My Cat Has Goals (And Other Arguments Against Speciesism

by Sarah Mowery Since the dawn of time (since 200,000 years ago, rather), mankind has had the distinct advantage of being comfortably situated at the top of the food chain. We’ve gazed down at all the other animals, with their tails and their webbed feet and their adorable lack of fine motor skills and chortled, Dr. Pepper spraying triumphantly from our noses.

For thousands upon thousands of years, humans have proudly held the upper hand. Why? Because we can talk to and understand one another? Because we have opposable thumbs? Because we invented indoor plumbing?

Ah, the wonders of evolution.

Well, I took Biology in the 9th grade, and I’m here to tell you that 1. opposable thumbs are not that cool, I mean realistically I could easily type this whole thing and button my pants and stuff without them, come on, and 2. all animals are is humans who are different.

Not to get all PC on you, but thinking you’re any better than any other animal is speciesist and just plain wrong. Yeah, I’m talking to you, fellow mammals. In fact, calling them “animals” at all is pretty derogatory when you think about it. I prefer the term “People, Too.”

The truth is, there’s a lot we can learn from other People, Toos. Scout, the Feline American with whom I share my apartment, for example, is the most goal-oriented Person I’ve ever met. How many times have you, presumably a member of the aforementioned “Human” species and therefore obviously a huge bigot, crouched down behind the bathroom door to play with a rubber band when it somehow moves under the door crack beyond your reach, and thought, “Meh, there goes that toy. Guess I’ll go do something with my thumbs now.” Probably a million times!

Not Scout. Scout doesn’t give up. Scout has goals. Scout is going to roll around on her back behind that bathroom door, twisting and turning until she finds the angle that will allow her to slip her paw under the crack and grab the rubber band, huzzah! Could she have just walked around the door to the other side and easily gotten the rubber band there? Sure. But what fun would that be? Where’s the challenge?! Scout doesn’t take shortcuts! She stays focused and puts in the time and hard work required to achieve her goals. If Scout were Ferris Bueller, she would have run home on the damn sidewalk instead of cutting through those poor folks’ house or those random sunbathing ladies’ yard. This is also because she is not a falsely idolized miscreant, but I digress.

Unlike most “humans,” Scout likes to exercise during her free time. Here she is doing pull-ups.

Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we all behaved a little more like those “animals” we so love to look down on? Everyone can make small, simple changes, to help the cause! Like napping more, or feeding your young by spitting chewed-up food into their mouths.

In conclusion, people are people. But People, Too, are people, too, and you “people” would do well to remember that.

Sarah Mowery is a level 3 student at the DCH training center and she interns for the DCH blog. Fine more of Sarah's comedy stylings HERE. 




I love my cat. Most of the time...

By: Sarah Mowery I moved into my first single apartment this year, and it got real lonely, real fast. I needed a companion, so I decided to go to PetSmart and inquire about the adoption process.

The adorable 1 ½-year-old orange tabby I eventually came home with started off as a perpetually scared little sweetheart. She would hide under my bed for hours at a time, and when she would finally come out, it was in a panicked, spastic sprint to the next area of shelter. It was sad. But don’t worry. She’s developed into quite the sassy little warrior or, as I like to call her, the man of the house.

SCOUTI named her Scout after the main character in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. Because she’s a tomboy. And because she’s constantly questioning the discriminatory conventions of modern day society.

It was great having another living thing around to hang out with, but I quickly began to notice more and more little annoying habits of hers. At night while I was working on my laptop, the cat would curl up on the chair next to me and take the cutest little kitten nap you’ve ever seen. “Aw, she’s pooped from playing all day!” I thought.

Oh, how naïve I was.

As soon as I decided to go to bed, it was as if she’d been hiding 40mg of Adderall in her paw the whole time. She’d freak out and run all over the room, bouncing from desk to floor to dresser to under the bed to basically wherever I really didn’t want her to be until I would get fed up and lock her out of my bedroom. At which point she would meow in such a deafening and pathetic way that I would have no choice but to let her back in. And the cycle continued. I’ve never felt so close to understanding what it’s like to be a new parent. The toxic combination of guilt and near hatred is alarmingly real.

There are so many ups and downs to owning a pet, which I’m sure any pet owner would attest to. I love never coming home to an empty space and having a pal to play with when I’m bored. But do I ever wish she understood the concept of a time-out? Yeaaah..

I don’t want it to seem like I don’t love my little furball – I do! Almost 85% of the time! – but, like, I also would like to be able to sit back and relax, knowing that all my picture frames will stay where I put them. I would like to be able to open my refrigerator without having to wrestle Scout to the floor to prevent her from clawing her way into my milk carton. Sometimes, for her own sanity, a girl’s got to be able to walk into her apartment after a long day and find all of her books and shoes completely intact and not partially eaten. But instead, as a cat owner, one must often relinquish control and learn to live with the trace amounts of feline feces that cover the apartment in the form of litter box tracks.

The picture in this article is one of Scout after she had somehow managed to get her head stuck in an empty wine glass I had left on the counter before going out one night. I remember being so worried when I came back and didn’t see my cat waiting for me at the door as she always does. When I found her on my bed completely helpless like that, with a look on her face like, “Mom... What have I done? Help?”, I no longer cared about all the coffee mugs she’d broken or the vomit stains on my rug. I was just happy to have this adorable kitten to come home to. And relieved that she hadn’t suffocated due to my own carelessness.

I don’t know what it says about me that I stopped to take a picture before helping her out, but what can I say? I’m a Millennial. Aren’t we just the worst?

Sarah Mowery is a level 2 student at DCH and a blog intern for the DCH website. She's also a student at SMU. You can read more of her comedy stylings HERE.