We’ve established many times on this blog that a cat is not a dog and vice versa. But it’s hard to deny that a cat will sometimes take on traditional, typical dog-like behaviors, whether they’ve been exposed to dogs or not. A cat might not look at you with adoration like a dog will or sit and stay on command, ride in the car with his head out the window, chase a Frisbee, or bring you a beer from the cooler. But she might greet you when you come home, take a walk with you, follow you around the house, bring you your slippers (if they aren’t too heavy, but usually not on command), ride in the car with you… And some cats will beg like a dog.
Lily is one of those. If there’s food, she will beg, and it doesn’t matter if she’s just eaten. In fact, she’s a three-meal-a-day cat. She and Sophie get lunch as well as breakfast and dinner. I always feed the cats before I get my own lunch. But, as soon as Lily finishes her meal, she starts stalking me until I fix my own lunch. If my lunch involves chicken or cheese or avocado or anything else she thinks she might like, she sits with me while I eat hoping for a handout. (I don’t give her any avocado—that’s a no-no for cats. And she’s on a strict diet, so if I cave and share some of my protein, it’s only a tiny token amount.)
How do cats beg? Lily simply sits near me as I eat at my desk or in front of the TV and stares. Even if I act more civilized and eat at the table, she stares at me and at the food—just stares. Occasionally, she’ll reach out with a paw and touch me as if to say, “I’m still here in case you want to feed me.” If I linger too long over my meal or seem not to be paying attention to Lily, she’ll put her paw in my plate and try to scoop someone off of it.
And why do you think she does this as often as she does? Well, yeah, because I usually reward her cuteness with a tiny morsel of whatever is safe for her to eat. And she knows that I will. When she sees the food disappearing from my plate, she moves a little closer and she might mew. The emptier my plate becomes, the more interested she gets. And when there’s only a few tiny bites left, she might even become so brazen as to lean over and try to take one of them. I can’t be too hard on her for doing that. Partly because she’s so dang cute! And partly because I often offer her that last tiny morsel. I scoot it to the edge of the plate and let her have it.
I guess every cat parent has rituals with their cats. I mean, how else do you get any of their attention? Right? These are sweet moments for me.
Does your cat beg? What other “rituals” do you and your cat share?