Someone suggested I write about my pets’ peeves. I’ll do a more “real” post later, but for now…
The main peeve of my pets is that they’re not single cats. This applies particularly to Havelock (Vetinary) and D’Artagnan (Inappropriate licking boy) who look somewhat like stuffed animals and, in Havey’s case, squeak like them, but who are indeed alpha males bent on world domination. (Particularly D’Artagnan who is evil and who, one of these days, will wake up and decide to invade Poland or something worse.)
I don’t write aliens, not really, because I think it’s impossible to write convincing aliens that can be read by humans – I think. It’s also entirely possible I don’t write them because none of them has assaulted me and demanded I write his story, yet. BUT if I wrote aliens, I’d write these very adorable, plush-animal like critters whose snarling battles set the galaxy on fire.
Not that the cats have managed to do that. We’ve had the foresight to make sure we didn’t get cats with opposable thumbs so to the best of my knowledge they haven’t created any portable nuclear weapons, much less built rockets to take them off world. Of course I could be wrong. I haven’t looked in the corner behind the litter boxes in a while.
Then there is Miranda-cat doyenne of cats, pushing thirteen. She’s a tortoise shell Cornish Rex and like one of those whipcord thin dowagers, forever looking down their roman noses with disapproving auteur. She thinks the boys (she’s the only girl) are silly, and she can’t imagine why we keep them, but she also can’t demean herself by getting into battles with them. Though she does beat Havey up periodically. As far as we can tell, she does it because he goes around being young, which, you’ll agree, is an offense that calls to the heavens for revenge. Mind you, she might also be upset because he’s very dumb. This isn’t fair. He didn’t mean to be dumb. But there it is, he’s dumb, and Miranda, who is an evil genius, can’t help but resent stupidity. For one, it gives people a bad idea of her species.
And last there is Euclid. He’s big and black and odd. It’s possible the reason he pulls out all the hair in his legs is that he has allergies. The anti-allergy stuff is helping… A little. BUT nothing can explain the bouts of walking stiff-legged around the house screaming “NARP”. The only time he meows he SAYS “meow.” We think that’s because Havey taught him. Havey has the same problem. His natural sound is a squeak.
Here’s the funny thing – even in writing about these aliens in our midst – it’s impossible not to think of them in human terms. Like random dots on a wall will become a face in the human mind, cats become at least partially human. How much of it is acculturation on their part, and how much humanizing on ours? Who knows? Who can tell? I bet our relationship with alien-aliens might be the same (they have to be close enough to us for us to recognize them as sentient anyway – or at least the type of sentience we can communicate with.) Which means if there are aliens out there, and we ever meet them, there’s a good chance the humans-in-a-fuzzy-suit writers are the ones who have it right… Or at least closest to how it will be perceived.
Scary, isn’t it?
Although I’m fairly sure even cat-aliens wouldn’t do what Havey and D’Artagnan do in their fights. I mean, what if the first thing we know about an alien presence is that strange mildew starts growing on the moon, due to rival cats peeing on it to mark their territory?