LIFE WITH CATS
(3 minute read)
Does cat content occupy a lot of your online time and do those perfect paws and big, ocean-deep eyes melt your heart? Cats are gorgeous and are an endless source of fascination. They chose to be domesticated and live with humans yet retain many of the natural instincts and behaviours of their wild cousins. Thinking of sharing your life with a cat? You might want to read this first.
THE BAD. OR: HOUSE RULES
First thing you need to understand is that you don’t own a cat, ever, nor is it you who sets the rules in your shared home. Some compromises can be achieved but more or less your cat will be the boss. Slowly and sublimely she will take over your life, flattering you with every purr until her wish is your command.
Cats do not respect personal boundaries except their own. You will share every part of your home with your feline friend. Does the thought of sitting on a toilet with a cat rubbing against your leg, asking for strokes and attention make you uncomfortable? You might reconsider getting a cat, seriously.
The house belongs to the cat – every room. You’d better get used to opened doors all the time, your cat will figure out how to work door handles and always there will be scratching, thumping, and howling. And guess who has the better stamina? All, especially the warm and cozy spots belong to the cat: on the new sofa, on that armchair near the fireplace, in the middle of the bed or underneath your blanket. On a good day there might be a chance your furry friends lets you squeeze in, too, but don’t count on it.
From now on, please be quiet. Cats hate noise and the vacuum is the devil in disguise. Try to avoid loud music. Parties? Guests? Better say goodbye to your social life (or at least offer a place to withdraw to and be left in peace). Instead you can expect loud howling in the night, for food, attention or no reason in particular, which is typical especially for older cats. Try to get used to it and find ways to sleep through (earplugs?) as you won’t manage to shush a cat.
The hair! You will have it everywhere soon. If you wear mostly white or black you might choose your cat accordingly or change clothing habits. Luckily there are small helpers that you will soon grow dependent on. In the end you will become a better person and clean more often than in your pre-cat life. Thanks, cat!
Once you accept these rules you can fully experience the perks of living with a cat.
They are hilarious, more so in real life. Random dances and leaps, getting stuck in compromising situations, squeezing into the smallest boxes or hiding the weirdest places (Where the hell is my cat?!). Say goodbye to boredom.
Cats sleep all the time, anywhere. Don’t waste money on a cat bed as it will be ignored in favor of a pile of clothes, old newspapers, the radiator or your desk. You might adapt and sleep more, squeeze in a nap whenever possible. Never ever disturb your cat during her holy sleep. Needless to say this works only on way and your cat is likely show up at your bed early in the morning to stare and meow at you, it’s time for breakfast! From now on you run no risk of oversleeping with an alarm-clock-cat in the house.
Cats are selfish and moody and everything will be on cat-terms. But if they are up for cuddling there will be loads of love, warmth and purring in return. The sound frequency of a cat purr is said to have healing benefits and every cat owner knows that a purr helps to melt feelings of stress and anxiety away. Almost like having a sixth sense cats seem to know when you are not well or in pain and will snuggle up next to you.
Cats keep you grounded. If you ever become too full of your own self-importance a swift scornful look from your cat will be enough to remind you that you’re not as awesome as you think you are. Whereas your cat is nothing but gorgeous – graceful, slender and beautiful – a sheer pleasure for you to look at.
Once you are sharing your home with a cat you really share everything. From getting up to going to sleep your cat will keep you company to play, snuggle, and relax. Cats are great company yet very independent and self-sufficient. Create a good environment and provide their basic needs, leave them in peace or give attention when desired and they will be happy.
You will learn a lot from your cat. How to approach life, to sleep more, to take things easy; you will find that if something fails, no problem. Find a sunny spot, stretch out, and take a nap. There will be enough time to try again later, or tomorrow.
A gentle note: a cat is not a toy but a living being that should be treated with respect and love and held as appropriate for the species as possible. Bringing a cat into your home means taking over responsibility for a lifetime. Are you ready for such a commitment? Consider your living circumstances, available time and dedication seriously, as only a happy cat leads to a happy self.