The Uniqueness of Cats
Being able to learn their different personalities is one of the many privileges of living with pets.
Do you think your cat loves you too much? I’ve lived with numerous cats over the course of my life, and each came with a specific and unique personality — there were a few that were perfectly suited to playing with a child, happily “enduring” the dress-up sessions and the staged horse races (Tip: Johnny West was always a better “rider” than Malibu Barbi).
Then there were the ones that could handle the busy life I had as a young adult, working all day and heading out many nights for dinner with friends. Those cats seemed to need less interaction — or at least, they found a way to adjust to my schedule and find ways to entertain themselves when I wasn’t around.
During a period where I made significant moves from a city apartment to a country house and back to the city again, I had two that made the adjustments just fine — the third, not as well due to serious car sickness and an aversion to change.
And now that I’m a lot more settled — and I work from home — I have three cats who definitely enjoy the space and the quiet that this old house provides. I have been able to observe the “time sharing” arrangement that cats are so famous for (for example, two get the couch during the day for snoozing, while the other has it during the evening hours).
But there is something I am experiencing that is unique to me: My cat Rocky does seem to experience some sort of separation anxiety when I leave for the weekend or longer vacations. I know this because of reports from the cat sitter (for one thing, he maintains a near-constant vigil sitting at the picture window looking and apparently waiting for my return).
When I return, he is always very happy to see me — but displays a distracted, obsessive compulsive need to go down to the basement of my house (he is not allowed down there, nor does he ever seem too interested the rest of the time). He also sticks to me like glue, and the behavior does border on being simply too much! Luckily, he seems to return to his normal self in a day or two, so I have never considered the need for professional intervention. The article on page 12 of this issue, and this month’s Short Takes, put a contrasting spin on the topic. I feel that this merely confirms what I’ve believed all along: Our cats are different, unique and special individuals. Providing useful information for all their endearing little differences is what Catnip is all about.