Have to say, it’s been pretty educational around these parts, what with three cats in the household. Now I know that many people think about how to train their animals to do their bidding, you know, so that the animals can fit in and become one with the status quo. Let me tell you that in this house we have ALL learned that ‘fitting in’ is as more about the three humans learning to adapt to the schedules and occasional whims of the cats.
For example, cats tend to walk around bare pawed and once in a while so do we, that is until our bare ‘paws’ land in something one of the cats decided to leave behind on their journey. At first I thought it was like the tale of Hansel and Gretel that had the children leaving a trail of bread crumbs so they could find their way home. So when the cats were leaving hair balls in the middle of the floor somewhere, they must be doing this so they can find their way back to where they were before they decided to go off to where they felt they needed to be yesterday. Of course this theory was left totally unsupported following the clean-up of the marker (which then should have left the animals wandering aimlessly). Alas, they always managed to find their way back so that didn’t work. Lesson learned? Only cats are allowed to not wear shoes in the house!
Another example is the idea of rising for the morning. Naturally, we have been laboring under the misconception that it is perfectly fine to fall asleep when necessary and to waken in time to accommodate our schedules. WRONG! Once the cats got the idea that we would expect them to follow OUR schedules, we got schooled QUICK! It does no good for us to roll over, they have found the alarm buttons on each of our bodies. SMACK, here comes the paw swatting to stop us from snoozing. And if that doesn’t work, then there is always the getting real close to our faces to see if WE can tell time better. Nothing like hot breath on your nose or eye lids, especially when you sleep alone… Nope, lesson here is save yourself the trouble of suffering the jarring energy of the feline alarm and just be awake ALL the time!
Of course my all-time favorite experience is dining. Who could imagine that, B. C. (before cats) any plate assembled with edibles would be, in reality, a buffet table. At each meal, every human has their own plate and eats only from that plate. Not so fast there, now that there are cats in the household, EVERY plate, bowl, basically any vessel that holds food is a buffet tray. Naturally, not having opposable thumbs, use of utensils is a joke. The kitties simply get as close to the food as possible and proceed to smell, lick and perhaps take a wee bite to see if it interests them. Ugh! It wouldn’t even do any good to employ those sneeze guards, like they use at REAL buffet. I mean really now, I’ve seen our little darling squeeze into boxes, drawers and bags that were five sizes too small, so I doubt a well-positioned piece of plastic deterrent is but a dream. Lesson here? Just load the plates and eat whatever they leave you. Or eat in the car but park somewhere other than the driveway as they will sit in window and WATCH you consume that which they WILL be able to smell on your breath the moment you sneak in to the house.
If any of you have a cat, I am sure you have stories of your own and can relate to these experiences. So why, after all the hard work it takes to make it work, do the cats still allow us to live here? You’d have to ask them!