As the days of Christmas rolled by and the realisation that having a social life reliant on countryside buses wasn’t contingent with the holiday timetable, I found myself in the company of Milo, my cat, for more hours than I’d care to admit. While the hours of our interactions mount up, I find myself struck by this animal’s impressive lack of empathy. Like the only reaction given to me stubbing my toe being that of vague annoyance as he peers up to see what is disturbing his peace as a string of expletives cascade from my being. This distinct lack of empathy is what my sister likes to affectionately describe as his psychopathic tendencies. And as the dark days continue I become more curious. Is there a ring of truth to this accusation that my sister lays at Milo’s door? Could I really be harbouring a psychopathic beast in the house?
Well, the short answer is quite possibly. You see, I am far from original in my thought process to be debating this issue. A quick google search brings up a plethora of results, which any responsible cat owner would be foolish to ignore. Now I start with the always-reliable source of cuteness.com which tells me that scholarly research says that yes, all cats are psychopaths. So there we have it. Case closed. However, in the immortal words of Bob Hale: “But not for long”. As the semi-competent university student that I claim to be I click on this research and read the article synopsis. Now readers, what I uncover is shocking. Not due to the articles content but due to the negligence of cuteness.com for suggesting that this proved my cat to be a psychopath. The article merely suggests that cats have worked out how to mimic the sound of a baby crying to create a sense of urgency and manipulate humans into giving them what they want which is remarkably clever but not proof of all cats being psychotic. So with this blow to my case I turn to the one source I know I can trust: An online quiz on meow.af. Now this quiz provides me with everything I need. The final answer in is Milo a psychopath. My ardent quest of the last 30 odd minutes is soon to be over.
Question 1: Does Milo show remorse?
Answer 1: He has this look where he knows you’re annoyed but he gives a limited number of shits. Therefore: kinda.
Question 2: Does Milo have a way of getting what he wants?
Answer 2: As our previously discovered academics concluded: yes.
Question 3: Do you and Milo share a close personal bond?
Answer 3: As long as you’re warm and willing to let him sleep on you he is your biggest fan so we’re close but he could be just as close with anyone given 10 minutes and a cat treat.
Question 4: Does Milo try to comfort you?
Answer 4: No, see toe example
And as I hit ‘Show me my results’ and the cogs of the internet turn to give me the result ‘Maybe’ I reach my own personal conclusion. I need to find some friends who live closer to me.
-Gwendolen Da Sousa Correa, Freshman Writer