The conclusion by a British researcher that cats view their human associates (owners, ha!) as "larger, non-hostile cats" is getting some mileage in the blogosphere, usually with the proviso that the felines view us with pity due to our lack of cat-like grace (ninjas and gymnasts not included in this category).
I've often heard the analogy that cats tend to look at us as mother-substitutes. In the case of my feline associates, I'd best be likened to the cloth mother- the cats have typically been fed by the day shift (plus all the meeses they can get their claws in). I, working the night shift, have always been more of a playmate- the two cats follow me around the site when I do my periodic walkabouts, Fred typically at my heels, like a little dog, and Ginger running back and forth, stalking me.
Last week, during the cold snap, I think the cats looked at me like some sort of librarian or shop clerk, arranging them on shelves, Ginger on the left and Fred on the right:
The "shelf" that they are sitting on is actually a radiator cover... the photo was taken on a night when the mercury hit single digits. Whatever they think of us humans, cats are no dummies when it comes to finding comfortable spots.
Here's a comical picture of Ginger, the more curious of the two, trying to figure out what the shiny object in my hand was:
I hope she's not wondering how I can work such a complicated device while being so clumsy and oafish...