Purrfect Companions - Cats.
A Heartbeat in the House.
When one has been a part of a couple, and is now alone, it is not easy to adjust to the eerie quiet of a home. That is what happened to me when I broke up with my ex. Friends urged “Get a dog. You love dogs.”
Our dog went to him in the division of belongings, and I did not feel that I wanted to replace him so quickly – the dog, I mean. I also knew that I badly needed "a heartbeat in the house" for my own comfort.
Some of my friends had cats and they seemed okay. I knew that they tended to be fussily clean creatures, and so long as they are house-trained, they did not need much grooming. Only if they were long-haired. And my best friend Angela, who has two beautiful cats claims that the two of them cost her less than the average dog to keep. Maybe it is the age-old thinking of dog-people versus cat-people talking there. Ha! ha! Maybe it was the fact that they are kept indoors most times, and so rarely have any health problems.
My friend Jane tells me that her cat had become her loyal sidekick. She was given a kitten when she too ended up on her own. She swears by cats’ loyalty and affection. She tells me that no matter what time she comes home, her cat is always at the window waiting and happily cuddles up to her on the couch while she relaxes for a while. She claims that it is her cat that helps her to relax and to get rid of the day’s stresses.
I wanted to know what makes these creatures tick and whether I could expect a feline friend to give me the companionship I was after. Were they as intelligent as dogs? Some say that brain size has nothing to do with intelligence.
Do I have to feed them fish? Can I train them to be polite and socialized? Are they clever like dogs? The internet is full of articles, videos and Q&A. I read and I sifted until I ended up with enough to read and grasp without feeling overwhelmed. Then came the choice. Big boned cats, small slim figurine cats. Long haired if you enjoy the brushing, short hair for a busy person. Mumma cats or Toms? Inside cat or one I can allow out for a while? Talkers, or quiet ones?
I did get a cat. An adult cat from a shelter nearby. She looked a bit peaky then, but has blossomed into a beautiful creature. “Cat Jordan” is her name, usually "Cat "for short. That was many years ago. Cat will not be having any baby cats and she loves to snooze somewhere close to the dog I brought home shortly after that.
I love her loud purring when she is on my lap, and she is so good to snuggle up to!! I have learned a great deal about her and other cats.
Cats have been with us a long time.
Cats were first domesticated by humans around 5,000 years ago and were used to help protect farmers' crops from mice & other rodents.
It has been scientifically shown that keeping a cat is likely to reduce the stress levels of their carers, and this naturally leads to lower blood pressure. Cat owners are often found to have an improved immune function and are less prone to depression. Some claim that they lead to allergies in children, yet others show that they seem to decrease the possibilities of hypersensitivities and asthma in kids. I did not know which one to believe, but I ended up with the opinion that if kids are protected from anything that is not clinically clean, then they may find it difficult to adjust to it when older.
Cats are such a joy to stroke, to have on your lap, and to keep you warm. A well-loved cat is innately beautiful and it makes a house a home.
Each cat will have its own personality, and their own little quirky habits. You won’t be bored watching their antics. Any cat, young or old is amusing. You’ll find it chasing spiders and flies, or following a ray of light across the room or a moving foot under the blanket! Put an empty box or a paper bag (not plastic) on the floor, some catnip, scrunched paper, maybe a squeaky toy and appreciate the show. Felines are stimulating, fascinating and entertaining to watch at play, and many of them play long and often! Even the dog enjoys the show at times.!
It is important to include fat in your cat's diet, as they're unable to make the nutrient in their bodies on their own.
No affront to your sense of smell.
One magnificent thing about cats is that they seldom, if at any point, smell. They are fastidiously clean, spending a lot of their time washing and grooming themselves and require very little grooming (unless long-haired). Cat even tries to clean the dog except that the dog is much bigger than she is and has long hair. She does not like the long hair much but he loves it when she cleans his ears and his mouth.
