Is there any sight sadder than that of a cat leaping towards some intended destination, miscalculating, and missing—falling short of the table top, smacking awkwardly against the edge, clinging for one wide-eyed moment with splayed claws, sliding backwards, before tumbling chaotically to the floor, landing with an inelegant whump, and striding away with an excess of poise that fails to hide its profound humiliation?*
When a dog goofs up—rushes over-eagerly to greet a visitor and skids into the doorjamb—it's, honestly, funny. Dogs are supposed to do stuff like that. But when a cat messes up, it's just wrong.**
* This rumination was prompted by the sight of our little Delilah—an exceptionally capable creature, even by feline standards—suffering exactly this sequence of indignities. Poor D.
** Though also, still, a teeny-tiny bit funny. But wait until the cat has left the room before you start laughing.