What I learned from my cats.

Thought I might try a fun topic for today.

Like cats!

As of October, we’ve added yet another cat to our family.

This one might be my favorite story of how we’ve gotten one

My sisters legit almost stole this cat on Halloween, they saw a black cat along our street, and it came up to them, all friendly like, and they were a little worried about leaving it out on Halloween, because people do terrible things sometimes (I had a friend whose black cat was killed) so they brought the cat home.

I wondered if she was a stray, she seemed pretty well fed, but she was very clingy and affectionate, and seemed happy to be inside. She was only about 5 months old.

Well the next day we take the cat back to the house they took it from, after trying in vain the night before to find out who it elonded to.

The lady there tells us the cat is a stray they’ve been feeding, but she lives outside and doesn’t technically belong to them. And if we want her, we can take her and give her a good home. Because she’s lonely, and they can’t take her inside.

Glad we did too, because it got freaking cold at our house now that it’s Winter.

But of course I gave my sister crap for basically kidnapping someone’s cat, even if she wasn’t officially theirs.

Our grandma didn’t want to keep it at first, but we talked her into letting us at least get the cat fixed and some shots, and by the time she recovered, she’d gotten used to being here, and didn’t seem to mind the dog much, surprisingly. So we just kept her.

All part of my ten point plan of course, mahahha.

So now we have 4 cats. And 3 of them are black. We keep saying people are going to thnk we’re sme kind of cult.

But we didn’t plan it that way. Two of them were just in our neighborhood and happened to be black, mine is the only one I purposely selected the color so I could name her after a character.

I think you could learn a lot from cats, or pets in general, really. But cats act more like humans if you ask me.

I know people, dog people, say that cats think they’re above humans. But if you ask me, cats just reflect how obstinate and self centered most of us really are, if we take all our excuses off the table. Cats would make the same excuses if they could talk.

See, if you like dogs, you’re either an optimist or a pessimist about people, but if you like cats, you’re a realist. The good and the bad.

And each of our cats reflects something different about human nature if you ask me, maybe I read into it too much but pet lovers out there can relate.

So why not, let’s see what I got.

1: Cata

Well our boy cat died, but his sister, our only non black cat currently, is still around. She’s up there but since cats can live 15 years, she might still be middle aged, we’ll see.

Cata, the cat, has always been kind of a princess, as we call it. She never was much for roughhousing, even as a kitten, she loved playing with anything shiny or girly (seriously, it was weird how she went for girly stuff, like a cat shouldn’t really know that right? Could she smell the estrogen?) and was one to want affection even before food.

For real, we’ve seen this cat refuse to eat multiple times unless someone pets her first, or she’ll eat if you sit and pet her, but if not she’ll just ignore the food. Can’t say the others have that problem.

Conversely she’s also the most sensitive of our pets, she doesn’t like being picked up, and is very particular about when she wants attention. But if she’s lying on a bed, she’s usually in the mood for snuggles, she knows that our turf. But if she’s on a chair in the office, leave her alone, that’s her territory. (The office is our cat room so they have somewhere safe from the dog.)

But I remember when I realized that Cata might be onto something was while I was house sitting alone, while my family were all on vacation.

Cata got kind of lonely without all of us there, and would come rub on my leg and sit in my lap while Iw aosn the etoliet (a weird habit all of our cats have for some reason) and get her loving, as my Mom would say.

But I had a revelation: This cat isn’t ashamed of it. She asks for love when she wants it and needs it, and doesn’t apologize.

It reminded me of how very often, I wouldn’t bother to go to God, or even to other people, if I feel sad or lonely, just because I don’t want to admit it, or because I think I can get by.

But can I really? I mean even the dumb cat knows that love is more imporant than food soemtimes, and sehs’ a cat.

Weird right?

But I guess maybe Cata is onto something, what is life without affection? Empty.

True, she’s a diva and has hidden from us for 48 hours straight just to get back at us for ignoring her or getting new cats, and also poops on the floor when we make her mad or don’t clean the litter box fast enough, or she’s just too lazy to bother (she is mobile enough to) so she does have that desolate helpless female thing going–but hey, don’t we all wish we could get attention that easily?

I think Cata’s eccentricness is partly because we’ve had her since she was a couple weeks old. She is our most comfort kitty type. She’s sa with us when we’re sad, even with my grandma, who she ignores the rest of the time, after her dogs died, Cata woulsit in her room…she stopped after a few weeks, and now that there’s another dog, never goes near that room, but it was like she knew we were sad.

Cata also seemed sad when her brother cat was dead, like she knew something was missing. They say animals don’t notice, but I think we did see a change in her behavior. She was more okay with her sibling cat than she was with our newer ones. But she did become a bit nicer to them after that, like she had to fill a void.

