We play a game around here sometimes called, “Where’s Olivia.” I’m considering that as a title for an upcoming book featuring our precocious calico. Like so many cats, she hides. I’m sure this is a trait handed down from her wild ancestors. In the wilds, cats hide from predators, intruders, and even prey, and especially while sleeping, recovering from an injury, and caring for their young. In order to remain safe, it is necessary for a wild jungle cat or a feral domestic cat to change location from time to time—maybe often. Olivia still does that.
She has her favorite places to sleep, but occasionally when things get quiet, I check and she’s not on the small recliner chair with the cat pillow or in the cubby of the cat tree or in a sun puddle on the living room floor. She’s certainly not in any of the three cat beds I’ve provided for her—heaven’s no! When I can’t find her, I go in search of her. Why? I guess because I’m still in the habit of checking on her—making sure she’s safe. Besides, I just love spending time with her. She makes my heart happy.
So where do I usually find her? I’ve found her in the closet on a folded-up blanket. She often naps under the sofa. I’ve discovered her on a kitchen chair, which was pushed under the table, and in various other spots where I didn’t expect to see her and where she was practically in plain sight. Cats are good at the disappearing act and they’re good at hiding. When I find her, I sense that she’s secretly giggling at my level of stress building when I’m sure she was lost—or she has somehow slipped out of the house. Frightening thoughts.
Cats are known for sleeping in interesting positions and in unusual places. When she was a kitten, Olivia slept in a cubby on a stacking metal shelf in my office. The first few times I found her there, I’d already scoured the house looking for her and there she was a few feet from me tucked into the little stacking trays.
Here’s a photo of a kitten sleeping in a baseball cap. Max used to sleep under the covers in my bed. Some cats fall asleep in a pretty basket or a toy crib or wagon or another picture-perfect place. Not my cats. Most often they opt for my bed or the chair I want to sit in. That’s another cat trait. My dad had a magnet on their refrigerator that said, “If you want the best seat in the house, move the cat.”
I’m not sure where Olivia’s favorite sleeping place is. She does move around, but my favorite napping place for her is in my lap. So sweet.