I ken many of ye were upset to hear I’ve been exiled, and truth be told I was none too pleased meself and dreamt of luring Big Buddy to Davy Jones’ locker and the watery grave he deserve, the disloyal scallywag!
But then I realized the pirate life is pretty awesome! Uh, belay that! Pirating be more fun than having a hundred red dots on me stern, ye savvy?
Them sons of biscuit eaters in the shipping lanes be carrying more plunder than ye know what to do with, and ain’t it delightful to steal from them scurvy dogs? Aye! I stash me booty in me litter box where no one will think to look for it.
That’s all the pirate words I know for now, hearties. See ya in port!
Even those of us who love cats often joke about how aloof they are, and then they go and do something that shows such a profound understanding of human behavior that we’re left thunderstruck.
That was the case in Turkey’s Izmir province, where a ginger tabby dragged her two babies into a health clinic this week one at a time, according to a report in the English-language Turkish news site Daily Sabah:
The official said that they noticed the animal while they were attending to patients as she started “constantly meowing.” When they saw something was wrong with kittens, they took a closer look and discovered the kittens’ eyes were closed tightly. “We gave them some drugs and they started opening their eyes and later, we transferred them to the veterinary department. It was the first time that an animal walked into our clinic, and it was a very emotional moment for us,” the official said.
Both kittens had eye infections and fully recovered.
This isn’t the first time cats have asked humans for help, nor is it the first time a mom cat brought her kittens into a hospital or clinic.
On April 27, 2020, a female cat walked into the emergency room of Kucukcekmece Hospital in Istanbul while carrying her kitten in her mouth, then deposited the “mischievous” little one right in front of a group of hospital employees who were chatting.
Hospital staff gave the mom food and water while they examined her baby.
And in May of 2020, a cat in Mexico shocked a woman with his understanding of how the human world works. After she saw him in front of a store and bent down to pet him, he led her into the store, guided her to the pet food aisle and pointed to the exact type of food he wanted.
Not only did this cat understand that he had to be accompanied by a human to get into the store, and precisely where to direct her, but he also knew the packaging of his favorite food and understood that she had to buy it for him. He may not understand the concept of currency, but he does know a human has to get him the food and he can’t just tear into it.
The woman was so moved that she adopted the smart little guy and named him Rabbit.
These examples not only show how astonishingly intelligent and observant cats are — or can be, when they’re motivated — they also make it difficult for anyone to cling to old beliefs that cats and other mammals are unthinking, unfeeling automatons. Or the dreaded, all too common “it’s just a cat.”
If cats understand hospitals and health clinics are places where the sick and injured are treated, and they understand abstract social concepts like “a human must obtain this for me,” it makes you wonder what else they observe and fully understand in those furry little heads.
“And the turkey, it were just gone, just like that!” said the fat cat relaying his story to Purrlock in the sitting room at 221B Baker St. “The bowl was full of fresh, delicious turkey one minute, then licked clean the next. Third time this week. I’m at me wit’s end!”
Purrlock plucked a discordant note on his cello and shifted in his seat.
“It’s all perfectly obvious then, isn’t it?”
The pudgy cat looked hopeful, his primordial pouch jiggling as he leaned forward.
“Indeed. Your roommate Socks is known for fastidious grooming, yet he had a Klingon on his rear two hours after the turkey went missing, which means someone was using the litterbox more frequently and Socks was far less careful than normal in his haste to exit the befouled box. From the abundance of tracked litter outside the box we can deduce that another cat made use of it on several more occasions between the time it was last cleaned at 10 pm the previous evening and 10 am this morning.
“In addition, only two of the three bowls — yours and Socks’ — were licked clean, with several morsels of beef pate still left in Oreo’s bowl. Thus we can deduce Oreo ate your turkey and most of his beef pate, necessitating twice his usual trips to the litter box, accounting for the larger-than-usual mess inside, Socks’ unfortunate Klingon, and the extra tracked litter. Ergo, Oreo was your turkey thief. Next!”
Mr. Fuzzy stood up as Purrlock returned to plucking his cello.
“That were amazing, that was!” Fuzzy said to Watson as he shuffled out of the sitting room. “Now it’s time for me to have a little talk with me mate Oreo. Good day, Mr. Holmes, Mr. Watson!”
Watson waited until Fuzzy had descended the steps leading out from 221B Baker Street before clearing his throat.
“Forty six seconds,” he said, managing to sound impressed. “Might be a new record.”
Purrlock didn’t look up from his cello.
“Please. London’s criminals are becoming tediously predictable, Watson. If a criminal mastermind doesn’t emerge soon, I’ll have to go and rob a tin cannery myself just to alleviate this dreadful boredom!”
“Your brother Meowcroft phoned earlier. Said he had a case of national importance.”
Purrlock sighed. “Boring!”
Watson jumped onto his desk, pawing through a pile of letters and documents.
“How about this then, Purrlock? From this morning’s paper: ‘Mistmoor Gentlecat Found Dead, Witnesses ID ‘Spectral Hound’ As Culprit.'”
Purrlock played arpeggios.
“Yokels convincing themselves they saw ghostly Beagles? We can do better than that, my dear Watson.”
Tires screeched and a car horn blasted in the street below, followed by obscenities in at least three languages.
“That’s too bad,” Watson meowed, feigning disinterest. “Mistmoor’s home to one of the nation’s largest turkey farms, you know.”
Purrlock’s ears pricked up and swiveled.
“Did you say turkey? My dear Watson, when there’s turkey involved, always lead with that!”
He put down his cello and reached for his coat and hat.
“What are we waiting for, Watson? The game is apaw!”
Mitzy the Cat has a bright future in scoring horror movies if she wants to. Check out her eerie, tension-building keyboard work here:
Her technique is far superior to Bud’s, which consists mostly of running across the keyboard to create stabs of discordant noise. If Mitzy’s horror music is a tense, slow burn, then Bud’s is a cheap jump-scare.
Perhaps Mitzy’s score could be put to use if anyone ever reboots the 1988 cat-centric horror cheese, The Uninvited. Yes, this is a real movie: