We adopted two cats on 11/29/2014. It has been 68 days since they entered our lives and since then, I have learned quite a bit about the cat species. Not being particularly adept at pet care (as seen by my prior post here), the learning curve was fairly steep. Below are those highlights.
Cats Will Barf
Apparently, this just happens. Its not “common”. They just do it. Google that little factoid and it’ll tell you “Yeah. It happens. Just make sure they’re not sick or slowly killing themselves by drinking your toilet water.”
… Wait… what?
If humans did this, we’d worry about them. But the fact the cat brushes their body with their tongue for roughly 2 hours a day makes regurgitation fairly commonplace.
For our cats, they can be hopping around playing “Catch the Ribbon” acting perfectly fine. Then they’ll stop, take a linebacker stance, and begin making heaving motions. Before your brain has time to register what’s happening, it’s done. The cat takes a few moments to lick their paws, compose themselves, then they go back to playing. It’s all over. Clean up. Move on.
Comparatively, if I was at a dinner party and did this… I would not be invited back to their house again.
Cats Will Attack Your Feet
I have adopted something called “The Cat Owner Shuffle”. Any cat owner will do this instinctively when they’re around their furry counterparts because we, being their kind and gentle guardians of the feline persuasion, wish to protect them from our giant, lumbering, foot-pendulums of death.
This puzzles me. They have to know that my feet can accidentally knock them pretty hard. So why do they do it? Why weave in and out of my feet? Is this the cat version of American Ninja Warrior?
I now imagine our cats are like little fuzzy adrenaline junkies who have been lounging in the sun all day and need their adrenaline fix whenever I come home.
They don’t care if we’re on the phone. They don’t care if we’re carrying groceries. We could be balancing a portable game of Jenga played with Ginsu knives and their tiny little brains would say “LET’S DANCE, FANCY PANTS!!” Without you knowing, they begin to weave deftly in and out of your legs. Plus, as if to spit in the very face of danger, sometimes they’ll just stop, or even lay down right in your path.
I’m inches away from just coming home, greeting them, then duct taping them to each of my ankles until bed time. It’s the only way I’ll be able to have a normal stride in my own house ever again.
Cats are Smarter Than We Think
Indy is our larger cat. He’s about a year older than Zoe and likes to maintain his dominance over her every chance he gets. This is one reason why he began habitually pouncing on Zoe every chance he got.
She quickly learned that the area immediately around my vicinity was a “no fight zone”. If they were fighting within arm reach, I’d reach in, break them up, and toss the trouble-maker off of me. So Zoe began treating me like a mobile embassy in a hostile land.
When she got tired of being attacked, she would immediately snuggle up to me and want to be held. Indy noticed this one day and changed his tactic.
Playing nonchalant, he sauntered over to the nearest cat toy and started playing with it. As he’s batting it around whimsically, he’d glance over at Zoe and watch her. Once she was completely fixated on the toy, Indy delicately placed the toy in his mouth and prances around the corner.
I knew what he was doing and tried to warn Zoe, but she was hooked. She glances up at me with eyes that screamed “Did you see that?!?” Before I could distract her, she springs from my lap, raced around the corner, and waits. There is a very short silence.
Then, like a trap being spring, I hear Indy leap from the stairs onto her yet again.
Cats are Kinda Dumb
Our cat’s personalities unique. Indy is affectionate and rebellious. Zoe is a tiny hedonist with mild autism. Both have the common sense of a cantaloupe.
They fall off stairs and couches; They think the vacuum is a monster that wants to eat them; And since they’ve been with us, I can not do my morning constitution without their captive audience.
Scientists will tell you cats have an elevated sense of “Fight or Flight” with deeply ingrained curiosity. These were helpful in the wild. The curiosity would push their territory out further and further so they had room to expand as a species while their “Fight or Flight” would keep their survival rates above average.
But when you live in suburbia, you need less “survival” and more “common sense”. This means their reactions are either adorable or incredibly frustrating. For example, when rewiring the basement, I had a constant audience on high alert. Side-by-side they would wait for me to drop the wire I was trying to fish through the ceiling and wait for it to be within striking range. If it got ANYWHERE near them, they would attack it with the ferocity of Beowulf.
