I’ll come clean. This title is misleading. I am still a dog person. However, I now am also a cat person. I would not say that I like all cats . . . I guess I don’t like all dogs either. Percentage-wise though, I like more dogs. Some cats are just a little too hoity-toity (spell check says that is not a word) for me. They’re too moody. My dog is a slobbering fool for me all the time. Some cats play hard to get.
I have been blessed with a special cat. I know there are many cat-lovers out there, and I never really got it before. I’m guessing I’m not alone in thinking my cat is special.
So, it is also misleading to say that I have learned to love things about all cats. I love things about one particular cat.
The way this cat came to be our pet is in itself special. You can read about that here, if you would like – A Kitty Cat’s Tale – Pun Intended. Long story short, she showed up at our house and wouldn’t go away. We reluctantly took her up on her insistence on becoming our pet about a month ago.
I have come to the conclusion that someone’s cat had a kitten or kittens. They didn’t want this unplanned pet, and so they dumped her off. The vet estimated her age to be about 14 weeks. She was clean (not a flea in sight) and clearly had been around people, because she was so very friendly right away. She had been in a house before, because she badly wanted to come into ours. I don’t think she was a run-away. We had her checked for a chip, and there wasn’t one. She seemed so anxious to come into our house, I can’t see her straying far from home on her own.
Every one of us loves this cat, and most of us claim to be her favorite. Had you told me six weeks ago that I would have a cat as a pet, I would have thought you were nuts. She came to us like a lion, but once inside, she was a lamb . . . much like Spring . . . except she came to us in late Summer.
This list, then, is really not about all cats. It is a list of the very pleasant ways this particular cat has surprised me.
1. She is tolerant
My daughter, who is 3, picks up the cat and carries her around the house. My husband commented today that he has never seen the cat struggle. We know she doesn’t particularly care for this activity, because she’ll let out a little mew. But, she never retaliates.
She also allows the dog, who out-weighs her by more than 60 lbs., to nibble on her ears.
2. She is mellow, mellow, mellow
She likes to find a box in the basement to take a nap. When we find her spot, she finds another. She likes to get out of the chaos, but when she can’t, she’ll just pick a spot in the middle of it all and chill.
3. There was no potty training
I had a cat when I was a kid. She was not that sweet. That said, she was not difficult to train. But, we didn’t even have to put this cat in the litter box. We poured the litter into the box, and she jumped in and did her thing. She has not gone anywhere but the litter box since she came into the house (I wish I could speak so highly of the process of house training our dogs).
4. She communicates
She tells me when she wants food or affection. We feed her regularly, of course. But she is a growing girl, so sometimes she gets hungry in between feedings. If I’m in the laundry room and I hear a meow, the first thing I do is check her bowl. If it’s empty, I fill it and she immediately eats. If there is food in there, I pick her up and she snuggles against my face, often purring.
Sometimes, she communicates that she wants affection by running right up my clothes and sitting on my shoulder.
5. She observes, without action
This cat watches TV. I have seen videos of cats doing that before, and they usually react. This cat just sits on top of the entertainment center and watches. I can tell that she also sees things moving on my computer screen, but she doesn’t pounce. Just watches.
She sits on the bathroom counter and looks in the sink, checking out the little bit of water sitting around the drain. She might put her nose or paw in after some pondering, but she is very slow to action. A sign of wisdom . . . in a cat. Weird.
6. She’s a night owl
Patches sleeps much of the day away. She has a playful, crazy, period around 10:30 every night. I am a night person, by nature. But, my current job requires me to get up by 6:20 or so, sometimes 5:20. Even so, I usually feel the most awake at night. I can relate to her burst of activity, which might be another reason that I like her. But, her non-mellow, more typical cat behavior (in my mind), only lasts about 10 minutes. She had her burst about an hour ago, and now, she lies on the chair curled up in a beautiful little black ball. She’s just no trouble at all.
7. She responds to correction and has not destroyed my home
The results of Duke the Goldendoodle’s puppyhood, and my daughter’s toddlerhood are still quite evident on my walls, two years later. The dog actually chewed up corners of drywall and woodwork in some places. My daughter, among other things, flung open the french door to the deck and put a hole in the wall. With us now finishing our basement, these repairs are next on the list . . . months down the road, I’m sure.
When we decided to keep the cat, there was some discussion about having her declawed. I know some people think this is cruel, but I felt having her be the subject of my wrath for her tearing up the furniture would be more cruel. Still, we weren’t sure how she and the dog would get along, so I felt she needed a way to show Duke who was boss. I also wasn’t sure if we were going to allow her to be outdoors sometimes. So, we held off on de-clawing her.
To my surprise, when she starts scratching (which isn’t all that often), if I clap or snap my fingers she stops. There are a couple of teeny tiny scratches on the leather couch that you have to look for to see. That’s it for damage, so far.
#8 She is stunning to look at
#9 I ADORE HER
This is the most surprising thing of all. I never had much use for cats. I mean, from a pragmatic standpoint, a dog at least provides some protection. What good is a cat? This cat is the only living being in my house who consistently has a calming effect on me. She gives me more than I give her. She demands very little, but lets me know she wants the best part of me. Love and attention. She gives it back and then some. I can’t think of anything more valuable than that.