When a cat walks into a room I am in, the cat sees me clearly, right away. The cat narrows its cold, expressive eyes and, says to me, with its mind, “The others might not, but I see you for what you are.”
Cats think of you this way: Are you warm when I am cold? I will sit on you then. Don’t misinterpret this as some kind of covenant. Is there food, or no food? If there is food, I will circle your ankles with my sinuous body and luxuriant coat brushing your skin and you will give me food, which I deserve. Don’t misinterpret this as some kind of covenant. If there is no food, I will circle your ankles with my sinuous body and luxuriant coat dusting your skin, while you are at the top of the stairs, and I will blink as you tumble. Don’t misinterpret this as vice: It’s just how I am. You’ve heard the word “predatory.”
The cat thinks, I have no respect for the dog. The dog is an informant. The dog has no respect for itself. The dog jumps and wriggles and fawns and nuzzles and it does this even when there is no food. The dog interprets a pat on the head as some kind of covenant, even though it is big … if I were as big as the dog, you may rest assured, no bipedal hominid would ever again lie down on a mattress that I have claimed, unless that hominid wanted to see strips of its skin hanging down like ribbons. (Don’t misinterpret this as aggression: It’s just how I am.)
You can like me or not. If you do not like me, I will not be hurt. I do not like you, especially if you are the dog but also if you are a human who comes wishing to stroke my fur but bringing no food. I am how I am. The Egyptians had the right idea when they considered me a god. Of course they had a dog god too, called Anubis, actually a jackal. They were only human.