A Man and His Cats
Cats are People too
Cats, like people, have preferences. They like to be touched a certain way, and they dislike being touched in others. How do you know which way they like? Like getting to know a person, you have to get to know your cat. Failing to recognize what they do and don't like can be traumatic to the cat, and frustrating to the pet's owner. If you've owned both cats and dogs you will appreciate the fact that while a dog seems to live to be your friend and to serve you, a cat seems to be more of a free agent, giving his affections when he's in the mood. Some people dislike cats for that very reason while others, like me, appreciate their sense of individualism. While they can be extremely affectionate and homey, release a cat into the wild and it's feline instincts will re-emerg insuring survival (so long as it hasn't been declawed).
Cute and Naughty- Cats Have it All!
Why Cats, According to Jack Byrnes, are Better Than Dogs
Maybe She's Right?
Sondra says the cat knows which water glass is hers because it seems like hers is the only one he does this with. She may be right. Cats have olfactory senses as keen as most dogs. She might give off a fragrance he likes. Either that or he can read. As you can see in the picture below, Sondra's name is written on the side of the cup.
Again With the Cup?
He Drinks From Her Glass, He Sleeps Next to Me...
Every night at bedtime I hear Shadow walking through the house, without fail, around 10:30 p.m. He calls out in abbreviated, chirping meows, trying to find me. Even thought cats have been known to travel incredibly long distances and find their way home, they can get disoriented in the hallways of a house and call out expecting the owner to respond helping him to find his way. I call out, "kitty, kitty, kitty-y-y-y-y-y" and he always finds his way to the crook of my arm.
Shadow officially belongs to my son, Noah, but the truth is, every family member should work to bond with the animal. He shouldn't be any one person's cat. He may prefer to play with Noah, sit on Jake's lap, drink from Sondra's water glass, and go "nite-nite" with me, but he belongs to all of us just as we belong to him. Don't think he doesn't feel the same way! He gets jealous, insists on having his own way, and bears a grudge if not fed when he wants or if his litter box isn't cleaned to his specifications.
Interesting Cat Behaviors
"Cats live in our homes with their wildness still upon them."— Elizabeth Marshall Thomas
Training Your Cat to do Tricks...It's Possible!
Don't let anyone tell you a cat can't be trained to do tricks. As you will see in the video below, they definitely can. Noah taught Shadow how to catch cards. While this is a mutually pleasurable activity for both boy and feline, Noah reinforced Shadow's good behavior with treats whenever the cat did what was desired.
Cats are indeed trainable, but truth be told, they are not as readily willing to learn as dogs. However, in one respect animals are the same: It's all about the food. Noah also taught Shadow to sit whenever receiving a treat. The cat will sit on command. (I hope to include a short video of this in a follow up hub) Use your cats name whenever you greet it, pet it, or especially when you call him/her for feeding. Also use their name when you make a sound that is recognizable to them, like when you open the refrigerator or a can of cat food. They associate their name with the sound and indeed learn to come when called. (Pavlov's dog vs. Pavlov's cat)
Shadow The Card Catching Cat
Cleo's (Short for Cleopatra) Preferred Method of Travel
Try as I might I cannot get this cat to let me carry her. As soon as I pick her up she begins mewling and climbing over my shoulder. As she does this I bend over until we are both in, what she deems, the acceptable position. This is what I meant when I said cats have preferences. She doesn't like to be carried in my arms so as I see it, I have a choice. I can either refrain from picking her up altogether, or I can carry her the way she wants to be carried. I am able to walk about in this position for about 5 minutes, enough time to elicit laughs from Sondra and the kids as well as making Cleo feel appreciated.
This has actually been a great opportunity for our kids to learn about respect. If kids can learn to respect animals, they can learn to respect people.
"If a man could be crossed with the cat, it would improve the man but deteriorate the cat."— Mark Twain
Cat Naps for Everyone!
The Way Cats Age
Below is a chart showing the way cats age. The aging process actually slows as they get older. This phenomenon has the effect of making them seem consistently temperamentally the same over long periods of time, even years. It was very different with our faithful dog, Buster. He retained playful, puppy like traits until he was 12 years old. Then, so sadly, he began to rapidly deteriorate, a deterioration that was very much against his will. Ah, but that's a story for another time.
Age of Domestic Cats in Human Years
I hope you've enjoyed this article about, not just my cats, but also cat behaviors. There just isn't enough room in one hub to get all the information I wanted to get in, but I think it's a fair start. Please stay tuned for follow up articles with more original pictures and videos of my cats. I hope you'll share some of your own cat stories in the comments section. Our cats have given countless hours of joy to our family. Researching cats, learning about their needs and habits have only enriched our experiences with them. Cats are therapeutic, fascinating, and in the end... members of the family.
© 2018 Leland Johnson