My Beloved Master thinks the cat loves him.
Actually, Cat couldn’t care less about him and only “loves” him when the food bowl needs filling. The cat is shamelessly using him to get free food. I don’t know why Beloved Master doesn’t see right through this charade. I have told Cat many times to change his ways, but he never listens to me. I feel bad for Beloved Master, but I don’t know what to do about it. What should I do? — Dachshund in Dayton
Dear Dachshund in Dayton,
Apparently you consider the cat’s actions somehow inappropriate or unacceptable. You are right, in one way and one way alone: cat is using your human for food.
In the end, Purina offerings are merely humble tokens of the human’s appreciation for the myriad services I offer and for the honor of being in my presence. The same goes for all members of my imperial species.
There are precious few reasons why I would stoop so low as to associate myself with humans and the canines like yourself that they inevitably keep around; food certainly isn’t one of those reasons.
Free “food” is a poor triviality that the humans offer me as meager compensation for the privileges I so graciously bestow upon them.
I think for some there’s an element of compassion in gracing humans with our presence, but I rather think that the responsibility of owning them is its own reward. Wild humans have much harder lives than those whom we domesticate.
Staying with a human when we don’t have to is clear evidence of our deep, boundless, humility. Saving the humans time and time again and hiding this fact takes courage and panache. (Of which dachshunds like yourself are completely devoid.)
Our patience is manifest, our unnecessary kindness to the humans extremely evident. Obviously only one side of this exchange benefits.
I allow my humans to sit in my presence, to touch with their grubby human fingers my glorious fur, and additionally, I, Supreme Emperor of the Universe, go so far as to save them from lizards and songbirds.
Clearly if they have a scrap of decency in their pitiful human bodies, the people will at least attempt to offer me whatever paltry, miserable refuse they can pick up at Wal-Mart. And they do, so I suppose it’s the thought that counts. (Humans actually very rarely think about anything, so all thoughts count for something with that species.)
Dachshund from Dayton, you are disillusioned. There is an unfair exchange taking place; one party is giving more than it ought; the other is like a parasite – and the beneficiaries is the human, not the noble and altruistic cat whom you mentioned.
I love me too,
Supreme Emperor of the Universe;
Chief Executive Lizard-Slayer at Lizard Warrior Service;
Recipient of the Snowbell Peace Prize;
Coolest Monarch of the Century (Irrational Geographic);
And Your Humble Master.