Paws for Family

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I have learned that some cats like to call out to you. A lot. I’ll admit that I indulge our little Katniss, and this is most likely the reason behind much of the behavior. Too, as the baby of the family, she is not often scolded for her actions. Still, this little girl wants to know my location at all times and will use any means necessary to get my attention.

If she is scouting for prey in another room, for instance, she will sometimes become scared and will meow loudly with a very worried tone. This is her “I’m scared, Mommy!” meow. When I appear, she is instantly satisfied and will begin again her activities. If I don’t reassure her, though, she will simply meow louder and in an even more agitated voice.

Too she will often seek attention, even if it is bad attention. When I am occupied elsewhere in the house, I will hear her meow, and I know she is up to trouble. She likes to do something bad mainly because she can pull us away from what we are doing to focus on her. In the picture above, you will see that she is perched on an unstable bookcase; she doesn’t do anything up there but meow for attention. When we appear to scold her, she happily jumps down and continues playing.

For this cat lady, I can definitely see that cats are good at gaining your attention in whatever way possible.

I have learned that cats have an endless array of tools and techniques for waking you in the morning. If one does not work, then they will progressively work through each and every tool in their arsenal until you throw off the covers to feed them their breakfast.

Although Grant seems to be a bit more blunt about this—he simply scratches on something to infuriate me—Katniss could work as an operative for the army. She will first use her “soft” techniques, such as purring loudly or a plaintive meow. If these don’t work to bring about her desired conclusion, then she will lazily lie beside me and poke me harder and harder with a single, sharp claw. Other possible “hard” techniques include kneading on bare flesh and scratching. She is, above all, ruthless in her desire to wake me, but also effective.

Indeed, whereas dogs will certainly wake you in the morning, cats are masters at the art. Yet another lesson for this crazy cat lady.

Cat Lady Lesson #11

Toilet paper rolls provide an endless source of fascination and fun for cats. Not so much for you as you’re attempting to re-roll the entire roll of toilet paper.

As you can see, Katniss discovered how much fun it is to unroll the toilet paper in the bathroom. Lesson learned for mom.

Cat Lady Lesson #10

I should have known. Only bringing a single, very special and tempting scratcher, into the household is a recipe for disaster when you have more than one cat.

Grant and Katniss couldn’t wait for their chance for the scratcher. There was much fussing and fighting, but both eventually got their chance for the cardboard comfiness. 

Next time I’ll buy two.

Cat Lady Lesson #9

Cats apparently find bathing or showering a fascinating concept, and possibly maddening, as in the above video. While Grant and Katniss don’t meow like these lovely Siamese, they do attempt to investigate the oddity of someone using water to become clean.

I made the mistake of leaving the door open while bathing the other day, and I was quickly joined by both cats. Grant jumped onto the sink and prepared to leap into the tub although he hesitated at the last minute. Katniss, prowling along the perimeter of the tub, eventually attempted to jump in with me, but I managed to catch her at the last minute.

After that experience, I closed the door. Perhaps I didn’t fully close the door this morning, but I found Grant lying beside the toilet when I exited the shower. He was very calm but intensely curious. He quickly left when a drop of water fell on his fur.

So are my leisurely bath times over? Perhaps. I have to admit, though, that I had a smile on my face when I saw Grant waiting for me this morning. And finding a loving kitty who wants to be with you is worth more than any leisure time.

Grant has revealed today his latest hobby.

This afternoon he proceeded to drag this blue blanket off of one of the cat perches. He alternately kicked and bit the blanket, and so we wondered if catnip had fallen on the blanket.

When we replaced the blanket on the perch, he then went into the bathroom to bring out the bathmat for our enjoyment. The bathmat received the same treatment—Grant kicking and biting, and then finally hugging the mat.

My husband, who has much more cat experience, has never seen such behavior in a cat. Grant receives lots of attention, playtime, food, etc and has recently received a clean bill of health from our vet.

Here is a question for the more experienced cat ladies: is he just an odd cat?

Cat Lady Lesson #8

Cats will do anything to wake you up.

While I have familiarity with the early mornings of dogs, I was unaware of the extent of a cat’s capability of waking up their humans. Of course, one of my favorite Youtube videos is "Cat Man Do." I’m only now truly understanding Simon’s predicament. 

Since we adopted Grant and Katniss, I have had most every part of my body mauled by tooth or claw. While the cats seem to avoid serious injury to even sensitive body parts—ever been woken up by a cat slowly raking their teeth up and down your little toe—it is an interesting way to wake up in the morning.

And forget sleeping in on weekends. Even when I don’t have to work, I’m still up at 6:00 am, sleepily spooning kitty food into dishes while they meow loudly. Welcome to being a cat mom, right?

Cat Lady Lesson #7

Some cats are born escape artists. While I have had experience with the doggy variety, I have now come to know the feline Houdini.

Despite having food available as well as a comfy bed, the feline Houdini finds the lure of the unknown to be irresistible. Peeking through a glass door or a window, they see the lovely flowers, waving grass, and tall trees. Enticing and wonderful, these delights must be reached by any means. 

The feline escape artist must therefore be watched carefully and continually when entering or exiting any door. All open windows—even those that are screened—must be blocked with a fan or other object in case a bird should fly by and provoke an unwise escape attempt.

Cat Lady Lesson #6

As a fan of Maru, I had heard of cats’ love of boxes. Madrone, however, has never shown an interest in boxes.

Grant, on the other hand, seems to be in need of boxhab. Whenever he is not playing or otherwise occupied, he can be found stretched out in his box. This is certainly fine by me; whenever a simple box can make my kiddos happy, I’m all for it.