A recent article in the New York Times briefly discusses the utility of cats, and asserts that their lack of usefulness is attributed to the theory that in contrast to other domesticated animals, the cats have domesticated humans, and generally do not let the humans determine their breeding.
Compared to sheepdogs, cats are generally less useful. But most people don’t acquire cats for their utility. We acquire them for their independent nature, for their companionship, for their snuggliness (even for their ease of litter-training).
Of course, there are some cats that are more useful than others — Thunder is my “Alarm-Cat”, an almost-service animal who will diligently nose-bump me as many times as is necessary to get me up on time for work. She’ll even give me a wake-up call when I take a nap. The hard part of course, is convincing her about Daylight Savings Time.
Aside from that, Thunder’s “utility” is limited to lap-warming. Like our other cats, she sheds, sometimes shreds, complains about household arrangements, and consumes kibble.
I own an alarm clock. It’s great for telling time. But I prefer my alarm-cat, whose persistence is much more pleasurable that a mechanical blaaaat.
Do you have a cat for a service animal?