Washington - Cats. They care not for your affection, your familiar voice or perhaps even for your overall existence.
And they certainly don't care about your career as a respected academic or any fancy television interviews taking place in your office.
Polish historian Jerzy Targalski discovered this during an on-camera appearance on a Dutch news programme when his cat unceremoniously climbed atop his head in the middle of the interview.
Targalski was speaking with a journalist from the Dutch public television station Nieuwsuur to weigh in on "the controversial forced removal of Polish top judge Malgorzata Gersdorf" by the country's ruling conservative party, according to NTR reporter Rudy Bouma.
Partway through the taping, his orange tabby began pawing and mewing at Targalski's right side. The cat then scaled up the professor's arm like a personal Everest.
"Eh - we tolerate this?" Targalski asked. It was both a question and an apologetic statement, directed more to the camera crew and less to the cat, who by this point was already upon his neck.
Someone from behind the camera made a sound. Targalski smiled and pressed on, with the resignation of a man who has shared his home with a cat and thus knows his place in the feline-human order.
He spoke of the presence of secret-police agents in certain countries and what that means for the political transformation of those countries. But he may as well not have been speaking at all for all the attention his cat was stealing.
As Targalski continued the interview, his cat nuzzled his ear, used his shoulders to get a closer look at a chandelier above and, at one point, curled its tail across Targalski's face, covering his eyes.