Do Try This at Home!

By taping a simple square on your floor, your cat will join the masses by doing exactly what cats do.


White cat

Ariel Body |

Two of my cats can’t seem to get enough of my attention while I’m working at my computer. As I type this, Rocky is sitting squarely on a small, tidy pile of papers at my left elbow.

I ask him: What about the nice perch located in front of the nearby window? How about the plush area rug in front of the space heater near my feet? Why do you consistently prefer to sit on a one-dimensional rectangular object made of paper?

It was with great delight that this question was recently answered by the well-known behavorist Nick Dodman, Professor Emeritus here at Tufts. Find out why our cats like to squeeze into (and onto) small spaces on page 16 of this issue. (And in case you’re wondering, my cat Rocky’s #CatSquare image appears on the cover of this issue. I had to try the experiment myself, and it worked like a charm. I know you’ll try it now, too!)

Occasionally, I talk about my volunteer work at a local animal shelter in this monthly column. I do get interesting article ideas from the health and behavioral conditions that we encounter, and it has especially inspired me to think more about TNR and helping the feline population in my area.

But for this month, I used a shelter cat, Molly, as an inspiration for our article about rodent ulcers. She arrived not long before Thanksgiving, and has had this condition for some time now. And at the age of 13, her chances of being adopted were trickier (aside from her, ahem, spicy personality!). Last week, Molly was adopted by a woman who was specifically looking for an elderly cat who was consistently overlooked.

It makes me happy to know that there are people in this world who will give an old, cranky cat a chance at a new chapter.


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