I'll preface this by saying, "I'm not a cat person."
There. You heard it here first, folks.
So when I say these cats are shrewd I possibly mean it with less love than if I tell you my dog is from hell. That I say with affection in my tone. Shrewd cats, that's just an adjective.
Typically, I don't think cats are the warm and fuzzy type of pets that dogs are. My sister and her family are very much cat people. Despite, however, being cat-lovers, they have aptly nicknamed their pet cat "the 'Tude" because of the severe disdainful looks it casts upon, well, all of them.
About a month ago, after one particularly horrid day of walking in the backyard snake sightings AND another mouse caught in the front of the house (Seriously, wouldn't the rules of nature suggest if you have one of these things you shouldn't have the other??) someone wiser than I (Yes, I do know that is practically everyone else on the planet over the age of 34, thank you Captain Obvious.) suggested it may be in my best interest to get a cat.
Me, being the the highly logical person I am, thought - if one is good, two should be better, right??
So, my father-in-law caught two of his (VERY WILD) barn kittens and poof! we were now cat owners.
Except... none of us had ever been cat owners. Nor cat people. Nor had really anything to do with cats. So.... what were we supposed to do now? Would instincts just take over? Could I just open the kennel door and hope they eradicated the place of all the snakes and mice?
Okay, even I'm not that dumb.
So, we started with food. After all, it's a basic need. And it works for all five of us. Hand us food and we can be tolerant at least and friends depending on the sugar content.
So we fed them.
We made them a little cat home complete with cat things that they could play with.
We bought them a litter box.
We talked to them in baby talk voices so as to not frighten them with all the screaming sounds that normally go on around this joint.
We brought my sister's family (the cat lovers) in to woo them and snuggle with them.
And we continued this tirelessly until...
Until they felt comfortable coming out and playing in the lilies that were closer to the house.
Until they felt comfortable coming up on the patio and seeing what the weirdo humans were doing inside.
Until they made the discovery that there was a soft dog bed and then promptly claimed it for their own.
Until my middle man, who as it turns out IS a cat person, became a human target for the perfect person to curl up with literally EVERY time he comes outside.
So, I can tell you now that the shrewd have become tame. The humans find them entertaining. The dogs tolerate their presence. And I'm certain if the cats were writing this post it would have the exact same title and they would undoubtedly be telling you that they tamed us.
Bent us to their will.
But I'm the human here, so I know better.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go warm up the milk for the kittens. They like the chill taken off before it's served.