Making work look like play


People like to think cats lead lives of total luxury, but that’s not strictly true. We spend a lot of time protecting our homes from strangers — we’re the first to sound the alarm, whether it’s that pesky chipmunk taking all the birdseed from the feeder again or a neighbor kid at the door wanting to sell popcorn.

And do we have to get into the need for vigilance when it comes to bugs? We can see things people can’t see, as evidenced by the number of times we’ll both be staring up at the wall, only to have some person keep asking, “What do they see? I don’t see anything!”

It’s maddening. It is right there — why don’t you come do something about it?

But these are noble pursuits, bred in the bone. All cats are hunters and warriors, whether their domain is the vast savannah or a cosy condo.

Mischief flattens a cardboard box so it will fit in the recycling bin.

Because we like our person, Decca, so much, we also try to help her around the house whenever we can. We realize that may shock some of our readers. Cats were worshipped in the ancient world, after all, and as Siamese, we mustn’t forget we’re descended from royalty. With royal privilege comes royal obligation, though, and it wouldn’t do to lose touch with the common world. We know our history. Look what happened to the Bourbons and the Romanovs.

Trouble cleans the bathtub.

To accomplish both goals, we’ve discovered a nifty trick that you, dear feline reader, could try at home. You get a good workout — and sometimes even treats — while preserving your dignity as well. Make the work look like play!

Trouble arranges flowers for the dinner table.

For example, when Decca gets that big, noisy vacuum cleaner out (which is far too seldom, we have to say), our job is to protect her from that snake-like cord. It’s apt to catch on chairs and wind itself around her ankles like an anaconda. So, by pretending we are chasing it, we keep the cord as much out of her way as we can. We also point out areas on the carpet needing extra attention by running in front of the machine.

As you can see from the accompanying photos, we’ve found many other ways to help with the housework. This past week was particularly busy, since we had house guests. That involves so much preparation — from hunting down and capturing fluffy clumps of hair under the furniture (Trouble says he’s a shorthair, but he’s suspiciously fluffy) to making the rooms attractive and planning menus (Mischief takes keen interest in the culinary arts).

Mischief consults on the dinner menu.

So what about you, dear readers? Are there aspects of domestic science that you especially enjoy? Tell us about it, and if you send our Decca a photo (at deccaprice@gmail.com), we’ll post it next week and give you a shoutout on Twitter.

(If you’d have a website and would like to be considered for a link here at DeccaCats, email her about that, too.)

Housework can be exhausting.

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