You do not need to walk them, neither are they too bothered if you leave them at home all day on their own, sometimes even longer, as I do from time to time. They are independent that way. But they are always eager to be with you, to play, to cuddle, or just to follow you around the house.
The myth of cats being aloof, spiteful, and selfish creatures very often comes from those who have never loved and cared for a cat. A casual relationship is no measure and makes them seem that way because a cat treats you with the fondest love only because it wants to. Nothing much else will make it your submissive servant.
Give your feline buddy friendship, approach it with deference and teach it the limits of living in your home. Give it food, a warm place to sleep and some TLC and it will be a loving, faithful companion. Many cats are the most devoted buddy in their owner’s life.
They like to find their own spot to sleep and it is amusing to see where and how they fit in their own little nooks. Maybe you have provided them with their own bed, or you don’t mind them on your bed. Some cats can happily exist in a small unit. No little garden to wander in while you’re away? Never mind. A few biscuits and – most important – fresh, clean water, a clean litter box, a cushion near a window, a cardboard box for them to squeeze in – how they love boxes! – and a couple of toys, and they will patiently wait for you, ready to jump onto your lap as soon as you let them. Some cats will sleep about 16 out of the 24 hours, so they cope with the waiting for you to come home any time of day – or night!
Cats are Soft, Silky and Sensitive.
- You are not likely to upset your neighbors as you might with a barking dog. You could, however, upset neighbors if your cat goes digging in their gardens. If you are in that situation, maybe a fenced area and a cat-door is the answer.
- You can get a Cat Run set up, either detached or joined to the house, or you could simply net a verandah, a terrace, pergola, whatever suits your circumstances. It could be something which you can erect yourself, or you can get a quote from those who specialize in that kind of structure.
- You can get an Electronic Cat Fence that is like an invisible barrier that will allow your cat the freedom to go out to your garden without escaping and stop other peoples' cats from entering yours.
A Clever way to let your cat out, yet keep them in!!
- There is a very clever cat-proof fence, which consists of a tubular section on the top of the Colorbond fencing. No wiring, no electronics. The idea is that when a cat [yours or one on the other side of the fence] tries to climb on to the top of the fence, the tubular section rotates freely so they cannot get a foothold.
- There is a cat flap that identifies the microchip on your cat before it opens the cat-door for it to come in.
- Yet another method is the electronic collar which will only let your cat in or out. It works similar to the Electronic Cat Flap but the electronic component is within the collar, so any pet with that collar can go in an out, but none other.
You may want to adopt one of these systems not only to appease your neighbors, but also to ensure that your best buddy is safe. If they do not appeal, it is still not difficult to keep a cat, even in a small apartment, especially if it has been neutered. De-sexed cats seem to fit in far more easily as they do not have to battle the urges to be ‘out there’ when the hormones rage!
Once over the kitten stage [past the one year mark], a cat settles happily into the home, if it is a loving home.
Avoiding dangers for your cat.
A kitten can meet many hazards. I have gone through a day of much trauma searching for my cat everywhere. I thought that she must have gone through the front door un-noticed, and was petrified at the idea that she might have gone on the road. Eventually I opened a cupboard, and there she was serenely asleep on my sun-hat!
Even though I had called and called, she had not answered, or maybe I had not heard her through the closed cupboard door, as she is not a ‘vocal’ cat. Since then I have learnt to ensure that I know where she is before I leave for work.
I would have been devastated if something had happened to Cat. We had formed a close and loving bond, even though she did not come to me as a baby kitten. She waits for me and we always sit a little while before we get to the business of eating. I can pat the dog as he sits by my side, and I talk to them about my day, while she rubs her head against me, and sometimes she chatters under her breath a bit, and at other times she just purrs and purrs like a throbbing engine.
She is soft and warm and so much fun to come home to.
Cat waits and waits.
- From the American Curl to the Turkish Angora, learn about 30 magnificent mousers, terrific tabbies and frisky felines from Cats 101!
Many Breeds of Cats.
© 2014 MarieLB