A Few Thoughts from Aunt Doris: A Cat's a Cat and That’s That

This is another post in an occasional series from my dear nonagenarian Aunt Doris.

Aunt Doris (circa the good ol' days)

A dog will always greet you with eyes glazed with love, and a tail that nearly wags itself off.

A cat merely tolerates you.

My family has always loved cats; I’ve had some great ones too.

The one I remember fondly was an orange colored cat named Taffy.

Every afternoon, when school was in session, he’d go down to the corner and wait for the school bus. Then, after my son got off the bus, they’d walk home together. (I’ll never know how Taffy timed it.)

One particular morning my son came into the kitchen. “Mum, there’s someone in the bathroom.”

“Oh, Kevin, don’t be daft!” I said.

I figured that was impossible because we were the only ones home – but I went back to take a look anyways.

As I approached the bathroom I noticed the door was slightly ajar.

So I carefully looked in and couldn’t believe what I saw. Taffy was perched on the toilet seat and going potty! The cat then looked up at me as if to say, “Do you mind?”

Yes ... That's Taffy taking a potty break (c. 1967)

That cat always used the bathroom to go potty.

My son has his own family now and, yes, they have a cat. The cat du jour is Chester.

Chester is an odd one. He treats humans with disdain. He also never answers when you call him, unless it’s for his meal.

He often comes in the living room when there’s company, but he sits with his back to you – and if you get too near, he’ll usually snarl and punch you with a clenched paw.

We like making excuses for Chester. Maybe he’s deaf, or was picked on as kitten by the rest of his litter.

As for me, I don’t think he’s all there.

One night I was lying in bed, almost asleep, when it finally came to me. He doesn’t like his name!

I think it’s been that way ever since one member of my family (naming no names) called him “Chesticles” and we all laughed.

No, Chester really should have been named Bruno, Guido or Rocky.

He does allow my son to pick him up, but he goes Klingon on anyone else if they get too near.

My grandson and his wife have two of the most charming cats. They’re so lovable!

So the cat dynasty carries on, even though Chester looks at us with that unblinking gaze that says, “Who are you and what do you want?”

But we still all love him.

Once in a while we even hear a contented purr from him – just not very often.

Until next time … Love, Aunt Doris.

15 comments to A Few Thoughts from Aunt Doris: A Cat’s a Cat and That’s That

  • Sandy

    Thank you for this uplifting article. You helped my day to start with a smile. I have had cats like yours and still do. Though mine prefer the bathroom sink or shower to the toilet. Have a good day, I know I will now.

  • I’m a massive dog fan and I completely agree that a dog will greet you with such ferocious passion and joy at your very presence. Cat would rather you not be there except that you feed them.

    Love the photo by the way.

    • Kelsey

      Ironically, that’s actually one of the things I love about my cat. He’s as affectionate as a dog! He’ll wait for me at the door, and he loves to curl up in my lap (or most anyone’s lap!) and fall asleep. Right now his favorite spot is right on top of my 8-month baby bump.

      He’s also a cat, so I can chunk him across the room when I REALLY don’t want him on me!

  • Jim

    I’m a dog person, but I still enjoyed this. Thanks for another fun story Aunt Doris!

  • Jen

    If only my dog would learn to use the toilet.

    • Len Penzo

      ha ha! I second that one, Jen!

      (Then again, maybe I should just be thankful that Major always insists on using our backyard to do his business.) :-)

  • Michael in SoCal

    We have a Chester too, and yes, he’s a nut!

  • deborah

    I’ve heard it said that a dog has a family, but a cat has a staff.

    I’m catsitting my grown son’s 12-year-old cat. What started out as a month is now six months, with no end in sight. It’s true, I’m obviously the main member of her staff, but she has really found her way into my heart. At first I saw her as a haughty princess who was the reason I had to vacuum every day. But now I realize that she’s really a big ball of love and sweetness. Especially at night when she sleeps next to me and I hear that purr machine on high volume, I am so happy she’s here.

  • I’m wildly allergic to cats now so I’ll never own one but we did growing up. I don’t think our cat was as smart as Taffy. Dogs on the other hand well they are a mans best friend. Always waiting for me to come home. Pets are like kids or they just seem that way after a while. Great story.

  • Dogs or cats? For me it is always a dog. Maybe dog-owners are sort of imperialists – after all the dog consents to being ‘owned’ and returns everything with affection, even if mistreated. Cats on the other hand make you feel as if they are hostages and are only too willing to escape.

    Some cats are exceptions of course – they realise that there is an exchange: you feed them and look after them, stroke, take them to the vet when they are sick and they should provide affection. Other cats are just capricious and will go to anyone that feeds them. Which is the greater intelligence?

  • I think there are 2 kinds of people out there, dog people and cat people. I admit it, I am a dog person. Frankly, I don’t like the independence of a cat. We just adopted our third dog and I would probably like a little independence. I think is a type A personality. For a very small dog, she is one tough little dog.

  • Is he a good mouser? Have you mentioned this to Len, re: his rat problem?? LOL

  • I love Aunt Doris’ musings. Do you think her cat can come to my house and teach my cats to go potty?

  • Anne

    My cats have always been very afftecionate. The one I had as a teenager also waited for me at the bus stop. When I went out in the evening he would wait up in the living room for me to return. After my son was born he would stand guard when the baby was on the floor. There are different cat personalities as well a for dogs and it’s a joy getting to know and live with them.

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