Secret life of Cats
Calleigh in her "me mode"
Cats are simple creatures. They need food, shelter and love just like any other creature. But why is that sometimes cats seem so aloof and detached from our human way of thinking about them. They are not like dogs, who want attention almost all the time. They exude regality and this sense of higher authority. Let me tell you something folks, WE SERVE CATS. That is right, we serve them, not them serving us. We may be the boss in the human/canine relationship, but when it come to the feline friends, we are their servants.
But what about this secret life of cats. What is it that they do in this lifestyle? And what is it about their lifestyle that makes them so elusive?
Cats are by nature, elusive creatures. Nocturnal, carnivorous hunters, they like to sneak through bushes and tall grasses, stalking the occasional mouse, bird, stick or unsuspecting weekend gardener. Their ancestors and current relatives, like the lion, tiger and other big cats, these smaller versions can be just as voracious as their bigger relatives. They will be lazy one minute and then running half mad around the yard after some invisible thing. Unlike us humans, who are very dependant on set schedules, cats come and go as they please. It is in their freedom of movement that makes us wonder what they do all day or all night and what their secret is. Like I said before, we do not own cats, cats own us. We are their servants. Yes, we feed them and give them love, but it is on their terms, not ours.
For starters, understanding your cat's secret life begins with understanding your cat. What are his/her likes/dislikes? Where does he/she like to sleep during the day/night? Is he/she a night owl or a day cat? Finding out these items will give you some insight into your cat's secret life. SUBTLY watching your cat throughout the day will give you these clues. Most cats begin to be active around 7 or 8 am, when they are wanting to either be fed or be let out. If your cat is a night owl, this is probably when they will show up from their nightly escapades and want to be let in. Young kittens are especially active around this time, constantly getting under foot or into things when you are not watching. If this is the case, you will need to stop what ever you are doing, and serve your cats. That's right, when cats want something they want it NOW. This is key to understanding the secret life of cats.
After you have serviced your feline friend, (hopefully in a timely manner before they destroyed that new silk blouse you were going to wear to work today), it is time for the ritual after meal cleaning. Whatever you do, do no disrupt these sessions. This is your cat's me time and most cats will give you a hefty look of disdain when they interrupted by you petting them or trying to get their attention. It also could get you a swipe from paws and claws, telling you to leave them alone while cleaning. The cat will usually begin with the paws and progress from the head down the rest of the body. After their bath, they will either do one of two things: settle down for a nap or become very frisky and playful. If it is the former, they will find some place in the house, away from people and other disturbances, to curl up into a ball or breadloaf and go to sleep. If this is the case, you will not be able to find them no matter how hard your look. When cats want to sleep, they want to sleep and there is nothing that us humans will be able to do about it.
If your cat becomes the tasmanian devil from the cartoons after he has finished his meal and bath, then put away all the breakables that are knee length or lower and get out a stick and string. Be prepared to have some good laughs as your cat practices their pouncing skills on the toy and enjoys running through the house looking like a fluffed up fuzzball.
Of course there are other days where the cat just sits in the window looking outside, tip of tail occasionally twitching. What is he/she thinking? Most of the time, the cat is enjoying just sitting there, listening to the sounds and the smells of the outdoor world. Cats can find happiness and satisfaction with just the simplest things in life, whether it be a nice treat of catnip or a playful romp with a fellow feline friend. Other times, cats will just be laying around the house, watching the human activity play out.
Many cats are either one of two catagories: tree dwellers or bush dwellers. Tree dwellers enjoy sitting on high perches and watching the activity below, almost as if they are kings/queens of their human realms. If you cat is indeed a tree dweller, he/she will most likely take pleasure in sitting on the highest spots in the house, be they the tops of counters, dressers or the highest shelf in the closet. If this is the case, you need to build yourself a cat tree or you can buy one that is mildly expensive. A search engine search on Google or Bing will help you in finding one that is the right fit for your cat.
If your cat is, however, a bush dweller, than anything that is low to the ground will be their playground. Chairs with duster coverings that come to the floor, shelves on the floor level, even kitchen cabinents that are close to the ground are fair game. For these types of cats, finding them a small hut that has a bed with a deep hole for sleeping will be very nice. Also, you might consider setting up a "bush room", a room that has either real or fake plants that provide a jungle type atmosphere will encourage your cat to explore and be more comfortable around people and other pets.
If you pet is one of the cats that does not prefer either bushes or trees, then he/she will probably be fine with just a small box that has nice soft bedding that is warm and out of the way of major foot traffic.
Another thing to keep in mind with cats is that they like a treat now and then too. Tuna, Greenies treats or a piece of catnip will keep them happy and mentally healthy. It also helps you to get on their good side and it might get you some brownie points with your cat. It might even get you a lap nap.
warm and sunny
For the majority of us that own cats, we can learn to understand their secret lifestyles just be watching their moods and behaviors. We might even learn a few things from them, like learning to relax and enjoy the outdoors or finding a good spot to take a nap, even if it is in the clean laundry that is fresh from the dryer. Cats can teach us so many things from their laid back lifestyle and on the rare occasion they will give us the a look into their secret lifestyles.