigerator. Cat people tend to live alone or with what humans call ‘room mates,’ often going through three or four roommates before finding one that can tolerate the fact that the cat is ruler of the domain being shared. It is rare to find a cat person who doesn’t allow cats on the counter, and they are not true cat people if they keep the bedroom door closed to prevent cats on the bed. Cat people are very obedient, and have full knowledge of the fact that papers they are trying to work with are subject to being bitten and clawed, and keyboards they are trying to type on are subject to being walked upon. If a cat person has not undergone their word processor training, it’s very simple to do. A cat simply has to walk across the keyboard, like normal, and post nonsense to said human’s friend on instant messenger, toggle back to a word document, and hit a few number keys before ‘bumping’ the escape key in the process of heading off to curl up on the printer. This is also an easy way to tell whether or not a feline has chosen a true ‘cat person’ as a pet, for only the non-cat person will become easily angered and attempt to banish the cat from the computer desk. A cat person is easily marked by a stroke on the head, murmurings of ‘silly kitty,’ and the tap of keys as they attempt to recall all they wrote in that five-page essay they forgot to save. The last, probably easiest way to identify a cat person is age – most cat people are young females, 18-28, or older people, usually 65 and above.
As one would suspect, the last class of humans, the non-cat people, are the ones to be most avoided. In certain situations they can provide entertainment, but only highly experienced cats should attempt to instigate them. Non-cat people are easily identified – either they are allergic, with red, puffy eyes, clutching a Kleenex, and sneezing often, or they are aloof, and inconsiderate of the cat’s place in the household. Non-cat people tend to ignore a cat’s presence, or treat the pet as if they owned the house! Most cats are attracted to non-cat people, just to watch for a reaction. Many, trying not to be rude, will tolerate a cat climbing in their lap, and may even venture a pat or two. In this situation, it is always good to throw in a few kneading techniques, which result in twisted features or grimaces. For the non-cat people who are allergic, it’s amusing to watch their eyes water and faces twitch; though sneezes can be loud and sometimes frightening. These, however, are only best-case scenarios. Most times, cats are shooed away, removed from the furniture, and sometimes even sent outside! It is extremely important to handle non-cat people with the utmost care, as they are the most unpredictable of humans.
Non-cat people are certainly not to be regarded as potential pets. Many non-cat people are male, though there are exceptions. They can also be very easily identified by smell, or what they have in their shopping cart at Petsmart – at the first sign of D-O-G, a cat should be alerted to the fact that this is a non-cat person! Even if they’re buying dog food for a friend, it is important to remember another rule – friends don’t let friends own dogs. If there a human has a friendship with a dog person, there is always the potential for dog ownership in that pet’s future. Non-cat people are humans with complete disregard for the rules of living in a feline household. While some may be able to undergo serious training and convert to being cat-people, the situations are few and far between, and generally should be avoided. Non-cat people can’t be trusted to fully understand where they stand in a cat’s life.
This guide to the different types of humans is meant to assist all felines in their quest for a pet, and as an insight into different houseguests and their mannerisms. As a cat that has been through two pets, both cat-people who have lots of guests, I can safely say that the information contained is accurate and should be taken seriously. As each cat continues in the quest for the right pet or houseguest, however, it is important to remember the difference between cats and dogs. Dogs: These people I live with feed me, give me water, and let me sleep on their beds. They must be gods! Cats: These people I live with feed me, give me water, and let me sleep on their beds. I must be a god!