When I was a boy, the cats I knew had jobs, like regular folks. Orange Tom, my father’s favorite, and Tom’s gray-haired female companion worked in our dairy barn keeping mice out of the feed. They earned a splash of fresh cow’s milk twice a day.
It was a beneficial association, legitimate contract labor and one entirely appropriate to a cat’s inherent dignity.
Things change. I have a cat now. No barn. Only a cat. My cat, Silky the Siamese, has no idea that mice and feed don’t mix. Silky doesn’t work for a living, a thing I thought common in the feline world.