Although the underlying type of contact for a proper massage and petting a cat is different, they seem to have roughly the same sweet spot for when one should vary the motion (direction, pattern, pressure, etc). Is this because of some kind of timeout that we share with them (some kind of classification border in the head)? Is this common with dogs too? (It's been a long time since I've had a dog, although it's been a reasonably long time since I've massaged another person). Being so much larger than a cat or a dog and not having their fur, maybe there's more similar between what it would like to be them and what it is like to recieve a massage than I'd think. The natural form of cat petting derives, I think, from a cat mom cleaning the fur of its children (and cats living socially cleaning each other).
This holiday creates a relative surplus of weekend.