Things I’ve Learned From My Cats



Cats have a lot to teach us about life and living, and even death and dying. They seem to have an uncanny knowingness about things. But just because a cat may have some special insight doesn’t mean she will reveal it. In fact, unlike dogs, cats are extremely skilled at keeping secrets. Also, unlike dogs, cats refuse to succumb to our attempts at training, molding, reshaping or changing them in any way. With a cat, generally, what you see is what you get—endearing qualities, bad habits and all. So one thing that my cats have taught me is, for better or worse, how to be true to oneself.
I’ve also observed that cats can change and they do so when you least expect it. Just when you think you know your kitty—boom, he comes up with a new trick, develops a new habit or engages in a new pastime.

It seems to me that, even when cats appear to follow orders or behave as we humans demand (or suggest), it’s only because it’s something they want to do in the first place. I watched a circus act on TV recently featuring trained cats. The ring leader had those cats jumping through hoops, riding on the backs of dogs, sitting obediently on pedestals for several minutes at a time and even walking a tight rope. During an interview, the commentator asked the trainer how he got the cats to do these tricks. He said, “We let them do what they want. We find out what the cat likes to do and then create an act around this activity.” When asked if the cats always perform their routines when prompted, the trainer didn’t hesitate in answering. He responded with a solid, “No.”

It’s true; we get along with our cats much better if we allow them to do what comes naturally. For most cats this means the following:

• Give them a place where they feel warm and safe and can hunker down if they so choose. A king-size bed will do nicely, a sofa with room to dive underneath if necessary…oh yes, and a cat bed, special cushions and kitty blankets, which the cat may or may not use.

• Make sure they have something they can claw, because they will claw.

• Provide them with the opportunity to poop in private and to cover it up. (Note: if they don’t like the positioning of the litter box or the scent, texture, color of the litter, don’t worry. They’ll simply find another place to take care of business.)

• Feed them regularly and make sure it is something they want to eat that week. This might take some measure of psychic ability because the cat isn’t going to tell you his preferences. (Most cat owners figure out what their cats don’t like by the amount of spoiled food standing in the encrusted bowl long after mealtime. Learning what they do like can be a lengthy and expensive test in patience.)

• Of course, be willing to give the cat plenty of attention when she wants it and on her terms. (In other words, be on call for your cat.)

Learn more about quirky cats by reading Catnapped and Cat-Eye Witness on your Kindle. Both of these ebooks are part of the Klepto Cat Mystery series. Learn more about the story by visiting Order your copies here: Catnapped: Cat-Eye Witness:

This entry was posted in Living With Cats. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *