My cat is not smart.
Whenever I say that, people always look startled, like admitting that Beansie is a few fishies shy of a school is disloyal or unkind when, in reality, it's neither of those things. It's just honest. Some cats are fat. Some are tiny. Some are super friendly.
And some? Are not terribly bright.
I have been aware of her ... not very gifted ... status since she was a wee little kitten. Obviously I don't care that she's a bit dim. She's adorable and fluffy and I love her.
But sometimes the lack of brains is ... shall we say ... woefully apparent.
Such as the time I brought home a cat bed, and she couldn't figure it out.
Here's what happened: I brought the bed home (and I have to confess, I was a little envious of the bed, because it's super soft and snuggly and, to be honest, I thought: if this bed was available for grown-ass humans? I would buy it for myself. That's how cuddly it is) and I put it on the floor in a place where Beansie traditionally likes to curl up.
"Look, buddy!" I said, "Someplace comfy and warm for you!" (Because it makes me REALLY sad to see her sleeping on the floor. That doesn't look comfortable at all. And yes, I'm THAT crazy cat lady.)
"Brrrrpppt!" Beansie said. She was interested in the cat bed in the same way she is interested in ANY object that lands on the floor and investigated it as such. I could see her filing through her (admittedly limited) experience, trying to classify what this item was:
Is it ... food? (She sniffed it.) Nope, not food. Well, maybe food. I should lick it. (She licked it.) Not food.
Is it ... a toy? (She poked it with a paw, sprang back, poked it again.) It is not a toy.
Is it ... a friend? (She rubbed her head against the corner and made an inquisitive chirp.) I don't THINK so, but I don't know. We will reserve judgement.
"Go on," I said, nudging her butt towards the coziness. "It's your bed!"
She gave me a puzzled look. I'm not sure exactly what her language capacity entails (the word "NO" seems to be beyond her comprehension judging from the number of times I've told her to get off the table), but the look she gave me indicated that she was pretty sure that I slept in a bed, and she slept on that bed, and judging by her definition of "bed" that was not what this was.
I picked her up and put her in the bed.
She jumped out.
I put her back in.
She jumped back out.
She was NOT having it.
Mind you, this is a cat that is very, shall we say, UNDISCRIMINATING when it comes to climbing on or into things. Paper bags? In them. Boxes? In them, on them, under them. The cat carrier? All I have to do is open the door and in she goes.
The cat bed? NOT ON YOUR LIFE, my friend.
The cat bed has been on the floor for WELL over a year. She would walk PAST (and occasionally poke and sniff) it on her way to other places which were apparently MUCH more comfortable. Like, you know, my golf bag, which was a wonderful place for a nap. Or on some flip flops. SUPER COZY.
The bed just sat there. I would lint brush it periodically. She would watch me with a look on her face as if to say, "I've seen more interesting things."
But then I cleaned out the house. And by "cleaned out" I mean: got rid of many, many things and found new places to store other things. I thought about donating the cat bed to a shelter or something but didn't get around to it.
Last week, apropos of nothing, Bean climbed into the cat bed. She walked in a circle. And then another one. And then another one. She looked a bit of a dervish, whirling about, putting her feet and weight on every possible square inch. Then she chirped approvingly, settled down, and promptly went to sleep, purring so loudly that I could hear her over my music.
"Bean," I said. She opened one eye.
"Brrrpt," she said. I interpreted that as "This thing is AWESOME! Did you know I can SLEEP in it?" She happily resumed snoozing.
"Are you kidding?" I asked the empty room. She continued to purr.
She loves it. She's taken to sleeping in it every day.
Now that she knows what it IS.