If the human legal idiom is “possession is nine tenths of the law,” then the cat law equivalent is “if in doubt, sitting on it has a 90% success rate”
Cats are notoriously imperialistic: what they touch is theirs. The coffee table, your sleeping face, the half-drunk glass of water, dog food, and a prize orchid. If a cat has touched it, it is theirs. A favored method of the cat is just sitting on it. To be sure, this applies to all of the items listed above and more.
There is definitely something to be said for this – asserting your place in the world by just sitting on it. However, I’d like to discourage anyone from dropping trou and planting their bare tukhus on a public surface. That’s just gross.
Firstly, the bus (or train). There is an awkward balance between leaving enough space between yourself and your neighbor, and also fitting everyone into the bus (or train car). Sometimes it’s easier to stand on the bus and avoid any potential confrontation rather than squish yourself down into an open seat. This is when to channel a cat and plant your butt right down. It might be prudent to do the perfunctory mouthing of “is this seat taken” or “is it OK if I sit here?” You aren’t really a cat, after all – manners should be part of your life.
Secondly, the bathroom. This, to my knowledge, is primarily a woman-based issue. Women decide that it’s more sanitary to hover over the toilet seat. Take three seconds, a bit of toilet paper, and clean the seat, if you’re worried. Sit yourself down, ladies. The person cleaning the bathroom will thank you. The back of your legs isn’t going to just fall off if you make seat contact. Take a lesson from a cat and sit down.
Third, the conference room. There always seems to be a bit of a tip-toeing dance in a conference room. Should you sit next to your team? Away from or angled towards where the projector is? Is this the time to squish up next to the VP? While I’m sure each meeting has nuances that dictate social mores, a cat would not care. Take a page out of a cat’s book – put your butt in a chair, and let the others do the dancing.
Cats, ladies and gentlemen, have a lot of it right. Assert yourself, and look cute while doing it.