Do you love sitting with a cat in your lap? There are benefits, you know—beyond the pure enjoyment of the snuggle. There’s scientific evidence that having a cat around is good for your health. But there are other benefits to sitting quietly with a cat in your lap. I mean, you can’t get up to answer the phone; it would disturb the cat. Someone wants your attention? Sorry, you’re busy creating a warm place for the cat. Yeah, no one wants to disturb a sleeping cat. Milk it for all it’s worth.
Our cats, Sophie and Lily, have their cuddle preferences—mostly it is not to. That’s right, they aren’t real snugglers. They will certainly crawl into my lap, but I’ve come to believe it isn’t their desire to honor me or show their love, it’s definitely a selfish decision on the cat’s part. Lily curls up in my lap when I’m wearing my robe first thing in the morning. The robe is fluffy and soft. The only other time Lily will curl up close to me is in bed at night. That’s nice. And when I lay on the couch with a blanket. The blanket is the clincher. In fact when I’m feeling under the weather and decide to take a nap or just need to close my eyes for a few minutes with a blanket, I’ll wake up to find one or even two cats curled up with me. How nice that the cats are there to support me when I need it most. Or is it simply the blanket? Our cats love snuggling on or under cozy blankets. Sophie lays on me while we’re watching TV at night. I do a lot of writing at night—with a tablet on my lap—planning my schedule, writing letters, making notes related to my work, etc. Sophie waits ever so patiently for me to stretch out on the sofa and she immediately joins me. But is it really me that she wants—is she expressing gratitude and adoration? Probably not because if I get up for any reason, I return to find her happily snoozing in my spot. She just wants my spot with or without me.
Does your cat look at you with what seems to be love? Does she rub on you affectionately? It’s so sweet when they do this, but you have to wonder about their mindset. In our household, this “affection” usually means “I want something. I want that cheese you’re putting in that omelet. I want a taste of the egg you’re scrambling or that chicken you’re cooking.” Give it to the cat or put it away and the cat drops you like a hot potato.
Sure we know this about our cats. They’re self-serving and self-absorbed, but maybe that’s one of the things we admire about them. I don’t know about you, but despite or maybe because of my cats’ sometimes snubby behavior, I sure do love those little dickens.
For future reference I did a little research to find the most affectionate cat breeds. There are many lists on many cat-related websites, but the lists are all just a little different. Several of the cats considered affectionate are hairless or have very short hair, like the Cornish Rex, Exotic shorthair, Siamese… Personally I like longhair cats and there are some on the affectionate list as well–Persian shows up on most of them, only in different slots–sometimes fourth or fifth and sometimes ninth or tenth. Also considered to be affectionate are Maine coon cats, the ragdoll, and the Somali.