I was woken up this morning by both my cats climbing over my face and mewling piteously. I say “mewling piteously” as if that is unusual for my cats, but actually neither of them seems to have a normal meow, instead they have this sort of broken chirruppy squeak which always sounds piteous. There are three versions of their chirruppy squeak, the “Hello, why aren’t you stroking me? Hellooo? HELLLLOOO?” version, the “OMG what the f*ck is that dog doing in this house?” version (which is usually followed by the “Why don’t you f*ck off and die?” hiss), and the “OMG, I am going to DIE of hunger” version. (I apologise for my cats’ bad language, but they were born on the mean streets of Peckham in inner London so don’t know any better.)
Anyway, this was the third kind of squeak, so I dragged myself out of my lovely warm bed to fill up their food bowl, and found- disaster of disasters! – that we had run out of cat food.
Now, I know their food bowl was full when I went to bed last night, so they were hardly on the brink of death, and I thought they could wait a couple of hours until I had done my morning’s work and gone to the supermarket before being fed again. But the cats had other ideas. Squeak, squeak, squeak. I carried on typing. SQUEAK SQUEAK SQUEAK. Still typing…. THUMP – a cat landed on my laptop, rolled onto his back (fainted with hunger, he claims), and somehow managed to delete four pages of my report.
“I’m starrrrrrrvvvving,” he mewed.
I gave in, and drove to the shop to get some food for them.
When I got home, both cats ran up to me, crying, “Thank GOD. We thought we were going to DIE.” I poured the food into their bowl, they sauntered over to it, sniffed at the bowl, ate two bites each, then BOTH of them walked off, jumped on the bed, and started washing themselves, stopping only to give me baleful looks at having been kept waiting for so long
* * * * *
Then, when I sat down to start working again, I realised OHMYGODIFORGOTTOFEEDTHEDOGS. Now, before you write to my neighbour who sent me the notes saying I neglected my dogs, I’d better add that their breakfast was only half an hour late. But, of course, they were starving, because, well, because they’re dogs. Have you ever known a dog who isn’t hungry? My husband had a dog once who was so greedy that when my husband did a spit roast, the dog lay underneath the drainy thing at the end, swallowing all the fat as it dripped off. And when he was so full that he couldn’t possibly swallow any more pig fat, he just lay there, letting it drip all over his face. That same dog also used to push the calves out of the way so he could get to the calf-feeder, until he was banned from the fields at feeding time because he had chewed all the teats off the feeder, and then he started following the calves after feeding time so he could lick the milk off their faces.
Anyway, my dogs…
I ran into the living room to feed them, apologised profusely for not feeding them sooner, and poured their food into their bowls. They ran over to the food, wagging their tails so hard that their whole bodies were moving, and started gobbling it up. While eating, Little Dog looked up at me, wagged his tail even harder, then ran over to me and gave me a big lick, even though he hadn’t finished his breakfast. And Big Dog said, “Oh yes, I forgot to kiss you,” and ran over and licked me too. When they finished eating, they both came and sat with me, and Big Dog said, “Mmmm, mmmm – that was delicious. I’ve never tasted anything so good in my whole life!” Then they turned to each other, and said in unison, “You are the best human in the whole, wide world, and this is the best day in my life EVER!”
And that’s the difference between cats and dogs.