19 votes

Don't fault a cat for being a cat

A friend of mine told me a story:

When he was about nine or ten years old, he really, really wanted a dog. But for whatever reason, his parents couldn't get him one, but they got him a cat instead.

Long story short, he didn't like the cat. Why? He wanted a dog, and short of that, he wanted the cat to act like a dog. He wanted to take it on walks. But he couldn't.

It wasn't a dog.

Of course this wasn't the cat's fault. Cat was just being true to his cat nature. He knew nothing of Todd's expectations.

Eventually, Todd realized that he hated the cat for reasons that had nothing to do with the cat. He just wanted it to be different.

Moral of the story, he said, was "Don't fault a cat for being a cat."

(My moral of the story: I think that's probably why Todd still hates me. He expected me to be different.)

Dig? Expectations warp reality. They prevent you from seeing clearly.

Don't fault a cat for being a cat.

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Cyril's picture

I would only add:

I would only add:

Don't fault a cat for being a cat...

... especially as a cat ! ;)

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.


"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

Cyril's picture

So, this is a real story?

So, this is a real story?

There's a good amount of wisdom(*) in it, AFAICT!

Thank you for sharing Michael. :)

(*) Exercise for the reader: well, find it by and for yourself ;)

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.


"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius


I love cats

I am Ron Paul


Can't take anything at face value. What you are seeing with your eyes is only a moment in time. Any decision based upon viewing something without taking time to deeply comprehend is simply biased in nature.

But while on the cat subject. I have a Russian Blue who I taught how to fetch and shake. I also take him for walks with nothing but a string on his collar. When we get home he does his business in the garage litter box and cleans himself thoroughly. He then eats some dry food out of his huge dispenser and water out of his filtered circulating fountain before he comes to lay on my lap. The most independent thing in the world. As friendliness goes, if this cat is not a dog, I don't know what is.

Definitely get a Male Russian Blue if you want a dog-like cat!


You infuriate me. Anger me even.


Michael Nystrom's picture


Moi infuriates you with a story of a cat?

Do explain. I'm curious about this.

He's the man.

I forgot. lets be friends again.

Here is what happened. I read a post, opened a comment to reply, forgot to reply, turned off my phone because I had to deal with something, opened it back up, left the internet page, opened up something else, opened up the daily Paul again, opened your post, opened a comment, turned off my phone again because I had to deal with something, opened up my phone again, saw that I was commenting, and forgot that I had opened your post after I had opened the other comment to reply, thought I still had the other one open and replied to it.



my friend has a cat. it's an outdoor cat. its name is 'People'.

When he wants the cat to come in at night he stands in the doorway and shouts "People! People! Where are you People!"

People is a good cat.

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Michael Nystrom's picture

He sounds like good people


He's the man.
scawarren's picture

My cat's name is

My cat's name is "Blackboy".... I've received some funny looks.

It is easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled. – Mark Twain

My daughter's (white) cat is

My daughter's (white) cat is named Cracker. She SWEARS he's named after the wafers he took from her hand as a kitten. Imagine my fear when she and her husband adopted a black puppy! (No, they didn't)

I must be willing to give up what I am in order to become what I will be. Albert Einstein

scawarren's picture

Lol :)

Lol :)

It is easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled. – Mark Twain

LittleWing's picture

There is also a very rare CatDog!

lol! CATDOG! " C-A-A-T-D-A--A-W-G!!! Stuck in the middle with a little catdog!"



If Wars Can Be Started by Lies, They Can Be Stopped By Truth.

LittleWing's picture

Had a Siamese cat

for 20 years since I was 3! I grew up with that cat and she was a much loved part of our family. A very smart cat ..would even go to the bathroom on the toilet and very athletic with amazing feats of acrobatics. We all loved her very much. Her name was Skoeshe ( meaning Little One)

Well, towards the end something happened to her personality that caused her to seek attention in the most bizarre ways. She yowled loudly and incessantly, wanted out then immediately back in, took to jumping on the table at dinner, scratching up my Dads favorite chair etc.. none of this was normal behavior for her.

She was also very affectionate still and rubbed up against our legs and purred so we were loathe to yell at her, correct her for her bizarre attention seeking antics and we chalked it up to old age, a brain disorder or the like and tried to ignore the bad behavior.

Finally my Dad had enough of the disruption and started yelling at her and she responded by starting to crap on his things..first his shoes, then a coat, under his side of the bed and finally even on his pillow! He started talking about putting her to sleep because it was getting worse every day. The loud yowling, the crapping etc.. It caused a big row in the family because we were attached to her for so long. And so it went on and on, until eventually, all of us were worn out by it but still she would rub and purr and cuddle at times, we didn't know what was the right thing to do!

