20  Cat People

For my birthday a couple months ago Bingley got me a card–he’s pretty good at that, though I think my wife helps.

The card he got this year has a slightly miffed, slightly supercilious cat on the front saying, “There are two kinds of people in this world.”

The inside says, “Cat people and idiots.”

[Thanks to the folks at Chicago’s PRGCO, who make wonderful cards on recycled paper.]

When I read the card, Bingley was watching, and when I laughed, he made a sound something like “ff ff ff ff ff,” which I think is his way of chuckling. He makes a sound something like that, more of a “FFFffff,” when I use my reading glasses to cast lights on the floor and he’s about to try to pounce on them.

He has never caught the lights, but that doesn’t deter him in the least. He pursues them with his full attention and energy, and I will usually stop the game before he gives up so that I can get a toy that he can catch. Once he has caught the toy, he’ll brush it aside and wait for those lights, worthier game, to return, as if he’s convinced that if I give him enough tries, he’ll wrangle them and bring them under his control.

If you are a cat person, I suspect you’ve played this game before–making the lights dance, that is, not pouncing on them. I don’t know if dogs play a game like this one–I think they prefer toys they can catch and either retrieve or hold in their mouths indefinitely.

I like dogs almost as much as cats. I asked Bingley once if he thinks someone can be both a cat person and a dog person.

He gave me a look much like that of the cat on the front of the card, with the ears pointed back and the eyes just short of glaring.

“Yeeess,” he said, “but don’t overdo it.” He has told me before that he thinks dogs are cool, too. And as I’ve mentioned, he’s a dog-cat himself, so his answer didn’t surprise me.

“They’re not as good at cuddling,” he said, jumping into my lap, settling in, and heaving a contented sigh.