My cat makes a lot of the same sounds I do. I squeak a little when I’m surprised or happy or in a funny position; so does she. I grumble unintelligibly when I don’t feel like getting out of bed; so does she, and usually at the same time I do because she likes to sleep on my face. I make rude noises at my computer when it freezes up; she makes the same rude noises at her toys when they go under the refrigerator and she can’t reach them. It’s cute. Or is it?
I was all set to write a post on how adorable it is that my cat imitates me. It’s been ages since I wrote a feline-centric post, and I’ve been getting warning letters from the internet that I may be forced offline if I’m deemed “hostile to catz.” But then I remembered my old furby–the one that started out irresistibly cute but turned out to be possessed by a demon, giving evil laughs in the middle of the night and spouting some kind of satanic smack talk even after I took out the batteries. I started thinking about this because, before it became the phat new crib of an infernal being, my furby had started imitating me in a very similar manner. Since that’s sort of the point of a furby, it still came as a surprise when mine dropped the cute act and revealed its true nature as a conduit for the Evil One. Now that I can read the portents, though, I have to wonder: can my cat be far behind?
Now, I don’t think my cat has gone full-on Linda Blair just yet, but she’s making a lot of the same sounds that my furby made in the time leading up to its possession. In addition to imitating me, she also chitters, chirps, trills, and burps, and she makes this bizarre mechanical-sounding growl when I do hateful human things to her such as clipping her claws. Like a furby, she’ll eat all the food you’re willing to give her and then immediately throw it back up. Also like a furby, you can wake her up by flipping her upside down (though in fairness, that also wakes me up). When she sits a certain way she even looks like a furby: big ears, furry tail, indifference to all other beings. A nervous human might start to worry.
I wasn’t worried. That’s how cats are, and my cat is Siamese and therefore never shuts up no matter who she sounds like. Making all those strange noises doesn’t mean that she’s a furby, let alone a possessed furby. Her impersonations are also not exclusively of me. She does a very good imitation of my alarm clock when she wants to get my attention: she yowls at an ungodly volume over and over and over until I want to throw her across the room. This doesn’t mean that my cat is a furby, it just means that I wish my cat came with a snooze button. She also has no off switch that I’ve been able to locate, just like with a…well, just like with a furby….
I did a little research on the subject, purely out of idle curiosity. The fact that my once-affectionate lap kitty has taken to sitting in front of me and staring at me for thirty-minute stretches during which she neither moves nor blinks was not a motivating factor. My research on furbies, much like most of my visits to WebMD, yielded grim results. Common symptoms of furbitis (highly contagious, very aggressive, no known treatment) include:
- personality changes that occur when its human forgets to feed it, pulls its tail once too often, or doesn’t pet it enough to make quota
- talking at you in its own language (which it clearly expects you to understand) regardless of whether you are currently talking to someone else, studying for the MCAT, or even in the room
- erratic movements with no apparent cause and serving no discernable purpose
- staring at you with big, glowy eyes while you’re trying to sleep
- being so adorable that you instantly fall in love with it and take it home, only to start wondering within three days if leaving it on a random doorstep, ringing the doorbell, and running like hell would make you a bad person
Looking at all the evidence, I can only conclude that my cat is indeed a Furby. On the one hand, the realization is almost welcome. It explains so much: the bizarre behavior, the occasional clicking noises, why she doesn’t seem to understand that her tail is attached to her body. On the other hand, it’s a well-documented fact that furbies are the devil’s familiars and conspire to bring about the downfall of humanity. But my cat loves me! She would never do anything to harm me. She’s so comfortable with me that she sleeps on my face, right over my nose and mouth and…oh, no.
Screw it. I’m not getting rid of my cat, even if she is a furby inhabited by Pazuzu that tries to smother me in my sleep. I’ll still scratch that spot on the top of her head, I’ll still buy baby food as a cat treat and joke that she likes it because she thinks it’s really ground-up baby and that joke suddenly seems much less funny, and I’ll still let her sleep on my face. She’s my cat and I’m her human. Pazuzu the Demon King will just have to deal.
[all images are in the public domain via pixabay.com]