6 Things Cat Owners Dare Not Think About


My editor at Catster: “How do you deal with cat hair?”

Me: “Selective inattention.”

Comet and Talisker tussling near my neck

Selective inattention. For cat owners, it applies to more than just cat hair. As a general guiding principle of my life, I am in favor of facing reality as directly as I can. But as a cat owner, there are times when you just have to cover your eyes, stick your fingers in your ears, and pretend that reality isn’t true. Here are six things cat owners absolutely cannot think about if we don’t want an early heart attack.

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Thus begins my latest piece for Catster, 6 Things Cat Owners Dare Not Think About. To find out the things we selectively ignore in order to have cats, read the rest of the piece. Lots of adorable pics. Enjoy!

Comments

  1. busterggi says

    Wonderfully honest.

    Might I recommend a postscript about people who are allergic to cats but have them anyways? I inherited mine, the cat not the allergy.

  2. Trebuchet says

    Awesome! From the post:

    The little darlings might as well be space aliens. Space aliens who destroy our homes, who cover their bodies with spit, who use their hands to bury their feces, who want to kill and kill and kill.

    I just wish ours would use their hands to bury their feces. One just spends five minutes scratching around everywhere but in the litter and the other simply does her business and walks out without even trying.

    And I’m now reminded I need to go downstairs and clean the boxes.

  3. fullyladenswallow says

    My kitteh, Sarah, considering her previous owners mistreatment of her, has become (over our 4 years together) a fairly well-adjusted loveable cat. I can allow for the paw-in-the-face, the constant demands for attention, the vocalizing, (she, thankfully, confines her clawing to her scratch post). The one thing I have the most trouble with is finding fresh skid marks on the carpet. How the hell does one correct this behavior or is it even possible? She didn’t do this when she first asked, (no, demanded is more like it) to move in.

  4. grumpyoldfart says

    My cat jumped on the bed early one morning and started nuzzling up to me when he suddenly sneezed and I felt a little spray of cat snot on my neck.

  5. didgen says

    Having lost two of mine in this last year, one to extreme old age I got her from a shelter as an adult cat estimated to be five, she shared my life for another 25 years and another to illness my #1 would be to not think about life without them. But it was so worth it.

  6. says

    #5 is my favorite.

    My cat loves to be roughhoused and put on his back and get vigorous belly rubs. He’ll kick my arm with his back paws. It’s so cute how he’s trying to disembowel my arm.

    He likes pretending to be my own personal Sword of Damocles. He perches on my computer and just kind of strokes his paws around where my reset button is. I put electrical tape over it, but if he puts his full weight on his paw (like when he jumps off) he can still trip it. He’s a hefty cat.

    When he’s on my computer he’s in perfect range to just kinda pat my knee while I’m at my desk (the computer is on the floor under my desk). When he really wants attention, he digs his claws in.

  7. Brownian says

    But cats must project as well. When I NOM-NOM my little guy’s ears, how does he know that I’m merely inept at grooming him rather than inept at eating him?

    Ah well, I suppose these questions will continue to plague pet owners far into the future, when we’re no longer the dominant life form.

        “Oh, I see you’ve got one of those ‘humans’, Xlorbog. Is it a galek, galik, or golok?”
        “None of those, F’lorix. It’s something called a ‘male’. This one’s still a juvenile. It’ll get bigger, but not much.”
        “I hear juveniles can be unpleasant at times. And what an awful racket. Does it ever shut up?”
        “Generally, no. If I didn’t know better, I’d think that sometimes it tries to communicate with us. My spouses like to joke that it think it’s croemple, like us.”
        “What’s it doing with that sock?”
        “Yeah, just look away. I brought a baggie for when it’s done. Better out here than hiding them under its bed.”
        “Huh, weird. You know, I wanted one when I was a larva, but my creche guardians said we’d have to get rid of our ocean if we got one.”
        “Yeah, they tend to deplete those.”

  8. maria says

    It would be easier to forget they’re killers if I didn’t get these lovely “presents” as good as every night. It’s mostly mice, and the occassional bird. And when he doesn’t bring his freshly killed prey inside, he eats them on my doorstep and leaves the entrails for me to clean up.

