As many of you know, I live with an evil cat who demands my obedience. But she’s also a weird cat (all cats are weird) who has some predictable behaviors.
Every morning is like Christmas when I get up. She knows I’ll use the bathroom first thing, so she rushes in there, finds a good vantage point, and watches patiently while I pee. Then she runs up and down the hallway because her patience has expired, and while I do pointless things like comb my hair and brush my teeth and put on a shirt, she has to gallop back and forth waiting for me to finish, because the real point of my rising is to give her her morning wet food.
I walk to the kitchen with this annoying beast darting about underfoot, I don’t know why — she could make me trip and fall and break my neck and provide a big mess of meat to gnaw on, but she’s very picky: her cat food has to be fish flavored, and she won’t even touch chicken or beef or long pig (I haven’t tried the latter, though, maybe she has an appetite for it). Once I get to the kitchen, she starts yowling and making strange sounds, as if she’s trying to tell me to hurry up in Human. She’s uncontrollably eager, until I arrive at her plate with an open can of food. Then she goes silent and sits and waits.
I plop a big lump of fishy brown stuff on her plate. She looks at me nonchalantly — she seems to be saying, “What? For me? You shouldn’t have.” She walks a little closer, stops, sticks her neck out and sniffs cautiously. “Really? I don’t know if I should.” She looks at me again. “I’ll think about it. You may go now.” Once I turn my back on her, only then will she charge in and snarf it all down.
She puts on this little act twice a day, because I feed her when I get up in the morning and when I fix dinner for us humans. I haven’t told her yet that I’m not fooled, because if she thought her secret was out she might decide to silence me.
I, too, have been flagged for feline supervision when I use the toilet.
Autobot Silverwynde says
My old Meezer kitty used to climb into my lap and cuddle with me when I was stuck on the porcelain throne. I mean, full bore leaning on me with front paws around my neck, face shoved into my neck, purring loudly. And he would stay there. I had to let him go back in 2018 after 17 wonderful years. I miss that cat.
My current kitty thinks that climbing into my pants is the highlight of my visit to the toilet. She’s only started doing this recently; being a stray, she has a lot to learn about being a pampered indoor kitty. She’s a quick learner, though.
That is just a story about Cat. Nothing special about any of it. If you don’t find any of that behaviour amusing, maybe you are not into Cat.
We have three of the beasts. One of them blew out my knee when I tried to avoid stepping on him walking down the stairs. One is trying to commit suicide by dog–attacking our large hyena-mix, despite having no claws or teeth left. And the last comes in and starts trying to wake us every morning at about 4 AM–and damned if I can figure out how he tells time.
Cats love routine, and don’t appreciate it when theirs is disrupted. They seem a little autistic in that regard.
Around bedtime my old tabby would stir, sit up and stare holes in my head, the tip of his tail twitching until I headed to the bedroom. Then he’d race ahead of me to the bed. If I had forgotten something and turned around, he’d stop look confused and then race ahead of me in the other direction. If I did this more than a couple of times, he’d loose his temper, huff, and try to herd me in the right direction with nipping and batting at my ankles.
I have to say, his routines introduced some badly needed order into my life. Miss him every day.
On the contrary, his story was nicely written. It’s not just what you say, but how you say it.
I think the cat is politely offering to let you take the first bite of food.
Dogs have masters (or mistresses) and cats have staff.
Left Handed Atheist says
Cats are very conservative and have no sense of humor. Love them dearly.
I have adopted two very shy cat ladies and I try to stick to rountines so they feel comfortable.
I have even granted the most shy one “right of passage” – if she sits in the hall I cannot pass by without scaring her into running and hiding.
So instead of walking past, I wait until she decides to go somewhere else.
Cats develop rituals for important events like meal times. Her little cat brain is telling her that all those things she does are what cause the food to appear in her dish. You are her god that must be appeased by the proper rites. Or else she is just bossy. Hard to tell with cats.
mmason0071@10 That makes sense, kind of. The cat should be stalking its prey. How do you stalk a bowl of food? She has do something.
You don’t fool me PZ. Despite your protestations, it’s clear you love this creature dearly.
@ Left Handed Atheist, # 8: “Cats are very conservative and have no sense of humor.”
You’ve obviously never met my cat Grayson.
Sense of humor? Well, who can know for sure, but I personally think they have a flair for slapstick and mischief, not to mention mayhem. Watch Owlkitty checking out the humans before he dumps the glass then how he looks for a reaction as he shoves it off the edge of the nightstand.
PZ Myers says
Our cat is very religious about her rituals. One other thing: she has a bowl of dry cat food, as well. If it ever gets so low that she can see the bottom of the bowl, she freaks out and lets us know by vomiting all over the place.
Reginald Selkirk says
The Giant Squid of Thimble Tickle
UnknownEric the Apostate says
Our cat likes to climb into my underpants while I’m sitting on the toilet. Just curls up to take a little nap
The mildly deranged penguin has no problem with cats. She invites to the lair, they sneak in (a tasty bird wants them!), whereupon she gives them free flying lessons with her collection of trébuchets, meowing in arcs across the sky. (No kraken or spiders were harmed in the making of this comment, which may contain nuts.)
On the subject of cats and pets in general.
My wife developed a rule back when she was dating that if a man did not like cats, RUN! At the very least, it means he is OK with a being with a will of its own.
Independently, back when I was dating, I developed a rule that you should look for a woman who likes dogs. It means that she can be utterly disgusted by a critter and still love it. Good experience for living with a man.
Give me a break. Cats don’t bark. Nuff said. Deal with a dog in love with the sound of her own voice.
After walking the block early one recent morning I realized something. All the neighborhood cats, that for some strange reason love lying on the asphalt in the wee hours, have come to accept me as ‘that morning stroll guy’. They don’t even run from me anymore. They just chill quietly. You know who can’t keep their yappers shut at 5am? The neighborhood dogs. Can’t mind their own business. Cat’s don’t bark at strangers trying to exercise. Cats don’t bark at their own people who feed them.
I’ve developed a new respect for cats.
chigau (違う) says
I found this
John Morales says
chigau (違う) says
Thanks, John Morales.
I was looking for that.
@23- John Morales
Was it dislodging a hairball? None of the cats I encounter in the morning do that. So you find one oddball exception. Give me 100 cats in yards and 100 dogs in yards to walk past. Which group will be most obnoxious? How often do cats run from their yards and attack walkers, joggers, or bikeriders versus dogs. Maybe rare incidents. There was one cat caught on video body checking a dog that had attacked a kid.
Note the “barking” cat oddity made it to Youtube. A barking dog would be too routine to merit the effort.
I do find fighting/fornicating (any difference?) cats outside my window annoying as they vocalize loudly, but not as common as my dog or neighborhood dogs barking. Meowing can get out of hand, but does it usually carry very far soundwise to annoy neighbors or pedestrians? My general point stands. Barking cats are rare oddities.
John Morales says
Cats have other ways of annoying…
John Morales says
26&27- John Morales
My newfound respect for cats stops short of wanting to be owned by one. My cat when I was a kid sprayed my album collection from Molly Hatchet to Ozzy Osbourne. May have gotten a few jets on early Pink Floyd. Not cool. And he showed affection by play biting. Kinda a jerk. But watching him bully my dog was fun.
That dog was Chewbacca whine-yawning (almost a yelp at some point) not meowing. No self-respecting dog would meow. My dog makes weird grumble-mumble noises sometimes, but occasionally does a weird yawn thing.
@11 Mine like to leave dead/dying/live Mice and Birds under my bed .I now close my bedroom door now .