I spent the walk to campus this morning reconsidering my first review—Cat One, Rufus, the timid and chocolately cat. The sun has been so bright and hot lately, and today the wind was just brisk enough to be refreshing. A few students nearly got run over by a college bus and my ipod kept playing funky British music. My stocking cap snuggled my head and I decided this:
I had been too lax in my evaluation of Cat One, Rufus.
Although I am indebted to Rufus for his willingness to go first, the 5.5 bags of catfood I awarded him were probably too many. He did not leap nimbly to my shoulders, he did not climb a curtain, and he did not hold a conversation of meows with me.
I fear the standard has been set, and it has been set a little low.
If I had it do over again, I'd award Cat One a simple 5 out of 7 bags of catfood. I'm not going to alter my past judgement, but I am going to expect more out of future cats. As part of this new reviewing attitude, I've decided to detail my criteria for evaluation:
This is likely the most important element of the cat's review. I don't care if the cat is fat or emaciated or oozing pus or riding high on the shoulder of some 4th Street hobo, if it will readily exchange a volley of meows with me, I will award it high marks. A cat who reluctantly meows in exchange for a few pets will obtain a medium score, and a cat who refuses to meow at all will receive no score at all.
(High points will be awarded for heart-warming purrs.)
I should walk away from a cat interview with a few playful tooth-or-claw scratches on my hand. Also, a cat who wants to achieve maximum points should annoyingly bound onto my lap, then try to climb my shirt.
Total Disregard for Decency
A cat who wants to impress me should perform at least one forbidden act—be it drinking out of a human's glass or climbing a curtain all the way to the top.
Acts involving feces will, in most cases, detract from a cat's overall score.
A good cat should be moderately fluffy, but not extremely so. My preferrence is for short-medium hair.
Do you know how sometimes cats will stare into your eyes as if to ask What have you done with your life? (Alternately: She knows you've been sleeping with that other woman and Where is your god now?)
Highest points will be awarded for creepy stares of this nature. High points will also be given for gazes in which the cat does not stare directly at the human, but does appear to be staring at some apparition that is either A) invisible to the human, or B) just outside the human's field of vision.
Moderate points will be awarded if the cat stares thoughtfully into space, as if contemplating its own coveted and secret motives.
After an examination is conducted, I will retire to my apartment/a coffee shop/the nearest bar. I will review my photographs and notes while drinking a Rockstar/sipping a dark coffee/chugging the most potent liquor available. I will then hurriedly type out my review while trying not to think about the story I should be writing/the book I should be reading/the fact that I'm writing a review of cats on Blogger.