The mother-in-law asked, rather innocently, “So what does the cat do all day when you are away?” I wanted to say, “Isn’t that the whole point of being a cat? Doing nothing?” Instead I elaborated on the unbearable lightness of being that a cat is blessed with. <b1>
Which is when it struck me why the husband, who never had a pet in his entire life took to our new feline member rather easily. He had found an ally. An ally who celebrated laziness with as much passion as he did. An ally who believed equally in the concept of non-work. Except that the husband is not as lucky as the cat — he only gets weekends off.
Would he have been as happy if we’d got a dog? I doubt. Because that would have meant walking the dog at least once (I would have volunteered the other two times). Which in turn would have meant walking with the dog. Which would have meant walking. Which would have meant using up precious couch potato time burning calories he doesn’t have to burn, since he is lean anyway.
A dog would also have meant giving it a bath on Sundays, which would have meant having a bath oneself (after you are so messed up, you might as well bathe anyway). Which would have meant disturbing the body’s equilibrium by getting into work mode on off-days. Which would have been totally unnecessary as there is so much joy in doing nothing.
Which is when it also struck me that in the whole relationship dynamic thing, women are the dogs and men are the cats. We go to parlours, get our nails done, hair trimmed, floss, bathe, wear belts and bows, get shampooed, scrubbed, tweezed and epilated with shocking regularity.
Not that the men care, but we think they care. May be when men turn into dogs and women into cats in relationships, there is a chemical imbalance, which seems to throw it off-gear. (Just try and imagine yourself with a man who gets a regular pedicure and you’ll know what I mean) <b2>
Women also bark (read communicate), eat everything on their plate, answer when summoned, respond to doorbells, alarms, phones and other extraneous noises, run unnecessarily, get excited over frivolities, wag when praised, fetch and preen.
Cats (read men) on the other hand do nothing. And they don’t care if you do nothing either. Yet, they end up having better feet, hands, skin, hair, whatever.
Irrespective of what sex they are, cats are quick to co-opt laziness as their birthright and remind you that it’s unnatural to be any other way.
Hence the husband is in a state of bliss that we have a cat and not a dog. The cat reminds him of him. So now when I return home from work on Sundays, instead of one person who doesn’t answer the doorbell, there are two.
(The writer is deputy editor,