We all know that cats are probably the most manipulative animals around. They are experts at using their wiles to get their way. If that doesn’t work, they might try laying a guilt trip on you. Cats have been known to create chaos in order to get what they want (and think they deserve). They knock things off the coffee table, tip your tall glass of iced tea, run across your fresh slice of strawberry pie…
If you don’t get their treats out of the cupboard on demand, for example, the cat might jump up onto the counter and figure out a way to open the door to the treats himself, of course, pulling out a jar of Marciano cherries, hoping it hits your tile counter and breaks in the process. Are you laughing (or cringing) now because you’ve experienced such behavior with a cat? Or can you visualize your cat doing something like this out of spite? Give the cat what she wants and she’s probably Play Doh in your hands—that is if you keep giving her the treats or scratching her back or tossing her ball for her.
Lily used to bring me her toys. Did she do that for praise or attention? I’m pretty sure there was an ulterior motive in there somewhere, especially when she began bringing me my cozy slipper socks. (I was careful never to leave my underwear lying around where Lily could find it, especially if we were expecting guests.)
A cat wanting attention might continually paw your hand away from keyboard or letter-writing or needlework or your phone.
Olivia likes to look out an open window in the late afternoons when we’re all lazing around in front of the TV. This means that a human must raise the blinds and open the window. If we don’t do it on our own, she will claw the sofa. Then she tries to climb the blinds. She’ll push through the slats in the blinds to get on the other side of them. All of this will stop as soon as we give her her way. So what’s that called, negotiation, manipulation, or maybe bullying.
Any way you look at this, it’s our evening ritual and we do rather enjoy it.