Low Cat On the Totem Pole

There seems to be a certain segment of the population that firmly believes that there is no hierarchy among cats–because cats are, of course, so hugely superior to any other lifeform that they have to be egalitarian among themselves.

If anyone tries to sell you on that story, you have my permission to laugh in her face.

Cats do have hierarchy. The rankings change from time to time (signaled by cues as subtle as a well-bitten ear or as blatant as the twitch of a tailtip), but there’s always a boss, an undercat, and an ever-changing organization chart between the extremes.

It’s rare to see the totem pole expressed so clearly as this.

Kokoro, as boss kitty disclaims all responsibility for the mess on the floor. “What, that pile down there? I had nothing to do with it. Clearly it was the work of one of my underlings. Take it up with them.”

Kaja, as a middle manager, has a different take on it: “I specifically told my crew not to do it. They obviously neglected my instructions, and as soon as the media goes away they will be severely punished.”

And then there’s Yuki. As low cat, he has no choice but to fall back on an inadequate defense: “Pile of clothes? What pile? I don’t see a pile. I wasn’t there at the time, I’ve never been there, and in fact, I’m not even here now. Clearly you are hallucinating both the mess and my presence. Perhaps you should go lie down. I’ll come join you and help reduce your stress levels by allowing you to pat me.

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