    I love him anyway :-)

  9. Trebuchet says

    It would be easier to forget they’re killers if I didn’t get these lovely “presents” as good as every night. It’s mostly mice, and the occassional bird. And when he doesn’t bring his freshly killed prey inside, he eats them on my doorstep and leaves the entrails for me to clean up.

    I love him anyway

    We’ve found that having indoor cats solves that problem. They also have longer lives and lower vet bills.

    I was just reminded about an hour ago that they aren’t just covered with their own slobber, but that from the other cat as well. The mutual grooming session went on for about 15 minutes until one of them made the mistake of rolling on her back, at which point the other went for the throat! Treacherous little things, they are!

  10. Sassafras says

    One of my cats LOVES to lick my hands and arms, and every time she does I hastily try to remember how long ago I last saw her licking her ass.

  11. huntstoddard says

    Not to mention, if we were mouse-sized, they’d almost certainly kill us too. The only thing that allows for cat/human interaction as we know it is size difference.

  12. Celeste says

    To me, they’re totally worth all that and more. The companionship and entertainment they provide is priceless. I had to skip the paragraph about the litter box though, because one of my older cat’s favorite things to do is put her little paw on my mouth and shush me. I am in hard-core denial about where those paws have been.

  13. fullyladenswallow says

    @11 Maria:

    I knew Sarah really loved me, because for at least the first year she would bring in little gift assortments of field mice, living and dead depending on her intent- to play or to nibble. “What would you like? I can get them both.”
    The honeymoon ended one night when she brought something in, plopped it on the floor opposite my bed where it scuttled under a pile of laundry. Only it didn’t make a noise like a mouse. Sarah just sat their in the dark waiting for me to wake up enough to make the next move. When I lifted the clothes to check, it turned out to be a chipmunk and Jesus, was it pissed! I’m sure it was using every four-letter word it could think of. It ran out of the room while the cat continued to just sit there. I’m sure Sarah was thinking to me exactly what I was yelling at her- “go after it, dummy!” I opened the door long enough for it to run out on it’s own. I think that was the last time she wanted share anything with me. Just wasn’t worth her trouble anymore I guess.

  14. maria says

    We’ve found that having indoor cats solves that problem. They also have longer lives and lower vet bills.

    I know. My other cat, who died recently at an age of 21 years and two months, was an indoor cat. But this one moved in on his own accord one winter nine years ago as an adult cat, and was then already used to coming and going. No efforts of mine has been able to change it. Once, after he’d been in a fight with another cat, I tried to keep him indoors. He cried non-stop for four days and nights, and we had to put up new wallpaper on either side of the door…

    @ #19

    *LOL* There are no chipmunks here, thank goodness :-D I read somewhere they do this because they think we’re such lousy hunters. They bring us prey to practice on.

  15. carlie says

    Oh, the money.
    We were always the types who said no, we’d never spend all kinds of money on a cat. Who were those kinds of people, who would spend a house payment and more on a pet? And then she got sick. Very sick. And there was no way we could say no; she was our responsibility, our charge, and she had so much of our love. And it was worth every penny. And now we’re those people. :)

  16. Onamission5 says

    Oh GAWD, cats *are* covered in cat spit! How has this never occurred to me in all of my 41 3/4 years?

    And the money, the money. I had one cat who ate a live spider which bit him all the way down his esophagus, causing him to go into anphelaxis (sp) and basically die at the vet’s then get revived, twice. We called him the $600 cat, and proudly swore that was the most we’d ever spend to keep an 8 lb animal alive. Then last year we got a kitten. The kitten, after being treated for kitty RSV and giardia and worms, was >< this close to full recovery when he somehow got himself bit on the penis by a spider. Cue a week in kitty urgent care, getting his bladder drained by needle every 30 minutes until the swelling went down enough for him to pee by himself. (WTF is it with cats and spiders?) He cost us almost as much as our son's CT scan. The little fucker repays us by batting shit off of tables and terrorizing our ankles. Love him.

