One of the charms I adore about cats is the habits they develop and the way they display those habits and discard them. Oh yes, one thing that’s certain about cats is that you can’t take anything for granted. As soon as you become accustomed to Fluffy taking his afternoon nap in a sun puddle on the dining room table, for example, he changes his mind and his long-running habit. One day you can’t find him. You panic—he’s always in that spot on the table this time of day. Where is he? Should you call the veterinarian and report this odd change in behavior? It’s so out of character. Something must be wrong.
Probably not. He has most likely decided he’d rather nap in the closet surrounded by your shoes and whatever else has gathered at the bottom of it—a slinky blouse that slipped off the hanger, a blanket, and a few of his toys that he hid from the other cats in the house.
Sleeping habits aren’t the only habits cats might change from time to time. They may discard their very most favorite toy and take up with one that’s been hiding under the sofa all year. She might stop sleeping with you or start putting you to bed at night—sitting with you until you relax—nice. She might suddenly become a voracious eater or become picky.
Olivia slept in my stacking trays in my office every afternoon when she first came to us. The day she could no longer climb into the small space, she gave that up. But that was out of necessity. She’d physically outgrown the space. So what causes cats to change sleeping spots, sleeping times, toy preferences, play activities and other habits in mid stream?
I imagine part of that is an innate trigger—a genetic memory of their origins and how they must protect themselves by changing up their activities so as not to attract danger to them. Make sense? Part of it is—and I’m pretty sure about this—our cats like to keep us on our toes. When Olivia hears me screeching her name—frantically going from room to room in search of her, fearful that she somehow pushed a window screen out or a door open and escaped, I’m convinced she’s under the sofa, in the back of a closet, or even closed in a kitchen cabinet grinning as she closes her eyes and takes a long afternoon nap.
Olivia does a charming little thing each time she visits me in my office. She comes to me as I sit in my chair, puts her paws on the chair next to me and reaches one paw up in the air toward me as if she is waving or she just wants to pat me affectionately. I don’t know what her thought process is when she’s doing this, but it is something she does every single day. So far I haven’t captured it with my camera—but I’m working on it.
Cat’s stretch almost every single time they stand up from a nap or a rest. That’s an interesting habit and each cat does the stretch a little differently.
Different cats have different ways of approaching meal time, greeting guests, playing, interacting with you. And to me that’s one of the charms of the cat. What are some of your cat’s weird behaviors/habits?