Five Reasons Cats Are Fun
A cat makes life fun. I never thought I would like cats. Growing up, we never really had animals around the house - other than fish, which I tried my best to kill when I was about three years old (long story, but suffice to say it turned out bad for all involved). When I got married, I talked my wife into getting a dog, Porthos, who've I've written about before. However, my wife, who is a cat lover, talked me into getting two cats from the animal shelter only a few months later. I would never have believed it, but cats really have made life fun. So much so, we adopted a third, just last year. Here's why...
The Personality of Cats
As foretold by T.S. Eliot, cats really do have personalities. Our three cats vary in their very behaviors. Sebastian, unequivocally the leader of the pack, holds sway over all of our animals with an iron paw. If one of the others get out of line, Sebastian puffs out his chest and just stares at the transgressor. Inevitably, they back down. His sister, Cassandra, is the quiet one who only likes men. She will cuddle up with any man who comes into our home, yet she stays away from women. It took her three years just to come around my wife. I also think she secretly is having an affair with our dog. They snuggle together and when anyone notices their affection, they take off running. Jokingly, we call their relationship "forbidden love". Finally, there is Satan...err...Samantha. She's the newest edition to our menagerie. Samantha is distrustful, spiteful, and absolutely hates Cassandra. The two fight constantly. Samantha would love to cuddle with you or rip your arm off within the same minute. She might be bi-polar. We haven't decided.
The Self-Importance of Cats
It has often been said that cats believe they are the ones in charge. Our cats are no different. They demand food, they demand their litter boxes cleaned in an orderly manner, and they demand attention. Should any of these needs not be met, let the owner beware. In the way of hisses, meows, and loud purring, they will attempt anyway to get their point across to you. Should this fail, they won't stop at a playful nip or a terrifying swat of a claw. It's best just to listen to what they have to say.
seem that no one bothered to tell my cats. When it comes time for bed, Samantha (aka Satan) likes to rush up the stairs ahead of me. Then, as I am climbing, she will turn herself upside down and swat at me as I ascend. She will move along the banister, dragging herself on her back, going paw over paw, and look for an opening on which to playfully attack. Once I reach the top of the stairs, she then looks up at me, docile - but I know better - as if to say, "You can't be really going to bed now. It's playtime. I am finally ready to be friendly. We can be friends, can't we?" It's so sad when I finally close the door in her face. I have to show some semblance of leadership.
Yearning for the Outside
As Springtime approaches, our cats come up with a variety of ways to make it into the Great Outdoors. Note, they don't like being outside once they actually achieve that goal, they just want to know that they could do it, if they had to. Cassandra is the only one of the three who could care less about life beyond the walls of our home. She's a literal fat cat who would be just as happy lofting on her soft perch or stretching out in
a ray of sunlight that comes in through the window. However, the other two cats are cleverly devising ways how to trick my dog into hesitating as I bring him back into the house. If they can create a diversion (which isn't too hard to accomplish - he's a dog, naturally) they can make their beeline into our breezeway. From there, they haven't quite worked out the rest of the plan to escape. Samantha has never made it past this point. Sebastian actually touched grass at one point in time. He thought he was very cool, crouched in the cool grass, zigzagging his way towards the pine trees, stalking prey...and then he stopped. Something caught his attention that he wasn't sure if he could handle. It may have been a killer squirrel, a skunk, or perhaps even a hawk, but he froze...he started shivering...and he quickly returned home, never to try that again. Now, they all are at peace just staring out the windows and wondering what goes on beyond the confines of safety.
The Morning Wake Up Call
I don't know how they do it, but they know the minute we stop sleeping. At the moment this occurs - and I may not even have opened my eyes yet - the scratching and caterwauling begins. They want to enter the inner sanctum of our bedroom. They want to explore. This room, besides my office, is the only room in the house with restricted access. It is the forbidden fruit of our home and the cats are lined up to see who can break the barrier. They all have done it at one point or another. However, those infrequent times are never enough. They must have more time to explore! They must let us know they are out and about and waiting to grace us with their presence. Eventually, the dog - who is allowed in our room - will start his stretching and yawning. He'll head to the door and sniff under it, not quite sure who is beyond the threshold, even though it is the same felines every day. The door will open and they will back up, allowing us to pass...and then a new day begins, with new discoveries waiting to happen and more ways to play.
I really do love our three cats. Each one offers unique and lovable traits that endear them to my wife and I. Whether they are rubbing against us, begging to be scratched behind the ears or raising their furry back ends up so we pet their backs, they show us that even though they are in charge, they still need to be loved. If you have ever owned a cat or have one now, I am sure you know what I mean. For those of you who claim to be a "dog person", give the cats a try. They are easy to train and you never have to take one for a walk. Just be prepared for whatever personality or traits they possess!