January 13, 2017 by phicks2012
Feline propensities and idiosyncrasies can be entertaining. I grew up always having dogs, because my mother was afraid of cats. This was probably a hold-over from having put a clothespin on a cat’s tail when she was a wayward child — since my understanding is that the cat in question was neither happy nor compliant, and that there was some retaliation involved. In any case, we had large dogs, but no cats. Nope. Not a one.
I got my first cat in college, because I wanted a pet but had an apartment, and (let’s face it) cats tend to be more self-reliant than dogs, especially as babies. Not that mine necessarily were. Like every pet I’ve ever owned they were demandingly affectionate, but at least mine (and I wound up with three very vocal Siamese) didn’t have accidents or chew up my shoes while I was in classes or out on a date.
I never turned into a Crazy Cat Lady, thank God! Three was the most I ever had at one time, but over the years I’ve had several cats (I considered listing their names, but the name of one — named in the 1970s for an Egyptian Goddess — would now probably get me flagged by homeland security or something), and feline temperament and preferences can be interesting. For example:
1) A light-colored cat will invariably opt to lie on a dark-colored fabric surface, and a dark-colored cat will always lie on a light-colored fabric surface, absolutely guaranteeing that their shed hair will show up prominently.
2) No matter how many scratching posts you provide, a cat will always want to sharpen its claws on your upholstered furniture and rugs — though fortunately, very, very few will use door frames and window sills.
3) No matter how many toys you provide, an indoor/outdoor cats will still bring in its own “toys” into the house — frequently alive — and expect you to be delighted. In December we had to trap Mighty Mouse.
4) Some few cats are as dumb as a box of rocks, but most are smart, and some are perfectly capable of turning on water faucets, turning door knobs to gain access to rooms, and becoming fans of Classic Star Trek. One of my Siamese especially loved the character of Doctor McCoy, and would sit in front of the TV repeatedly touching his face on the screen with her paw whenever he appeared, and becoming upset whenever he vanished.
5) If you have small area rugs and hardwood floors, hall-surfing is a popular feline sport. This can be entertaining to watch, but requires the rugs to be continually repositioned — or taped down. Nailing them down also works, but is not advised.
6) Cats absolutely LOVE to stretch out on top of your cable box, DVD Player, and anything else generating heat but NOT benefitting from cat hair. I had one that just loved to hit the eject button on my DVD player, and prior to that my VCR. Remember those?
7) Most cats do NOT think it’s entertaining to be hissed at. I had a friend years ago who professed herself to be “good with animals” and did not believe this. She was eventually to become the only person ever bitten by one of my pets.
8) Some cats are escape artists. I had a Manx named Pixil who one day just “appeared” inside my house, and thereafter adopted me and got in and out via no means I was ever able to determine. She was named for the fictional “Cat Who Walks Through Walls” as a result of this “talent”.
9) Most cats make napping an art form, and can sleep nearly anywhere — including on narrow window sills, the backs of office chairs, on top of dryers, washing machines, and dishwashers, and — if you don’t deter some of them early in life, stovetops. I once found one of mine inside an oven left open by a roommate, and another inside an open dryer, so beware of closing things like that without checking first. Outdoor cats will also sometimes decide to nap on top of warm car engines — UNDER the hood — and with occasionally tragic results. NOT good.
10) Many cats like to sleep on top of their people as well, though I had one who slept under the covers next to me with his head on the pillow like a person. However, kittens, and some adult cats, who see something moving under the covers will pounce on it, and some people have had tender body parts innocently attacked. I heard a tale once about a cat who launched himself from the top of a wardrobe onto a sleeping man, but that’s probably a story for another time, and possibly for a less squeamish audience.
Cats, like dogs or people, have their own unique personalities, habits, tastes and quirks. My current cat, Thiam, drools on me when she’s really relaxed — and there are a great many things more pleasant than wiping off streams of cat-drool. This isn’t deliberate, of course, but felines in general are masters of the silent snub and of passive-aggressive retaliation when they feel neglected — so beware! 😉
Contrary to what some people think, cats can be and very often are VERY affectionate beasties. Most of them love to cuddle, but bear in mind the MacIntosh motto “Touch not the cat bot a glove,” which is a warning to those who would be so imprudent as to engage in “battle” when the claw of the wildcat is ungloved.
Okay, so nothing in life is quite Purrrrrfect.