And I mean a house cat. Not a lion or a leopard or a stray, nothing wild like that. I have compelling reasons for my choice of reincarnation. Here are my top three.

1. A white cat stays white

I live in what I like to call red soil country, in the outskirts of Nairobi. It’s beautiful, fertile land, but when it rains… Let’s just say you don’t want to trip and fall in the mud. My neighbors recently got puppies, one white, one light brown, both long-haired breeds. They got them before the rains began. Now, the dogs look like soiled carpets.

But there’s a stray calico cat that visits our compound almost every week. She’s gray and orange and white, and the white parts–her paws, her tail, her belly–are still perfectly white. She’ll paw daintily through grass and mud and miraculously remain unstained. I want that. It’s the equivalent of never doing laundry. One outfit that stays perfect year round, with just a tiny bit of effort. This is the stuff of dreams.

2. I have never seen a stressed house cat

Have you? I bet your answer is no. What’s there for a house cat to worry about? My human would bring food and give me shelter for free, and I’d give them affection on my terms. If for any reason I feel stressed, I’d knock over a few wine glasses; the crashing noise is cathartic. Or I’d get a good workout unrolling the toilet paper in the bathroom, then say the dog did it.

To be clear, I wouldn’t be a naughty house cat. But I’d be grounded in the knowledge that I could be if I wanted to. I’d be purring with the power of self-awareness.

3. There’s no such thing as a sleepless cat

If you struggle with insomnia like me, a house cat is a thing to envy. Curled up, paws tucked, stretched out, paws up, eyes shut, in a box, on a table, on the floor, on anything, just gone for hours. I will never know such bliss for as long as I live. Granted, I’m lucky to enjoy at least one full night of sleep in a week or two. But if it’s not my own stress keeping me up at night, it’s other people’s stress, or vivid dreams waking me at every odd hour.

I long to have one lifetime of tons of sleep as a cat, let alone nine entire lives. It’s the only way to make up for my deplorable sleep hygiene.


Oh, and by the way, I’d be a tomcat. Do with that information as you please.










Photo by Agape Trn on Unsplash