The Christmas interview with my cats, part 2

Yesterday, I published the first of a two-part interview with my three cats. Harriet, 14, is a small white female with several black patches who has lived with us for over ten years. Taylor, 5, is a solid slate-grey male and as sweet-natured as they come. Tom, 4, is a huge tabby with anger management issues.

Like many pet owners, I’ve developed a certain rapport with this trio of felines. In fact, I’ve become able to communicate with them on a telepathic level that allows us to hold animated conversations. We sat down last week for a wide-ranging discussion, as I attempted to find out their take on this most-human of holidays, Christmas. What did another species think, I wondered, about all the fuss we make at this time every year? I asked them, and they answered in today’s second and final installment of the interview.

If you think that makes me sound like a crazy cat person, just listen to them:

Me: Everybody, thanks for pulling yourselves together. I’ll hope that the dinner break put everyone in a more reflective mood, so we can discuss a little about the secular side of Christmas.

Tom: Well, thank you, Davis, for the dinner. How innovative of you to offer us cat food.

Taylor: Yeah, you’d think that since we’re doing this as a formal sit-down interview that you might have considered some type of catering. We were hoping for heavy hors d’oeuvres, or at least a little finger food.

Me: But you don’t have fingers.

Tom: I’ve learned to use my claws prehensiley. I really could’ve gone for cocktail wieners or shrimp cocktail.

Taylor: Or those vultures you mentioned earlier that are used in the Zoroastrian faith to pick the bones of the dead so their souls can rise to heaven.

Tom: Mmm. Vulture.

I really could've gone for cocktail weiners or shrimp cocktail

Harriet: I’ve had my claws barbarically ripped from paws.

Me: Harriet, I’ve told you a thousand times we’re sorry about that whole declawing thing. We did it back in the ’90s when it was considered more acceptable.

Harriet: That’s always your excuse — it was the fashion. Big hair, shoulder pads for women, Garth Brooks and removing what is basically the top half of our fingers at the second knuckle. You had to follow the trends of the day and take out my claws. Now, I’m the fashion victim.

Me: Okay, okay, let’s not rehash the past. It can’t be undone.

Harriet: I hear there’s a way to surgically restore cat claws, kind of like undoing a vasectomy. It’s only a couple of thousand dollars.

Me: I’m not spending that kind of money …

Harriet: They’re made out of titanium. Like what Wolverine has. It’d make a great Christmas gift.

Me: We’re not putting your claws back for Christmas. Period. Now let’s get back on topic. Let’s talk a bit about all the hoopla we humans put into the holiday season. You probably think it’s silly, right?

Taylor: I don’t know. I like some of the music. “O Holy Night” is probably my favorite.

Tom: I like that one about the reindeer.

Harriet: Mmm. Reindeer.

Me: That’s interesting. I didn’t think cats could appreciate music.

Taylor: It’s one of the few so-called “fine arts” that we actually get. That, and avant garde painting, the kind where it looks like a cat was dipped in water colors, plopped on a canvas, and then hit with a taser.

Tom: Not the “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” one, but the one about Adolf — Adolf, the red-nosed reindeer.

Me: What else stands out to you as representative of the holiday season?

Taylor: Well, you gotta love the trees, of course. Lots of cats climb up in them, or maybe bat at the ornaments, or strangle by eating the tinsel. I myself prefer to decorate them. Last year I did a lovely lavender and lace theme, with soft turquoise lights and a ballerina on top instead of a star.

Me: Such detail …

Tom: Hey, I didn’t ask, and he shouldn’t tell, if you know what I mean.

Well, you gotta love the trees

Me: You know, we put a special cat stocking up on the mantle for you guys, so we feel like you’re part of the celebration. Does that mean anything to you?

Harriet: It would if you’d actually put something in the stocking.

Me: We intentionally have chosen not to anthropomorphize you by giving you gifts. We might give you a little turkey after dinner if we’re drunk enough, but that’s going to be it.

Tom: Yeah, ask us about the foods of Christmas. I want an excuse to tell you how often we secretly lick your food when you’re not looking.

Me: Well, just remember — chocolate is poisonous to cats so be sure to stay away from the desserts.

Taylor: Again, how very convenient for you to see it that way. Giving us gifts is bad. Giving us sweets is bad. You can understand why we don’t regard it as much of a celebration.

Harriet: As the elder of this group, I’ve seen at least a dozen of these Christmases, and I’m just not impressed. It’s all so materialistic and commercialized that any expressions of love or joy originally intended come off sounding phony. You know, “Peace on Earth” and all that crap.

It's all so materialistic and commercialized

Me: Do any of you have special plans for the holidays?

Harriet: Yeah, I’m going to fly to Pittsburgh to see my new niece. Oh, wait — that’s right, you won’t let us out of the house, so we can’t really go anywhere.

Tom: The only family I keep in touch with is Taylor, because he might possibly be my brother. And I pretty much hate him.

Taylor: Likewise, my tabby brethren. At least we can agree on that.

Me: Well, there you go. I think we just hit upon the true spirit of Christmas. It’s all about putting aside any stress or antagonism we may carry during the rest of the year so we can appreciate one another. Even if the feeling only lasts for a couple of days.

Tom: We have another two days of this to go? Jeez.

Me: Don’t forget — “Jeez” is the “reez” for the “seaz,” as they say.

Taylor: Don’t ever say that again.

Me: Well, I want to thank you all for taking time out of your schedules to have this chat. It helps all us humans put everything in a little more perspective to hear some outside opinions.

Harriet: We live to serve you. No, wait — it’s you who serves us. Now can we please have some more cat food?

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2 Responses to “The Christmas interview with my cats, part 2”

  1. Paul Dixon Says:


    This, after using ‘mayonnaise’ as a verb the previous week, has left Mr. Whiteman’s legions of fans in a tizzy as they attempt to discern whether or not their highly esteemed author is beginning to go the route of early-onset dementia. In other news today…

  2. Paul Dixon Says:


    The management at Paul’s Comments, Inc., wishes to express its deep remorse at having misidentified blogger Davis Whiteman’s usage of the word ‘prehensiley’ as an adjective. Clearly, Mr. Whiteman used it as an adverb, which still does nothing to alleviate his fans’ concern that Mr. Whiteman is lapsing into early-onset dementia. We also hope that, in the interest of accuracy, will someday see the wisdom of incorporating an edit feature into their web site.

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