Thankfully, we woke one morning and the dilemma was resolved she had died peacefully in her sleep and saved us any decision. I loved that cat and think of all the years she was with us and was so great but she sure was not herself at the end. When attention seeking turns to such a need for it that even negative attention is sought out then it is a sign of something possibly going wrong and very often a cry for help.

If Wars Can Be Started by Lies, They Can Be Stopped By Truth.

What I learned over

the years is that to expect or assume is to put your self up for disappointment and failure.

Sometimes getting what you DON'T want is getting what you need and should be received with grace and wonderment.

Live with gratitude, then everything falls into place.

Life is short make it sweet.

"We can see with our eyes, hear with our ears and feel with our touch, but we understand with our hearts."

So did he get rid of the cat?

Or did he stop trying to keep it on a leash?

I like cats. They are more independent than dogs. But here is a question for you, Michael.

Does the DP exhaust you because you are trying to herd cats?

I have many cats. They do get into little fights now and then, but in the end they figure out how to manage themselves.

Michael Nystrom's picture

In the end, he got rid of the cat

After he realized it wasn't a dog.

He's the man.

And a boy is a boy

I'm a boy... But my mom won't admit it


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Michael Nystrom's picture

Just remember, cats

We're all cats here.

And not to mention, there are a lot of cats here.

He's the man.

My cat actually follows me on walks... For real...

I can walk him like a dog and he just follows along. No leash. Not once or twice, either. Every time.
Maybe his nature is like a dog?

I named him Benjamin Franklin. He was an abused rescue. He's a Hemingway Cat, has 2 extra thumbs on each front paw and the thumbs are fully functional.

Nothing to do with the moral of the story but figured I'd share anyway.

Are you a POT or a PET - Person Embracing Tyranny?

maybe you have a birman

Maybe your cat is a Birman or at least part Birman.
Birman's will follow you everywhere and go on hikes with you. sweet cats.


He does follow everywhere and I take him along on hikes through the woods down the street.

He has several very rare traits.

He is polydactyl (extra toes)
He has 2 extra thumbs on each front paw.
The thumbs are all fully functional, all four, which is rare.
He is black and white with a "hat & saddle" pattern.
He has a very short face, though not a fully 'short-faced' cat.
Vet said he has all these very traits, and together it makes him a very rare cat.

And to know he was abused and left abandoned in the slums of Bridgeport, CT...

Are you a POT or a PET - Person Embracing Tyranny?

We had a cat once that retrieved

We had a cat toy that we could toss anywhere and the cat would find it and bring it back, drop it and wait for us to throw it again. This would go on for maybe a half hour, but only when the cat wanted to play, so it was at the cats discretion. That same cat learned out how to unlock and open the sliding door. It would jump up until it could pull down the little lever, then the door would loosen slightly and the cat would use its paw to slide it open enough to get out. We fixed that with a broom handle in the door track.

Michael Nystrom's picture

Sounds like a nice cat

I'm an admirerer of cats, from afar, because I'm allergic to them. I once saw a bald cat - I forget what they call them - but they look like they came from Mars. Weird, wrinkly, alien looking cat. I want one.

Cats have an interesting relationship to gravity. I like that about cats. They have no problem doing things that would be impossible for humans. That is what makes cats interesting.

He's the man.

Yeah he's awesome...

Hemingway cats are said to very personable.
Benjamin Franklin is has a very human like personality too...


My cat looks like the black & white one.

Dr. Evil had one of those hairless cats.

Are you a POT or a PET - Person Embracing Tyranny?

It's a Sphynx

It's from Canada, just south of Mars. ;)


Just open the box and see

Bald cats

The bald breed is called "Sphynx." Martian cats, for sure. They have a reputation as particularly affectionate cats.

A word on cat allergies -- I grew up with cats in the household and had no problem with allergies. But then I moved out to go to college, and after five years away from the fur people, I found myself with itchy, runny eyes whenever visiting my parents & the cats. (Hm, maybe it was my parents I'd developed an allergy to; hadn't thought of that before.)

Anyway, being allergic to cats was less important to me than having cats around. I love cats. So when I was through with college and living in my own apartment, I adopted a cat. Itchy, runny eyes for a year or so. And then I got over it. Go figure.

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Michael Nystrom's picture

Allergy to the parents!

That made me lol.

He's the man.
Michael Nystrom's picture

Speaking of which

There is an opportunity cost to my time, and I feel like I'm on the sinking end of it here.

He's the man.

I can relate to that. Big

I can relate to that. Big forums are not easy to monetize. I know as I own a few. My largest is not quite as large as the DP.

By opportunity cost are you referring to your time & investment here not resulting in a reasonable return/profit? So it ends up costing you because you could be earning more doing something else? Or, are you referring to opportunity cost in terms of a dream/interest which you are not currently pursuing due to work that you do here on the DP?