Read an Excerpt
Reasons You Meant to Do That
In the human world, there is a thing called a "mistake." There’s no exact translation in the feline language, but it basically means doing something you did not intend to do. The concept is quite confusing to cats since everything we do is done both correctly and on purpose. There are occasions, however, when our actions appear to resemble one of these so-called "mistakes" to humans, and this coincidence often produces accidental miscommunications. In the event of such a mix-up, you should have some prepared statements ready in order to avoid an incorrect interpretation of your actions.
"Mistake": Your head is stuck in a beer mug.
Reason: Bavarian cats have long known that sleeping in dewy beer steins can refresh and smooth the coat. The hops, malt, and barley also provide an aromatic masking agent for mousing. Plus, there’s nothing wrong with a little nightcap.
"Mistake": You slammed headfirst into a screen window.
Reason: There was a bug–a huge, megabug–right between your eyes that just wouldn’t get off. Well, it’s off now, isn’t it? What’s more, a powerful and graphic message that your face is strictly off-limits has been sent to the bug community.
"Mistake": You leapt from the loveseat to the television, but rather than landing on top, continued sliding off the set.
Reason: That "slip" was a symbolic act of civil disobedience. The grip multinational conglomerates have over the airwaves has reached a critical mass. Lack of competition in Big Media has made quality programming all but obsolete. Your slide was meant to be a physical representation of the slippery slope we tread when we permit the corporate monopolization of entertainment, which creates an uninformed, intellectually lazy, and generally apathetic populace. If your person didn’t get that, it just proves the point.
"Mistake": While stretching out on the couch, you rolled off the cushions and fell to the floor.
Reason: After spending all day licking your claws, you didn’t want to ruin their luster by getting them caked in the thick layer of dust your person allowed to build up in the rug.
"Mistake": You slipped into the fish tank.
Reason: Those neon tetras, angelfish, and dopey zebrafish were taunting you all day. What appeared to your person as an unintentional dip was in fact a carefully choreographed move designed to instill shock and awe in your fishy foes. Now they know they’re not even safe in their castles and treasure chests; if pushed to the limit, you won’t hesitate to get wet.
"Mistake": You’re swinging around from a ceiling fan at 180 rpm.
Reason: Look, you’re a busy cat with better things to do than wait around and air-dry after your dip into the fish tank. Clinging to a fan blade allows you to dry quickly and get on with the day. Staying damp for any longer is tantamount to letting the fish win.
"Mistake": You played an unstructured, unmelodic scherzo on the piano.
Reason: That seemingly anarchic piece was actually the third movement of your free jazz symphony.
"Mistake": You’re trapped in the refrigerator.
Reason: Trapped? Hardly. You’ll come out once you’ve eaten, well, everything.
"Mistake": Rather than walk down a staircase, you tumbled down without your paws ever making stable contact with any one individual stair.
Reason: Oh, does your person still make sure to step on every stair? That’s so . . . quaint. Apparently the efficient practice of stair-sliding has not spread to the world’s more pedestrian species.
"Mistake": You wandered into the reptile house at the Topeka City Zoo and have been swallowed whole by a Burmese python.
Reason: You’re following up on a tip that the python ingested an awesome toy that was dropped in the exhibit. Once you retrieve it, you’ll just set off the firecrackers you brought along and stroll out of the serpent’s gullet without receiving so much as a scrape.
From the Hardcover edition.