I am not a cat person, but I have a cat.
Our Siamese cat
This is my experience of sharing my home with a Siamese cat, a breed that is known for its very confident personality and loud voice. And behaving a lot like a dog even though it isn't one.
Getting a cat in the first place wasn't high on my list of priorities; it just happened. Within days our hands were scratched and we were wondering if we'd made a really big mistake. And it's not as if we weren't warned. He'd already been bought once and returned the next day because he'd smacked and bitten his first owner's chihuahua.
Then he settled down and quickly became a loved member of the family. We can't imagine our family without him in it. I think the dog can, and she likes the idea.
(All photos are copyright Â© 2013 Ordinary Woman Press)
Why did we decide to name him Ming? As a tribute to the Dynasty? Because he's an Oriental? Well, yes, because he's an Oriental. But the main reason is that that is the noise he made as a kitten whenever he meowed. We're not sure he recognises his official name but like most domestic cats, he responds to 'Pusspuss'. And he always comes when he's called, with a loud meow, which we think means 'What do you want? This had better be good because I was busy on secret cat business!'
It's challenging but not impossible to train your cat. You have to get inside its head, understand why it does what it does and teach him to respect you. This is easier with dogs but a dog is a pack animal and wants to please its leader. A cat thinks differently, and it does not have a leader.
It can be done, and here is an audio MP3 and a PDF that you can download to show you how to change your cat's behaviour forever. It's no-risk and guaranteed to be useful.
Which are you?
Humans seem to be divided into two categories . . .
Are you a cat person or a dog person?
Yeah, he yells!
Ming is loud. He doesn't meow, he MEOWS. As in:
OPEN THE DOOR!
WHERE'S MY DINNER?
TURN ON THE TAP SO I CAN HAVE A DRINK!
SIT DOWN SO I CAN SLEEP ON YOUR LAP!
OKAY, THAT'S A BAD THING BUT I DIDN'T DO IT, HONESTLY!
I SO DID NOT BITE THE DOG! SHE MADE THAT UP!
Ming has one kind of meow for wanting something (usually dinner), one kind of meow for 'Where is everyone, I want to play', a mournful kind of meow for 'Where are the kids? They're not here!' and a demanding one for 'Turn on the bathroom tap so I can have running water. Now!'
There's also a pathetic little whiny meow for 'Someone I don't know is in my house, I'm uneasy about this, get rid of them' and a short sharp meow that is probably a cat swear word, which he blurts out when he's been caught on the kitchen counter (not allowed) or scratching the back of the sofa (also not allowed).
But he loves his cat post. He likes to scratch it and then hang off it, then scratch it again before taking the opportunity to grab your ankle as you go past. The cat post always gives up. So does the dog when Ming scratches her!
Despite spending a considerable chunk of their day curled up in a comfortable spot sleeping, cats need exercise and stimulation. My cat is a bit obsessed with pipe cleaners and small, rolled up pieces of paper but he also loves feathers. He's got several feather toys which are looking a bit mangled these days. I'm sure he'd like some new ones.
Our cat would love this!
Ming has one of these. It's shredded.
I don't think Ming would mind having one of these, either.
I've never seen one of these before. Interesting idea.
And these would be handy.
Yeah, he fetches!
Ming is obsessive when it comes to pipecleaners. He has about twenty, all of which he bats under the refrigerator. I regularly fish them out with a ruler and put them in a kitchen drawer. He grabs the handle, uses his body weight to swing the drawer open and takes one. Within minutes it is back under the refrigerator and he is meowing at me to get it out again.
We have to throw his pipecleaner for him to chase and usually he brings it back, but sometimes he runs away with it and throws it around himself. It gets put behind something, like a chair leg or a cushion, so he can stalk it and pounce on it.
There is a particular disdain with which Siamese cats regard you. Anyone who has walked in on the Queen cleaning her teeth will be familiar with the feeling.— Douglas Adams
A few things for climbing and scratching, looking down on everyone and planning an ankle ambush.
You can do this, and you can do that! Go, Catboy Slim!
Scratching posts and hidey-holes! Perfect!
This could be the Game of Thrones cat tree!
Yeah, he bites!
Once a week I strip the beds to wash the linen. Once a week I put clean, fresh linen on the beds. Once a week while putting said clean, fresh linen on the beds I have to deal with the cat, who thinks this is a game for his personal enjoyment. He does somersaults on the naked mattress and I have to wait until he is done with that. Trying to hurry the process does not work.
Then he grabs the edges of the linen and wrestles it. I have to wait until he is done with that. Trying to hurry the process does not work.
When I try to stretch the linen out over the mattress he grabs my hand with his front legs and bites my wrist while kicking me. This is a great game!
Perfect for training.
Because Ming is an indoor cat he has something similar to this.
Cat happy hour
Every weekday, when the first of my two children gets home from school, Ming goes crazy. He is so excited about having one of what he sees as his litter mates (ie brothers) home that he kind of loses the plot. He jumps up from sleeping for about six hours and charges around the house, leaping on furniture, doing the length of the hallway many times and pretending he's being chased by invisible forces, with his tail fluffed out to three times its usual size and his eyes dilated into big black pools. The second child gets home and he does another charge around the house and then he settles down for the evening. I think this is because he knows both his litter mates are home safe.
But I could be wrong. He might just go nuts at the same time every day because he's, er, nuts.
And he bites my children if they don't get out of bed when he wants them to. They love him. Most of the time.
You might have bought this for the dog . . .
but I want it.
I want it!
Whatchoo gonna do about it?