Neil Hudson: Why cats don’t make you purr

COOL FOR CATS: Moggies might be cute for a while but they soon turn into little terrors.

A couple of weeks ago, a news article claimed cats were good for your mental health. Pah! Are you having a laugh? Sure, to begin with cats are cute and cuddly and their tiny little claws leave nary a scratch on your skin… but no-one told you about the fleas, the ticks, the weeing and… well, the other thing. Yes, it all happens inside your house. .. usually in hard to reach places.

Then there’s the cat fights (if you have more than one), plus when they get bigger their claws draw blood.

In addition, there’s all the 
wildlife they kill (and bring into your house, occasionally still half alive… ever tried getting a half dead mouse out of a piano? Or the inside of an electric fire? It’s tough. I won’t even tell you about the time one of mine brought in a fully grown magpie...

The other thing cats like to do (a lot) is get themselves shut or locked in rooms or sheds or basically any small space they can find.

This happens a lot in our house. Despite our efforts to ‘clear’ the rooms in question prior to closing doors and going out for the day, you can guarantee that one of our three moggies will have secreted itself in a hitherto unsearched corner, presumably emerging once we have left, whereupon I imagine it stares blankly out of the window for hours (as cats seem to do).

However, what this actually means is that, despite knowing (surely they know) they cannot open doors, they will spend a few hours just blunting their claws either on your carpet/wallpaper of floor, just so you know they’ve tried when you get back (by which time said cat will be snugly asleep)... plus, of course, there’s the fact that the room they are trapped in has no proper… ahem, toilet facilities. Go fathom.

And then there’s the muddy footprints… on everything (because cats can get places other animals simply cannot). So, in short, forget having anything of value, forget thinking about replacing that worn out carpet with a nice new one (because, you know what, if you did, the cats would ruin it)... forget coming home to a house which doesn’t smell like a farmyard, forget being able to have two minutes without running to the kitchen for a plastic bag and some cleaning spray… forget being able to enjoy nice clean duvet sheets for a few days before they need changing…

In short, don’t tell me cats are good for your mental health. Unless you mean to say that possibly when the little ones happen to shuffle off their mortal coils, you can finally get some peace (and new carpets).

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