The BBC is screening “The Secret Life of Cats” tonight on BBC2. The scientists doing the research say that we know more about the big cats than we do our domestic cats, although it seems, from the trailers, that some of the cat owners don’t agree with that. One owner says he can tell what his cat wants from the purr.
I have four cats and I think I know a bit about them, so it comes as no surprise to me to learn that they are opportunistic, manipulative, devious thieves. And adorable. Don’t forget adorable. I’ve owned dogs as well as cats, and I love them both, but they are very, very different. Cats aren’t necessarily less loving, they just don’t need the same kind of approbation that dogs do. (But they do need love and attention, and my four are testament to that. More jealousy than in a sophomore’s dorm.) They are far more self-sufficient than dogs, and don’t ever want anyone to think they make a mistake.
Only today, my little Telesto was playing Mad Hatters (that’s the game when she chases some imaginary creature and then kills it), and then caught herself up in the duvet as I was trying to change the bed linen. She ended up falling off the bed, still caught up in the duvet and scared herself half to death because she struggled to get out. She ran and hid for hours after that little turn out.
Then, because my friend Kate had come to stay, she and her sister showed off and wouldn’t come into the house for several hours – and several treats. Well, why not manipulate the situation a bit more? Funny how once the food came out, they were over us like a rash.
They all have their own little characters, and their own funny little ways, but never doubt that they want love and affection because they do, and it isn’t all cupboard love. I’m sure they do line up a second home in case they need to move out – actually, I don’t blame them for that. I’ve done the same myself in the past. They are special little creatures who have their own particular needs, and if we humans can’t fulfil them, they’ll go elsewhere.
I’d love to get my girls wearing those mice-cams, but I know they’d only last a couple of hours. I might not be able to follow them everywhere, but I do know a bit about the way they live their lives, and how they know exactly which side their bread is buttered.
©Susan Shirley 2013