1. Quivering butt, ready to pounce:
“Experts” say: Cats wiggle back and forth to position themselves for the perfect attack.
The truth: Cats have satellite transmitters in their butts and must periodically recalibrate to receive transmissions from their home planet.
2. Rolling back and forth on the carpet:
“Experts” say: Your cat is showing submission or inviting you to play.
The truth: Your cat ate some bad Thai food and is writhing in pain. Stop feeding it so much Pad See Ew.
3. Making squinty eyes at you:
“Experts” say: Cats squint at you when they’re content. Slowly closing their eyes at you is a sign of trust.
The truth: Your cat’s eyes are overly sensitive to the sun and it’s squinting because it wants a new pair of Ray-Ban Clubmasters. Get to shoppin’.
4. Raised butt in your face:
“Experts” say: Tail sniffing is normal between felines, and this is your cat’s way of saying hello to you.
The truth: Your cat just cleaned its butt and wants to show it off to you. Look at that sparkling clean butt and say, “Very nice butt, cat. Good job.”
5. Sleeping in a perfect circle:
“Experts” say: Sleeping in a circle conserves body heat.
The truth: Time is cyclical, and nobody understands this better than cats. When your cat sleeps in a circle, it’s a sign that this world is ending and giving way to a greater, more terrifying universe.
6. “Kneading” with its paws:
“Experts” say: As kittens, cats will knead their mother’s stomach to produce milk, and this is most likely a leftover trait from kittenhood. It might also be an instinctual part of settling down to sleep.
The truth: Your cat saw an ad for baking classes in the local paper and wants to enroll. Write a check for $350 immediately.
7. Sitting in “cat loaf” formation:
“Experts” say: Your cat tucks its paws underneath it because it feels content and safe, plus it keeps body heat from escaping.
The truth: Your cat is annoyed that you didn’t enroll it in baking classes and thinks the only way to get your attention is to pretend it’s an actual loaf of bread.
8. One leg extended during bath time:
“Experts” say: Your cat is raising its leg to more easily clean itself.
The truth: Forget baking classes, your cat wants to learn to play the cello now. It’s emulating the act of playing cello to get your attention. Write a check for $8,000 immediately.
9. Showing its belly to you:
“Experts” say: An exposed belly is a sign of trust.
The truth: An exposed belly is a trap. Your cat knows you can’t resist snuggling its furry belly, at which point it will attack you and feast on your flesh. Beware.
10. Staring off into space, wide-eyed:
“Experts” say: Cats have keen senses, and the smallest movement will catch their attention. They probably saw a bug or a speck of dust.
The truth: Evil, skinless demons have crossed into this realm, and only your cat can see them. Run.
11. Sleeping in boxes:
“Experts” say: Cats are drawn to the confined space of a box because it offers security.
The truth: Your cat is having a quarter-life crisis and thinks a trip to Mozambique would offer some worldly perspective. Tape up the box, slap on some postage, and mail your kitty to Africa.
12. The “hug ‘n’ bite”:
“Experts” say: Wrestling and biting is a normal part of play for cats.
The truth: With its keen senses, your cat has noticed that the government-implanted tracker in your wrist is about to self-destruct and kill you. It must be removed immediately. Try to relax, your cat is attempting to save your life.
13. Chirping out the window at birds:
“Experts” say: Chattering is a reflex motion in anticipation of hunting.
The truth: Your cat is actually a bird and wants to hang out with other birds. How did you not realize you bought a bird instead of a cat? You dummy.
14. Sitting on your computer when you need to work:
“Experts” say: Cats like warm places, and your laptop is warm.
The truth: Your cat knows how many times a day you creepstalk your ex, and has decided it’s time for an intervention.
15. Nowhere to be found, no matter how hard you look:
“Experts” say: Cats are good at hiding. Maybe he’s under your bed?
The truth: Cats are time travelers. Yours is probably in feudal China right now. Don’t worry, he’ll come home soon (maybe).
Illustrations by Adam Ellis.