Have you ever wondered...
why cats feel the need to test the limits of gravity? Why do our feline friends constantly position their bodies on the edge of counters, couches, and dressers every time they sit on something that is several feet above the ground? Watching Gracie lay across the dresser in my bedroom today, leaning as far over the edge as she could, prompted me to develop several theories on the subject.
First, I think it heightens their sense of superiority over other creatures with height issues. Not only can our feline friends climb to places beyond our reach, but they can balance precariously on the edge of them without showing one ounce of fear.
I have a hard enough time standing on a step stool without falling off. I can't imagine trying to climb on top of the refrigerator and then let half of my body hang off over the freezer compartment. I'd end up doing a belly flop onto the kitchen floor. I think cats revel in the knowledge that such an embarrassing moment would never happen to them.
Second, I think cats naturally like to test the limits of things, including the laws of physics. For example, my cats like to test how many times they can smack a frog back and forth before it loses a limb - or I can rescue the doomed amphibian. So why not see how far they can lean over the edge of something before gravity forces them to the ground.
I have this mental image of Benjamin Bunny sitting on the kitchen floor with a little notebook writing down how many centimeters Gracie was able to hang off the edge of the counter before becoming airborne, clapping his front paws each time she breaks a record.
Finally, it is an excellent way to get attention from the human members of the family. If a cat climbs up really high and lets enough of her body hang over the edge of something, a human member of the family will rush over and begin encouraging her - often with the promise of edible treats - to climb back down.
Once she is back down from her scary perch, the human will forgo whatever task he or she was involved in previously to gently scratch the cat's head or chin. It's a win-win situation. The cat gets exercise, treats, and a massage. And the human caregiver gets to feel like a hero for coaxing the endangered feline family member out of a "dangerous" predicament. Everyone gets to be happy.
Enlightening comments about today's thought are welcomed, so please feel free to share.
Until next time, remember...
We cannot without becoming cats, perfectly understand the cat
- St. George Mivart