It’s odd, but even in animals, it seems like dealing with loss sometimes is easier when you open up to something new. Go figure.

But maybe Cata likes attention because she values company, on her terms, she is still a cat, and that’s something we could learn form, in our isolated society.

2. Winnie

Winnie (Winter or Winnie-the-Pooh, we still argue over which it was originally) is our next oldest cat.

She was dumped in our neighborhood, before we moved, right around Christmas–which in that area is the meanest time to abandon a cat, because it ices over sometimes.

My mom put an ad out for a lost cat, but no one responded, so we kept her.

Winnie is definitely the weirdest cat we’ve ever had…I mean I’ve only had 5, but she was unique.

She’s not mean, she actuall ran righ up to my mom when we foudn ehr and seemed used to people.

But she was pretty brash too. She was only about 4 months old, but when our boy cat, Tiger, tried to get all territorial with ehr, she dug her heels in and gave it right back to him, that was her first day.

Tiger was so surprised that he backed off and left her alone mostly, then they became bffs because Winnie liked to play more than Cata, who was such a “girl” (at least that’s what I think Tiger would have said if he could speak)

Winnie had kind of a cracked out look in her eyes though, and would rush around the house like a maniac, she would play with herself, and my mo is convinced she was nearsighted.

She definitely had her own style, we used to joke that she’d be the atar of an action movie if she could be. We called her “ninja cat” because she’d jump up and do wild poses and swipes.

She freaked out one of our neighbors just because she was black and hada nutty expression.

But despite that, Winnie has never been a mean cat, just odd. She didn’t bit or scratch much (actually Cata drew blood more than any of our other ones) and in her older age, she mellowed out a lot. She’s still kind of funny, but now she mostly just rubs on our feet, and hides in boxes.

Winnie is a little more accepting of new cats than our other ones. And more welcoming of strangers in the house.

And call me crazy, but isn’t that a little like humans too?

Sometime it’s the weirdos who are the least judgmental–not always, but sometimes. Because if you know you’re different, then other people who are different also tend to be drawn to you.

And hey, sometimes feet and boxes are just the simple things in life to enjoy.

3. Saucy

Well, I suppose I have to take full responsibility for how Saucy turned out, since I raised her and all. I mean, it was a joint effort, but she’s my cat.

I got Saucy because someone who worked at the school behind our house had found kittens and offered me ne to conle me because I thought Cata had gone ising (turns out she just hid under a bed for 36 hours behind stuff so I couldn’t see her).

I had thought about getting another cat anyway, for myself, because one of ours haddied (got hit by car really) so I said yes.

Now everyone told me not to do it.

My sister, Mom, and Grandma all said the dog would eat any new cat. They all seemed to have this odd idea that our dog is more viscous than she really is. She ties to herd the cats, about as successfully as most people, but she doesn’t bite them. She’s a sheep dog, so she nips at their heels to get them to move, but it’s not real.

Despite them all saying it was a bad idea, I got the cat anyway, and introduce ehr to the dog little by little, the dog never tried to eat her. While she was too little to run, we kept them seperate, but once she was big enough, she was actually the least afraid of the dog, sometimes she’d rub under her, unlike the other two who avoided the dog like she was a wolf.

They say cats reflect their owners, so I suppose it’s my fault that cat has a personality that’s pretty stubbornly independent.

Actually I’ve gotten compliments from our vets that my cat is very calm and cooperative when they examine her. She doesn’t stress much. And I am much calmer than some of my family.

Aso I tend to be bolder, and not avoid conflict, and this cat wouldn’t avoid our older cats, she would go up to them. And the dog.

In fact she was so fearless I worried about letting her outside because I thought she’d go up to strange animals and get bitten. So we waited till she’d had her operation and shots to let her outside.

Strangely Saucy, while fearless, alway understood boundaries fairly well. She used to stand in the doorway when we left it open and looked at us like “I know I’m not supposed to go outside, but I really want to”. She didn’t climb on stuff as much as Winnie did, because she knew she wasn’t supposed to, when she’s inside, she sticks to her furniture we allow her on, for the most part.

Just can’t take th hint with other cats.

But this is like me too, I push limits soeitsm but I also know when to dra wa line.

Once we finally let Saucy out, she wound up being much more comfortable outdoors than indoors, she loves it. And her fao game to play is tag, she wants to be ah all over but she tsy sotu of reach until she’s acut tired and then she’ll let herself get caught and taken inside, or she comes in when she’s hungry or cold.

Despite being bold, Saucy was actually our most gentle cat. She never bit us, or scratch us hardly at all, was okay with being held more than the others, and when I give her bths, put sup way less prost than the older two, she even enjoys part o fit.