It was “cute” the first few times. After the 10th time, not so much. Rounding 50 mark… just ask me how much weight it takes to pull down a drop-ceiling tile.
One Indy and a Zoe.
Cats Want Your Attention Until They Don’t
Guys. You know that girl you’ve been trying to get closer to but she just calls you up when she’s bored and feels neglected? The one you want to take on a snowboarding trip or to a renaissance fair, but she is busy every time you ask her. Except when she texts you saying “Hey. Food?”… and even then, she expects you to pay.
I’m willing to bet she’s a cat person.
Read the above line again. I don’t mean “She likes cats”, I mean, “Check her DNA. She might actually be part cat.” Because cats do that.
Cat Logic: “Oh. Are you sitting there doing nothing watching Netflix? Cool. I’m gonna be over here playing with my awesome sparkle ball…. Oh wait. Are you trying to do something productive on your laptop? …….
Pet me. Pet me now or I will poop in your shoe.”
Cats want you until they don’t want you. You’re just a loud furniture that moves around and sometimes gives them treats. I have quite literally been watching a movie and BOTH cats run across my chest while I’m sitting. Not laying down. Sitting.
I’ll give you a second to calculate that with your brain’s physics engine. They were chasing each other and parkour’d off my chest. You’re not a human. You’re just carbon-producing Ikea.
Cat Fur Contains Serotonin
I consider myself a masculine man. I own multiple motorcycles, I know how to shave with a safety razor, and I am chivalrous as often as I remember to be. But I can’t help coming home, picking up one of our adopted fur-balls, and burying my face in their fur. They’ll usually start purring and I’ll just spend a couple seconds unwinding like that.
If you would have told me that when I was a NON pet owner, my response would have been “That’s weird. You’re weird. Go away.” but I swear to you. Their fur is laced with that chemical that makes your brain happy. It’s a fact. Science.
Cat is Spelled ‘K-I-D’
- “Hey babe. Did you check on the kids this morning?”
- “Did we leave the kids enough food?”
- “I haven’t seen the kids since I locked them outside.”
If people overheard the conversations my wife and I now have in public, they’d call child services.
At some point, our mouths stopped forming the word “cats” and we just started saying “kids”. We’re not equating them to tiny little humans; we’re just acknowledging we’re raising two sentient beings.
Now, if you use that wording around actual parents, I’ve noticed the exact same reaction will occur. It’s usually said in a mildly disgusted tone and dripping with condescension’. “Cats are not kids. You don’t know what raising a kid is like.”
True. Very true. But I bet your 4 month old child didn’t just weave in and out of your legs, bolt outside, poop in the neighbor’s yard, chase a butterfly behind a car, freak out, run back inside, and stress-shred your new sofa all at the speed of Barry Allan.
Barry Allan… with claws. That’s a cat.
To summarize, not only are our “less-than-kids” capable of sub-sonic speeds, they are portable blenders with the emotional state of vindictive teenagers. So no. I haven’t changed a diaper; but did your baby just topple the Christmas tree and get caught hanging from the wall tapestry?
Didn’t think so.
So let’s just agree it’s apples and oranges. We use the word “kids” because we are in a parenting-type role which just means we’re supposed to provide, protect, and care for our little ones; but our “horror stories” are different.
Cats Walk on Keyboards
Finally. Yes. It’s true. Cat’s love to walk across your keyboqqqqqqwwwwwwwwwwwetrthiijijolklmmkllmkkljlkmbvxxbljknbbbbbbnjnjnjnjnjnjnjnjnjnjnjnjnjnjnjnjnjnjnjnjnjnjnjnjnjnjnjnjnjnjnjnjnjnjnjnjnjnjnjnjnjnjnjnjnjnjnjnjnjnj
That about sums it up for now. How did you like the list? Did I leave something out? Share and tell the world ones you think are spot-on or completely overlooked.