While Finn and Rey have been a part of the Cecil-Isacke household since January 2016, no comprehensive report has ever been publicly released assessing their performance as cats. This report card, published in partnership with the internet newsletter Night Water, aims to be the first of its kind in judging and depicting their annual performance in the form of a school report card, assigning letter grades based on behavior exhibited throughout the year.
To reach the conclusions presented here, five individuals were surveyed: Finn and Rey's co-owners, Adam Cecil and Chloe Isacke, as well as three cat sitters, Thomas Baldwin, Brenna Adams, and Miriam Shlimovich. Each respondent gave both cats letter grades in five categories and was asked to provide comments. Respondents were asked to interpret both the categories and the example behaviors according to their own personal preferences and grade accordingly. Once all responses were collected, letter grades were averaged in individual categories and a final GPA for both cats was ascertained.
Example behaviors include: running, jumping, games, playfulness, toy chasing, toy kicking, general physical fun.
Chloe: "Finn is extraordinarily good at running fast, jumping freakishly high, kicking his catnip banana with a fervor reserved for little else, and chasing balls made of out his own fur. Rey will start playing with a toy, but when I try to engage with her, perhaps throwing the toy for her to chase, she immediately disengages and walks away, acting like an embarrassed teenager."
Thomas: "Finn was very active and showed us how well he can attack his catnip banana. If hide and seek was an athletic activity, then I would consider Rey somewhat capable. She loved to hide, but unfortunately, her spots were fairly predictable."
Adam: "Finn continues to shine in the field of Athletics. He is very playful and is often looking to chase toys and Rey. Rey, unfortunately, cannot match Finn’s energy, though she is playful in her own way."
Brenna: "Seems like a good time to reveal I cannot remember which cat is which and have instead been calling Finn & Rey 'Katwon' & 'Kattoo', respectively. Katwon showed great promise in the field of stealth attacks, while Kattoo's single skill seemed to be quick sprints to her under-bed lair. Subpar performance."
Miriam: "Rey really excels in running as demonstrated by her sheer athleticism when running away and hiding from me. 😭"
Example behaviors include: friendliness, politeness, convenience, not performing annoying behaviors such as biting, hitting, or begging for food.
Adam: "Both Finn and Rey have their own unique challenges in the field of Etiquette, though both cats struggle with not begging for food. Finn often hits and bites Rey, and can be difficult, begging for attention on your desk while working. Rey, on the other hand, is very chill for most of the day, but is also terrified of strangers, making her a real bummer at parties."
Miriam: "Finn and Rey are clearly in different stages of their nine lives. Finn is earlier on—he’s much more modern and less bothered by personal space. Sometimes he even throws himself at you! Rey, on the other hand, has lived many more lives, spanning to at least the Victorian era. Her etiquette is more demure—she’s more old-fashioned and acts like a lady born into a high-class family (perhaps a duchess?)."
Brenna: "Katwon took a reasonable 24-hour adjustment period to make sure we were not interlopers then had to come out to the couch for the RuPaul's Drag Race viewing party (party of 2). Kattoo was very unwelcoming and so I relegated her to Second Cat status."
Thomas: "Finn is a very friendly cat and welcomed us into the apartment. He also kept us company by sitting in our laps while watching TV. Rey ran from us most of the time and spent most of her time hiding under the bed. This was not very hospitable behavior. She also pooped on the rug in the bedroom."
Chloe: "Finn is incredibly friendly but he is vocal about his need for food in the morning, and if overstimulated, will try and attack you like those tigers attacked Joe Exotic in that one episode of Tiger King. Rey went to finishing school in a previous life because she is sweet, good-natured, and generally happy to go with the flow. Both cats lost half a grade due to their tendency to throw up almost exclusively on the rugs in our apartment."
Example behaviors include: being cute in photos, not moving when you're trying to take a photo, etc.
Brenna: "While Katwon was more present, Kattoo embodied a more statue-like photo presence. She gave me full Afghan Girl from her little hovel."
Thomas: "Both very cute cats. Rey's hiding hindered the ability to capture her cuteness on camera."
Miriam: "Both Finn and Rey really use their surroundings—a cat cave, a chair—they know how to work a room and use the objects they’re given. Would love to see them rely more on their own bodies in the future though. Be proud of who you are!!"
Adam: "Finn has never stood still for a picture. Rey, on the other hand, can be a great model when she’s sleepy, and will pose with you for a selfie."
Chloe: "Both my cats are beautiful models and I have 1,000,000 photos on my phone to prove it."
Example behaviors include: screaming, meowing, chirping, etc.
Chloe: "Rey has a vast vocal range, from her whispering scream to the little chirp she blurts out when she jumps down from the bed or the couch. Finn has a different repertoire to Rey, but it is equally impressive. He is talented at howling, crying for breakfast first thing in the morning, and growling at Rey when she comes near his food."
Thomas: "Finn is very chatty, but neither excessively so nor too loud. Rey only meowed when I was preparing meals, but her meowing at this time was pleasant."
Adam: "Despite being incredibly annoying, no one can deny the power of Finn’s deep, guttural meow. Additionally, Rey’s chirps are an excellent addition to the soundtrack of the apartment."
Miriam: "Finn is not afraid to have his voice heard. Rey reserves hers for when it’s most crucial—food!! I respect that."
Brenna: "They were both very quiet and I very much enjoyed that..."
Elective: Computer Science
Example behaviors include: sleeping on or near your computer, sitting on your lap when you're trying to do work, staring at the computer screen, etc.
Adam: "Though Finn often needs guidance on WHERE, exactly, to sleep, he is a big fan of sleeping near or around you while working."
Thomas: "His attempts to 'help' me with work were half-hearted and he gave up quickly. Likely, he found it easier to just go sit in Brenna's lap on the couch."
Miriam: "Sometimes used my chair while I was working, but otherwise could’ve exhibited more interest in the subject."
Chloe: "Finn is attracted to laptops like a moth to a flame. He will sit directly between you and the laptop, making it absolutely impossible to do any work at all. He loves to join video calls, and his presence will derail your conversations, eliminating any chance for a productive meeting. He also loves to sleep in his box on your desk, which I guess is cute."
Brenna: "No interest in tech training or professional development."
Example behaviors include: eating, chewing, or biting the plants.
Adam: "Plant biting and chewing have reduced over time, but the addition of a Christmas tree to the apartment really helped Rey’s Horticulture skills develop. She often chewed branches, keeping those teeth sharp."
Brenna: "Failing score for either zero plant interaction or too many secret plant interactions, which may have made Kattoo shitted on the rug...or that was just a flex."
Thomas: "Rey did not demonstrate her gardening ability during our stay. The plants looked trim and healthy, so I assume her skills are adequate."
Miriam: "No plants were harmed in my presence!"
Chloe: "Rey's form of protest when we don't wake up early enough to feed her, is to chew on my plants, as if she is saying 'I am starving, and if I don't nibble on this plant I will surely faint with hunger.' She also barfs up most of the plants she ingests."
Final 2021 GPA
Though there is room for improvement, Finn and Rey's feline performance in 2021 was largely satisfactory, and often exceeded expectations.
To raise these grades, we look to Finn and Rey to improve in three main areas:
- Both Finn and Rey need to be friendly to strangers and frequent guests such as cat sitters. It is inexcusable that Rey would hide from cat sitters, making their lives difficult.
- Finn needs to re-assess his career goals, actively participate in professional development, and be a team player in meetings and the workspace.
- Rey should consider an active exercise routine that sees her interacting with cat toys and nip, in addition to her budding horticulture hobby.