What I Learn From My Cat

You’ve met Pixel. She’s an adorable, evil genius. This is the cat that can open the oven to get to the pizza. Be afraid.

She looks ready, doesn't she?

She looks ready, doesn’t she?

This is Mousie. All felt and innocence, with maybe a touch of catnip.

This is Mousie. All felt and innocence, with maybe a touch of catnip.

Meet Mousie. Seven-year-old Squish picked Mousie as a toy for Pixel. I didn’t think the cat would touch it with a 10-foot pole, but what do I know? Clearly nothing, because Pixel has a slight obsession with this toy. The cat with the work ethic of a salted slug is all about playing fetch with the mouse.  Or is she?

One day I watched Pixel flip and flop while she played with her toy, and I noticed something really odd. Let’s see if you notice it, too.  Click the first image to create a slideshow and read the captions. They’re the crux of this whole thing.

I couldn’t figure out what she was doing at first. She pawed and scratched at the glass like she was trying to tell me that Timmy fell down the well again. But Lassie she ain’t. You and I BOTH know she would leave Timmy in that well in a skinny minute if saving the kid  meant a long run up the hill to fetch Pa. I watched a little longer, and finally it dawned on me that what she was after was Mousie’s reflection in the back of the china cabinet.

Pixel spent a solid 10 minutes trying to get that imaginary mouse, to the point of kicking the real Mousie out of her way so she could put her best effort into getting to the one in the mirror. The one that isn’t real. The one that she will never be able to have, like Narcissus withering away longing for that beauty he can never possess.

I’ve said for a long time that this cat is almost human, and this incident kind of proves it. How often have we chased after imaginary greatness, ignoring the treasure we already possess?

This story has a happy ending. We discussed Pixel’s work ethic. 10 minutes of effort was all she had in her. She didn’t wither and die. She eventually forgot about reflection Mousie and went off to do what she does best – sleep.

So what imaginary mice are hiding in your mirror? And how do you let them go?



23 thoughts on “What I Learn From My Cat

  1. Pixel is getting so big! Tristan is not allowed to have any small toys; he puts them in his water dish, then brings them to me and puts them on my feet. I think he is a raccoon washing his food. I’ve had to take away every toy small enough to put in the water dish. Last I knew he was trying to squish one of the bigger toys in the water dish opening. He’s intrepid, if nothing else. MUST. GET. TOYS. WET.

  2. 10 minutes seems a long time for a cat to be engrossed in something! I’d give Pixel kudos or that.

    On another note – Pixel “can” open the oven door, but can she prepare a meal?

  3. Love the analogy. Love the cat too. My Dio cat jumps up on the bathroom counter in the morning, then notices the gray cat in the mirror. He looks him over, finds him lacking and starts to put his ears back. Of course, his reflection does the same thing, so next minute Dio is up on his hind legs batting and clawing at the kitty in the mirror who is giving it right back at him. *sigh* Every morning.

  4. Cats are the best. They’re that perfect combination of aloof and arrogant, all while being oddly and specifically stupid.
    My cat is a genius. Except for when it comes to determining where she can or cannot fit. She’ll spend HOURS trying to fit into a space that is CLEARLY unable to accommodate her girth. But on the flip side, she’s figured out how to open and close our closet doors. And it’s terrifying.

A penny for your thoughts! And by penny, I mean a warm-fuzzy in your heart.

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