A Cat’s Ways 101

Miss Sugar sitting on the edge of an ottoman with her front paws crossed

Firstly this week, my furry and furless friends, I must address a perception that a minor few of you have developed about the one I call Mother, my typist, my litterbox sifter and second-favourite human bean.

She is not, in fact, a Crazy Cat Lady, not that there’s anything wrong with that. In fact, she has forbidden any cat-themed items from our home – besides, of course, me – except for one. It’s a cast-iron, cat-head doorstop and since our latest move, she can’t even find it. So, other than special portraits of me and Spice in the upstairs loo, please do not assume that because she lends me her blog space each week, she is full-out feline. She doesn’t and will never own a cat-themed sweatshirt, no matter how many times I suggest to her that one would look fetching.

Thank you!

canvas portraits of Spice and Sugar. Spice is dressed as an 18th century admiral and Sugar is an 18th century regal lady with a gold medallion below her throat

Now, on to today’s lesson. I will give you a cat behavior, explain what you think it means and then tell you what it really means. You’re welcome!

  1. Rubbing our chin on you. We know you’re assuming it’s our way of spreading our fur on your black pants in the absence of a sticky roller just before you leave for a big business meeting, but that’s not the case. That’s merely a bonus. No, we are opening our scent glands and marking you with pheromones. This accomplishes a couple of things. First, it’s like wearing a wedding band at a singles bar. It tells other cats you’re taken. Second, it lets us know from afar that we’ve already decided you’re a good human bean and we can skip the interrogation process the next time we meet.
  2. Staring contest. This one is tricky. If we’re gazing at you from a comfortable position, we’re showing our love. I like to lay at Father’s side and make goo-goo eyes at him for minutes on end. He is perfection. But, if a cat in your life stares while twitching its tail and perhaps emitting a low growl – run! You’re about to experience a cat attack! (I strongly suggest you spend some time alone in a quiet place, considering what you have done to prompt such a response!)
  3. Pushing you. We press on you with the top of our heads. We push against you with our paws. We sidle up to you and just lean there. This is a form of affection because it’s you we’ve chosen for this behavior but more than that, it’s stress relief. What do we have to be stressed about? Where should I begin? The tumbling of the clothes dryer! The lack of sunbeams on cloudy days! The never-ending quests for fingers to tickle our bellies! I could go on.

I do hope that this brief guide helps you to better understand the feline in your life. We shall continue these lessons another time.

Right now, my humans are discussing the possibility of moving furniture around and other important things that will affect my life in no small way. Am I being consulted? Is my opinion under consideration? No, it is not! I must go find someone to push against. Until next time, my lovelies. Your friend in cat grass,

Miss Sugar

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