Here's good news: After years of reading and reviewing business books, I have finally found one volume that is 100 percent guaranteed to improve your life. It's not about moving your cheese or swimming with sharks. It doesn't teach you how to read your boss's mind or provide the seven steps guaranteed to fog the mind of a hiring manager. In fact, this book has absolutely no redeeming features at all, except it does offer a solution to the financial problems that have been afflicting most working — and non-working — Americans.
The book's author is Ann Dziemianowicz. The book's title is "Careers for Your Cat."
Inspired, isn't it? Instead of endlessly expending energy in the futile attempt to get hired, or promoted, or even paid a decent salary, you finally have a way to achieve total security.
Put your lazy slacker cat to work.
Everyone benefits when a cat gets a job, especially the cat. Imagine your kitty's feeling of self-worth when, instead of bringing home a mangled mouse or battered bird, your freeloading feline can bring home the bacon.
But maybe I am being unfair to characterize your cat with words like lazy and slacker and freeloading. Perhaps the real reason your cat is a drag on your personal economy is because she has never found her real calling in life. That's where "Careers for Your Cat" is worth its weight in kibble.
To help both cat and cat owner make the most appropriate career choice, the author provides a rigorous psychological tool — the Meowers-Briggs Career/Personality Test.
Part one of the Meowers-Briggs test for personality type: To plumb the psychological depths of your cat, you record her responses to probing multiple-choice questions, such as "When greeted by a dog, how do you react?" and "What do you do in the quiet hours before bed?"
Part two of the Meowers-Briggs: Fill out the psychological profile by determining whether your cat is an introvert or an extrovert. This is a yes-no quiz in which an introverted cat would answer yes to "You are seldom seen flopped in the middle of a room or doorway and are rarely underfoot," while an extroverted puss would answer in the affirmative to "You live to be petted or stroked, perhaps going so far as to have your belly rubbed or scratched."
If you have ever undergone psychological testing — and given your behavior, it's pretty likely that you have — you will understand how the Meowers-Briggs brings focus to the panoply of possible careers provided by the author. For example, if your cat's type is a CE or "Creative Extrovert," she has the "physically expressive, commanding presence" required to be a choral director. Another possibility for the CE is museum curator, where she can make use of her "well-developed aesthetic interests and good taste."
On the other hand, a CI, or "Creative Introvert," is a cat with the ability to evaluate "service, ambience and value," little of which she probably finds in your establishment. This breed of cat makes for a very successful food critic. Another possibility might combine your cat's talent for "remaining motionless for hours" and the fact that she is "comfortable with nudity" to suggest the well-paid and satisfying career of artist's model.
If your cat turns out to be an II, or "Intellectual Introvert," she is "skilled at fostering relationships" and is thus well suited for the career of psychotherapist. Just think of the money that would save you!
Of course, any cat that has spent a lot of time living with you is most likely to be characterized as an INI or "Inert Introvert." Cats with this personality type "tend to lack goals and have low ambition," so they are "not made for jobs requiring stamina and endurance, or even standing up." Thus, your cat's ability to "set a strong example as a solar collector" makes a strong case for the career choice of solar technician.
"Careers for Your Cat" also provides interview tips to make sure your cat nails that job. Frankly, I think these tips apply to both felines and humans: "Use restroom facility at home," "Keep tail high," and "Do not have anything fishy to eat before the interview."
With a hardworking career-oriented cat to help fill the family coffers, it is likely that you will soon be able to quit your own job and just spend your days lounging in the sun. And don't you think that's just what your cat would want?
— Bob Goldman has been an advertising executive at a Fortune 500 company in the San Francisco Bay Area. He offers a virtual shoulder to cry on at firstname.lastname@example.org.