It’s not easy, is it, to go off on vacation, an overnight business or pleasure trip, or even for a day outing and leave your cat with those wide-eyes and questioning look behind. Of course she has everything she needs for the hours you’ll be gone and you arrange for human company for those times when the hours turn into days. She’s fine—but you’re not. And when you arrive home, expecting a warm, furry-face reunion with your sweet kitty, you feel even worse. Either she’s all over you begging for attention like she’s been abandoned and forgotten or she gives you the cold shoulder for a few hours.
This is not something you consider when you commit to a cat. Cats are adaptable, they say. They can stay happily by themselves for a few hours—even overnight if they have someone checking on them. Heck, some cats hide and sleep most of the day, anyway. So why do they get their nose so out of shape when you slip out for a day or weekend trip?
Is it because we spoil our cats? We work hard to accustom them to a lifestyle with us. And they work to establish the lifestyle they want under our care. One thing cats aren’t good with is change in their routine. When the cat decides to crawl out from the closet or under the bed after a five-hour nap, she wants you right there and available to pet her, tell her how beautiful she is, give her treats, fawn over her. She doesn’t like it when you aren’t in your usual spot eager to give her what she wants when she wants it.
Thankfully, cats are also forgiving (on their own terms and in their own time) and somewhat adaptable to some changes. Yeah, that’s about as far as a cat will go—at least those I’ve known and loved.
Meanwhile everyone with one or more cats needs one or more faithful and reliable caretakers who can stop in and feed when you’re gone, check to make sure kitty isn’t sick or getting into trouble. The best caretaker will also spend time with your cat(s), play with them, maybe give them a treat and send you pictures to ease your mind that your cat is okay–nose out of shape a bit, but okay.