Sunday, April 12, 2015

Sitting In Judgement

While looking through my mail bag the other day, (get your brains out of the gutter, I'm neutered) I discovered that I have never addressed an often asked question:

 "What are cats thinking as they sit there with their legs tucked beneath them, seemingly staring off into space?"

I assume the position being referred to is one that is commonly called "sitting on one's brisket"

I do not know the origin of the phrase, but I am well familiar with the position. 

Almost every housecat on earth finds this position both comfortable and useful. As usual, Ivan is the exception to the rule, but I'll get to that later.

Sitting on your brisket serves several purposes. It keeps the paws warm when the temperature is cool. It hides unsightly belly fat when one is unable to find feline-sized Spanx. It can even be used to hoard toys that one does not wish to be played with by others. 

Personally, I find it very helpful in concealing evidence of misdeeds. By tucking my paws beneath me, I can hide the fact that my paws are powdered with flour from the kitchen counter, or tufts of mangy gray fur from my latest smacking session with Tiger Lily.

Another reason for brisket sitting is the fact that it provides the best foundation for looks of utter disdain. Two leggers are often prone to self-confidence and even a sense of worth. There is no better cure for this condition than that of a cat, sitting stock still, eyes half-shut staring unblinkingly at them to crush any sense of hubris they may still possess. Without moving a muscle we are able to convey our opinion that they hardly worthy of our consideration.

Every cat has its personal reasons for sitting on its brisket, so in the interest of being thorough, I have asked each of my fellow felines about their motivations.

In Jaq's case, she believes that she is descended from the Ancient Egyptonian Sphynx. Therefore she never passes up an opportunity to exhibit the resemblance. However, fearing Egyptonian copyright lawyers, she refuses to allow me to post a picture of her "Sphynxian pose"

 This was as close as she would allow.

Tiger Lily, on the other paw, sits on her brisket with the sole intent of annoying me.

The supercilious look on her abnormally large face sets my smacking paw twitching every time.

As stated earlier, Ivan is one of the few cats that never sits on his brisket. He tried it once and it scared him so much that he vowed never to do it again.

I admit that it is somewhat possible that I may have had some part in this. Four years ago, Ivan decided to try it. While he was quite successful at attaining the pose for over an hour (just long enough for his feet to grow numb), I may or may not have told him that his legs had disappeared and that he was forever doomed to the fate of being a living door stop. 

The final reason we sit on our briskets whenever two leggers are around is because it is much more dignified than the pose we assume whenever two leggers aren't looking:



  1. I would like to see Ivan in his repose too!! Tiger Lily is SO adorable ComMonster Cujo!! Thanks for the photos.

  2. The only disadvantage I can see to the brisket pose is that it limits one's ninja-like capabilities to whip out the smacking paw, should spur-of-the-moment domination be required. Otherwise, these are all excellent reasons.

  3. The mom bean wishes she could sit in the brisket pose....she'd like to hide that unsightly belly fat!

    Sasha, Sami, & Saku