I’m one of the last people anyone would guess as an animal person, probably given my iffy disposition towards human children (I think they can be cute but it is also extremely annoying when they fake cry to get that milk bottle or to be picked up by their mommas. We don’t have to talk about this). As it is, I apparently have a soft spot for cats, developed because of the beautiful lurking felines that circle my legs when I cross the garage, and my youngest sister’s no-shame, long-term-relationship type love for our adopted pets.
Cats can be a demanding sort and yes, tend to be a little bit (for lack of a better term) catty. But for the most part, they are adorable and they melt stone hearts. The hulking strapping young male of a cat that holds court in our garage has for many instances sat outside our gate, and meowed at the sight of my arrival from a long day of work. I pat his firm tummy in gratitude. And have you ever had 8 kittens live inside a box? If the answer is ‘no’, you are missing a lot.
A few things I’ve learned in my new feline-human relationship are listed below. And please, spare me the old-maid-cat-lady references. I don’t even think I would mind.
- Cats have multitasking tongues. To clean themselves and each other with, to wean their children with, and to lick you with when the mood tickles their fancy.
- Cats HAVE to be neutered. Or face the consequences – The 8 kittens? Sprouted from 2 mother cats who gave birth on the same day. Cuteness overload, yes. But a whole lot of headache too, and heartache when you finally have to give them away.
- Cats cannot on any occasion eat chicken. Thankfully, I did not learn this from experience. Apparently cats are lactose intolerant too? How cartoons and TV lied to us all.
- Cats don’t care how much you’ve spent on cat food, as long as you feed them. On a related note, the vet says cats only need to be fed twice a day, no matter how much they purr and meow at you every time you peek at the door.
- Cats respond to your feelings. Either that or I’m delusional. Days after my best friend died, I operated like a zombie– moving around but dead inside. When I come home, one cat would purr around my legs and let me absently rub between her ears as I stared at the cracks on the concrete for a good five minutes. It was a weird coping mechanism, but it worked.
- Cats like rubs. Preferably on their stomachs, between the ears and even under the chin. But never while they are pouncing on a rat and never while eating. They will claw you. As my sister wisely said, “don’t mess with their game.”
- No matter the cuteness overload, cats will still pee and shit in your garage. Therefore, your stone-hearted mother and sister may never love them too.
- Rescue or stray cats are the best. They don’t have too many expectations, they are okay with the provision of a good sturdy box and a clean water bowl, and no matter how far they prowl they will always come back to you. That’s love.