Friday, June 24, 2011

About Cats

The title is no joke. If you are a person who believes the only good use for a cat is a doorstop, you can stop reading. Otherwise, let’s continue. Shall we?
Lately I’ve become aware of some interesting feline behavior in our household. It’s well, dare I say it? Almost canine. We’ve had our cats going on seven years now. They were one year old rescue cats when we got them. The first few years, they exhibited normal cattitudes about everything.

Now, if we’re in the house, they must be in the same room with us, or they will not stop calling until they are. Much like a three year old. Or a puppy. Not only do they come when called, they respond with a particular sounding ‘meow’. Each one seems to recognize its name.

If they are about to do something they shouldn’t, like get on the counter top, we can point at them, make an “Ah-ah!” sound and they stop what they are doing, and sometimes run the other direction. Again, much like a child, or a dog.

When we have been away, and come home they are both waiting at the door, and ‘talk’ to us as we enter. I find the whole noise making thing very interesting because they never, and I mean NEVER do it to each other. It seems like the longer we have them, the more interactive and personable they become.

And I must add that none of this is motivated by basic necessities such as food, water, litter, etc. They don’t get treats because one has a very sensitive stomach. And will not tolerate any of the several we’ve tried over the years. Food and water are available twenty-four seven so we’ve never had the ‘omg, feed me or I’m going to die!’ issue.

Right now, they are both on my desk sleeping. They seem to be normal healthy cats. But they are the first ones we’ve had so I have no idea if everyone else’s cats do this or not. And that’s the crux of this post. I’ve always heard cats behave in a particular independent fashion which is why a lot of people don’t care for them. Ours don’t seem to do that anymore. Do your cats interact with you in a way that’s really not catlike?


  1. The independent cat is a total myth, as far as I'm concerned. I do note that yours are exhibiting the nearly universal cat affinity for keyboards....

    I've known cats that liked to go for walks with their person, just like a dog. We have one now who likes to have someone watch her eat. The food is there 24/7, but if you get up in the middle of the night, she'll follow you into the bathroom for a bite to eat.

    We currently have a cat who has decided my wife is *her* person. She's distinctly jealous of the attention my wife pays to me, or to anything else. She sometimes come up when Beth is reading and *bites* the offending book.

    My experience is that cats want affection - they just want it on their terms. When they want it, they'll let you know. It may just have taken yours a little longer than most to warm up to you.

    We took in an older (20+) rescue last November. She'd been at a kennel for a year before we took her, as her previous owner was undergoing chemotherapy and hoped to be able to return home and reclaim her kitty. She started looking for a home for her when she decided to stop the chemo and accept the inevitable. A friend put her in touch with us, knowing we were suckers for needy cats.

    She has finally started seeing us a source of affection, not just food delivery, but it took six months. I attribute that to the year in the kennel, which was a fine place to take your pet for a week or two while you're on vacation, but a very limited environment.

  2. One of our cats "barks" at birds outside; the other growls when someone rings the doorbell, poofs up his tail, and races to the door to defend the family. They both know certain words, like "No", and their names. Hercules knows "Go outside?" and "Come inside?", as well as "Treat?". Einstein is pretty familiar with his name in the "you are in so much trouble" tone, and since he's good at getting in the way, he knows exactly what I mean when I tell him, "Move yourself!" LOL Hercy wants to be in the middle of the action, no matter how many guests we have--but he seldom wants picked up or gets on anybody's lap. (definitely more often when his long hair is shaved back and he uses us for warmth!). Einstein, however, wants to lay right in the middle of somebody when we're watching TV.

    Since we've gotten the 2nd cat, I've noticed a lot more behaviors like you see on nature shows with the big, wild cats. Pretty cool to watch. But they all definitely have their own personalities. I think those "aloof" cats are really only aloof with non-cat-people.

    Which is fine by me. I sympathize. LOL

  3. Thanks, Kathryn and Piper for stopping by. I really appreciate your comments. It really helps to know that my kitties are more 'normal' than I've been led to believe.