I wanna be a cat in my next life.

I want to sit around and tell everybody what to do, just by looking at them.

I want to while away the hours, lying on the deck in the sun, snoozing and waking up to watch the birds and the squirrels, and then chase butterflies.

I want to scale trees and look out over the crazy human world, confident in the notion that I’ll never have to work a day in my life, drive a car, clean a house or stack wood.

I want to be loved just for being cute and not worry about being reprimanded if I toss a hair ball or tip my water bowl over.

I want to chase field mice.

Eat grass.

Sit on a fence post and pretend I’m queen of the felines.

It’s a pretty good life, that of a cat.

They’re constantly on the wrong side of the door, and usually get someone to open it, merely by exhaling a little “meow.”

Cats garner laughs by doing simple things, such as playing with a string or lying on their backs, paws in the air.

They worry little and demand lots.

When I come back as a cat, if I am to be so lucky, I plan to choose a particularly attentive human to own, one who is generous, kind and clever.

My human will love me no matter what I do, no matter how loudly I screech or how much fur I leave on her clothes and carpet.

She’ll coddle and spoil me, lift me into her lap, pat my silky fur and tell me what a good cat I am.

I’ll sleep 18 hours a day, play for two, chase for two and if there’s a good animal show on, watch TV for two more.

I’ll dig in the flower and vegetable gardens, watch the rain from under the porch and nap on the lawn furniture.

When the sun goes down and it’s time to go in, I’ll play games with my human and instead of coming when she calls “Here, kitty, kitty,” I’ll run around in the dark, back and forth from the garden to the door, staying just enough out of reach so that I may not be caught.

When she closes the door, saying I can stay out all night if I want to, that she doesn’t care anymore — I’ll jump up on the window sill, don my most irresistible look and cry.

And she’ll always give in, saying, “Oh, you bad little cat,” but not mean it at all.

When it’s 3 o’clock in the morning and everyone’s asleep, I’ll run up and down the hall at full tilt, toss toys, drink from the toilet, jump onto the bed, paw my human’s cheek with my claw extended until she wakes up and then insist she pat my belly until I’m asleep.

As a cat, I’ll always be well-fed and have a warm place to sleep, toys to play with and warm hands to stroke my back.

And when I get old and can no longer jump, climb or chase, I’ll just lie by the fire and sleep.

When life gets hectic, bad things happen and the world seems to be spiraling out of control, the prospect of becoming a cat carries particular appeal.

Why can’t we humans be more like them?

Amy Calder has been a Morning Sentinel reporter 25 years. Her column appears here Mondays. She may be reached at [email protected]


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