The Perks of Being a Cat

Oh, to be a cat.

“You really have it made,” I told Paco, who is yellow and as apathetic as a stuffed animal, as I gave him the best pet down he has ever experienced in all his nine lives.  “I mean, all you do is sleep all day.  You come into the house, something none of the other cats get to do, you lay on this chair, and you sleep for hours on end.  You always know what your next meal is and you don’t get tired of eating the same food every day.  You always have people petting you.  You don’t have to worry about things like work, school, or money.  You don’t have to make major decisions.  You don’t even have to think.  You’ve really got it made.”

I’m a bit envious of Paco, actually.  He doesn’t have to think about things.  As much as I value having cognitive ability, there are times when all I want to do is flip a  flashing red OFF button on my brain.  Sometimes–scratch that–most of the time, I think WAY too much.  This only gets worse when I have serious things to ponder: what I’m doing with my life, if I should go back to work at camp this summer, what books will I bring to school this semester, etc.  You know, not-quite-real-adult problems.  In a few months, they’ll be but tiny blips on the surface of my life.  But, for now, they seem massive–an ever-looming force that induces panic when touched by thought.  If you don’t think about them, they fade away.  But, unfortunately, there is no OFF button in my brain and I’m certainly no cat.    I can’t close my eyes, lift my head to be scratched, and let the burden of possessing thoughts fade into oblivion.

If I was busy, all the cares floating around in my brain would fade into the background.  But spending days on end cooped up in your house usually gives way to boredom.  That’s what you get, though, when you live in Minnesota during winter.  The temperature dips to ridiculously low degrees (we’re talking -20 here) and you’re unable to go anywhere because your car won’t start.  And, as wonderful as the Internet and Netflix are, they only keep your thoughts occupied for so long.

In four days, I’ll be back in school, surrounded by friends, with plenty of textbook reading to keep my mind busy.

Until then, I’ll continue to pet Paco and try not to think too hard.

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