  17. Onamission5 says

    The “little fucker” who bats shit off tables would be the cat, not the kid. In case that wasn’t clear.

  18. davidmc says

    My little boy, Mogga, he of the giant paw to the right, likes to clean his bum, he also like to wake me by licking my face, if that doesnt work, he shoves his head in my mouth. He has also, on a couple of occasions, trampled poo into bed. He likes to run/climb up my back onto my shoulder, sometimes at inopportune moments. Its like living with Cato. Apart from that he is the bestest little boy ever.

  19. fullyladenswallow says

    My previous cat, dearly departed “Henry” exhibited some of the behaviors described here so far, and I more than allowed for this because of his personality. What a lover! He’d never use his claws while trying to get me up to let him out. If the paw on the cheek didn’t work in waking me, I would then feel the gentle pressure of incisors on the tip of my nose. He was a kitty that would melt in your arms as you’d carry him. I really, really miss my best bud, Henry.

  20. baal says

    @#4 cat spit (from the article, not Dan) – some of us are deathly allergic to it. I get eyes watering face swelling full histamine reaction from just sitting next to cat owners.

  21. fastlane says

    Our long haired ball of fluff, Her Royal Highness, Princess of Smug, Pixel the cat, actually wipes her feet on the bathroom carpet after burying (quite completely most of the time) her poo in the litter box. It appears to be a continuation of the burying behavior that she does after she’s stepped out of the litter box, but the effect is that she winds up wiping her feet on the carpet.

    Pix isn’t destructive at all, never jumps up on the counters, although she will occasionally get on the kitchen table, and does not like people food (except bacon), or even wet cat food.

    She doesn’t claw anything other than the actual carpet, and she spreads it around (she loves the stairs), so it doesn’t get really bad in any area, and we try to keep SoftPaws on her also, which helps with that.

    She has a spot on the couch where she sits when she wants brushed, which is several times a day, at least. She’s very sweet and loving to us, her staff. She is, unfortunately, not a cat person, or we would probably have at least a couple more by now.

  22. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    Mine is a perasian/maine coon mix, so he’s the fuzziest damn cat ever. Hairballs galore.

    I’m not sure I entirely agree on the projection issue. While, yes, when we’re talking to them and making up responses, yes that’s projection.

    But, when he stands at the window meowing at me when I get home from work. He’s TOTALLY yelling at me that he’s hungry and to get up there and feed him.

    or, when he wants attention, he’ll stand on his hind legs next to my comp chair and start swatting at my hands as I type.

    One question for more seasoned cat owners: why does he insist on putting his butt on me? Whenever he sits down next to me, which is as often as he can, he lifts his tail and plants his butt on me. Why?

  23. davidmc says

    “why does he insist on putting his butt on me?”
    “6 Things Cat Owners Dare Not Think About”
    Thats the most unthinkable 7th thing, so unthinkable it couldnt be written about or numbered.
    I too am a new cat owner and i didnt know they did that. When I think of it, i come up with an 8th thing which is , mistaking which end is snuggling up……… to my face…..at night………. in the dark…………….nooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

  24. gargamjell says

    I think cats should be outdoor animals and I don’t like impractical breeds.

    * They roll around in something awful and you have to wash them.

    * Never fully housebroken, they relieve themselves behind the sofa.

    * Too picky to eat their pills, they get worms and litter.

    * They mark their territory indoors, sometimes on visiting guests.

    * “No, get away from eachother! You are of the same litter! WTF?” *Douses with water*

    * They disappear for three weeks to fight and mate, then come home with shredded ears
    and pus in their wounds.

    * They die from illness, traffic, other wild beasts or they just vanish.

  25. Pieter B, FCD says

    What’s the best way to get cat hair off the sofa? Invite people over.

    I try not to guess what’s going on their little predator brains most of the time, but I have given some thought to the meaning of the love-bite. I believe it means “I am a little fur-covered killing machine, and I could rip your lungs out, but I love you, so I won’t. Just don’t get too sure I wouldn’t do it for shits and giggles one of these days.”

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