Friday, October 14, 2011
Cats are such strange creatures. Not strange in a bad way, just prone to bizarre behavior that can leave you wondering what exactly is going on in that pretty little head of theirs. I suppose there are cat critics who’d argue that nothing is going on in their heads and that’s why they act so peculiar. However, I’m convinced that cats know exactly why they do the things they do! And I think they might even do some things precisely because it keeps us guessing. I think they don’t want us to “figure them out” because being decoded would go against their feline nature, i.e., pretending to be independent and oblivious to us.
After decades of living with cats, I’ve concluded that it’s pointless to try to understand why they do such strange things. Most if not all of the funny things cats do will never be understood. Knowing the crafty feline mind like I do, I wouldn’t put it past them to pretend to be asleep when they’re actually lying there concocting yet another kooky behavior to confuse their gullible human.
A cat’s fascination with boxes is high on my list of the behaviors I find perplexing. What’s up with that? I saw a photo cartoon that had a bunch of boxes on a deserted road, and each box had a cat sitting in it. The caption said, “The cat traps are working.” Funny, but so true! I daresay there isn’t a cat alive that doesn’t love boxes. They sleep in them, play in them, slide through them (Maru!) and wedge themselves into the teensiest box like feline contortionists. Why? And how can that even be comfortable?
Moreover, why would they prefer sleeping in that hard box or on the cold floor instead of their cozy cat bed? Who sleeps on the floor, anyway? I was so excited when I got my cats a multi-level scratching post/cat condo with three places that looked (to my dumb eye) like great places to sleep. They took one look at this thing and bolted off to find their favorite box. It’s become a lovely piece of “corner art” now.
I’ve seen my cats sleeping outside on a pile of brambles, on top of plants or in the dirt. How can this possibly be comfortable? My kitchen towel drawer will often have a cat in it, which makes a lot more sense than on twigs or in a box, but it’s still an odd place for a nap. Mickey digs out half of the towels before making his little nest in there. He does the same thing to my sock drawer if I accidentally leave it open. I’ll come home to a floor littered with socks, and find him in the now-empty drawer snoozing away.
Speaking of funny places to sleep, if cats hate water so darn much, why do they like to sleep in sinks? Showers seem to be a cat magnet also. Without fail, Rocky comes running the minute he hears the shower on. He sits on the edge of the tub, and when I get out, he gets in and licks up any water droplets he finds. It’s not because of extreme thirst, and I know this because I fill up his water bowl every day!!
Why do cats always need to be in the bathroom with you anyway? I don’t need or want an audience in there. But heaven forbid I lock Rocky out; he scratches on the door like his life depends on getting in. I think he just can’t stand not being able to “snoopervise” everything I do. That’s probably why all three cats insist on inspecting every single thing I bring into the house, too. My nosy felines must scrutinize the groceries, new clothes, office supplies…you name it, they act like Inspector Catso until it’s put away. And then the paper bag becomes their new favorite toy!
Cats pay no attention to newspapers or magazines until you try to read one, then they’re all over it like it’s been dipped in catnip. Same for the computer; they never notice it until you’re trying to type something, and then those furry little paws just can’t resist trying to help. I can understand the fascination with the mouse, but the keyboard? Not so much. Mickey’s favorite activity is hitting “delete” right after I’ve finished writing my best work ever. I think I see a mischievous glint in his eye, but it could just be that I need new glasses.
In the end, I put up with all of the bizarre things that cats do, because I love them. Besides, their quirkiness is what makes them even more fun to have around!
Photo by Kyknoord
Read more articles by Julia Williams