She growls and hisses and snap over having new cat around, but usually it’s all talk. (Some exceptions).

I can see myself in this also, I make a big noise and I ep myself, but I really really try to hurt anyone. Forceful but not harmful, that’s kind of my way. Though we all have our moments.

Sh definitely is Saucy, guess I did that one to myself.

But saucy and mean are not the same things. Saucy may be independent, but she’s not antisocial, she just likes to be social in a more active way, and she sticks to her guns about it.

While it can worry me, I have to respct it at times, I like a stong mdinded erson, env i fhteyr a cat.

And it does put me in mind of another truth about life, the worst of liking people who have a mind of their own is that they will have their own way sometimes, and it won’t always be what you want.

But deep down, you love them more because they are more themselves, then you do if someone bows to our every whim. It’s hard to like a personality if someone doesn’t have one, right?

And not everyone who is strong willed is a jerk, they may just be that way, but not mean any harm by it, don’t take their independence as a lack of affection, they may just show their affection differently.

Wow, that go tdep dint it?

Now for the last one:

4. Mimi/Jemima

We still call this cat different things, but she doesn’t care anyway, she really understands “kitty” best.

Mimi still is the most affectionate cat we have, maybe because she’s still getting used to having a home.

But it has changed a bit in 4 months. When we first got her she wanted attention constantly, she seemed worried we’d kick her back out. She didn’t really want to go outside, and we made sure not to let her because we worried she’d run back to her other house.

But she never acted like she wanted out the door anyway, she just wanted food and love.

Now we let her out but she still hasn’t tried to leave us, she sticks close to the house more than the other and comes back in quickly, partly she’s just cold, but partly, she’s just not interested. She’s know the good stuff is here.

See none of the other cats were homeless long enough to remember it, but Mimi was alone, sort of, for 5 months of her life, and she picked up the habits of a lonely person.

ingShe wants reassurance that she’s welcome here, but she also has an annoying habit the others don’t have, she steals our food. Especially bread and chick for some reason.

I get the chick but one of the other cats like bread, it makes no sense.

We think it’s her instinct to eat whenever she can and to take people food because she probably went through trashcans before. She still has that stravation mindset.

She’s getting a little better, but it’s still a problem, we have to hide food from her.

Mimi also likes to play more, since she’s still a kitten, and is slowly wearing Saucy down. Saucy was the baby before, and has the jealous sibling thing, but he’s getting over it. The other two didn’t care as much because Mimi and Saucy look like they’re twins, we think they might have had the same mom, and I think the older cat could tell the difference from a distance and got used to it faster.

Mimi likes people, but despite being very eager to come up to us when we found her, she has not been like that with strangers.

But I’ve seen this behavior before. We had another cat who loiterered outside and went between houses to eat, he a very affectionate to people but it was because he only got attention outside, and he never really wanted to become an indoor cat, just kind of liked to go between different houses.

Most really affectionate cats I’ve known were lonely ones, in fact, they ram as much aatn at hey na ge tinto small sauer of time.

But Mimi, now that she’s accepted this is her home, no longer feel the need to advertise to other people who walk by our house, she feels more secure here so here she stays.

And this, maybe most of all, is like how people are.

Some of us, when we have been alone a lot, we are very needy and beg for affection. It’s hard to help it when you’re empty. Even though Mimi had food from her other helpers, she wanted a family.

Once you have one, you stop looking, but you still may have some “hungry habits” to break.

Even when we know we’re at home, we can still steal food and act like we’re hungry again, it’s hard to go from one mindset to another. And a cat doesn’t have the self awareness to know that, bt we human do, but we can be blind to how nonsensical our habits are.

We need to accept that if we have a home, we can’t act like strays anymore, when you steal food, someone else has less of it, after all, it’s better to take what you’re given and be grateful for it, not to beg for more than your fair share.

We love Mimi anyway, but what’s a habit in a cat, can be more of a deliberate thing in a human being, and something we should try to grow out of it if we can.

Even a cat can learn better, so why not a thinking, person.

I guess that’s my point in all this. Each of our cats has their good and bad points, and they all mirror human qualities in a way, but our cats have no self awareness to know what is good and what isn’t, unlike us, who can choose.

So we can learn from them, what to do and what not to do. And that even if you have your quirks, the right person will love you anyway. But don’t be a beast and not at least try to change, we can forgive a pet, but a human should be willing to learn, but around that, we still need acceptance.

And I guess that’s what I learned from my cats.

Also the more the merrier, in my mind, but that’s a personal preference. It’s not that I have a void to fill, it’s just that I think the more things you have to love, the better life is.

Well was it kooky or profound? You tell me. Maybe both.

Until next time, stay honest–Natasha

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