Living with Cats and what they taught me!

Happy new year to all BBOOK readers.

Today I am sharing this post from the BBOOK magazine “Living with Pets”

I hope you will like the post. Please note that the last day to submit for the topic “Book Reviews” is this Thursday, 3rd Jan, 2013. Please click here to submit.

About the Author:

I want to share my knowledge, what I have learned, what I have researched with the rest of the world. Cats & Co is my place to share everything I have learned. It’s not always informative stuff, sometimes they’re funny images or video’s just to cheer you up a little bit — or myself. But the informative stuff I share is what I personally think is important to
know when you own a cat.


I stare at the faeces on the carpet that has been there for at least an hour or more. I had just woke up and as I kneel down and stare at my cat Suki, she looks like the guilty. I can’t help but to laugh as we both stare at the droppings. I look back at the litter box. Looks like my cat has every right to do her business on the carpet, the litter box is a mess and needs to be cleaned. While I just have a half hour left before I leave for work, I get busy on leaning up the mess while I wonder why my cat did it on the carpet, and not in the living room where I have a wooden floor, where the stain is easier to clean up. At that moment I learned that I need to clean the litter box more frequently if I don’t want my cat doing her business all over the house. And that maybe because I’ve neglected my cat a bit…
I have two cats, Suki and Hiro, we (my boyfriend and I) got Suki in 2009 and Hiro in 2010. My boyfriend was the one who wanted to have a cat. We both grew up with cats, but we never realized how it was going to be when you actually own a cat. When you have to feed it, when you have to clean the litter box and when the cat is your responsibility, that’s when you start learning things. That’s why it’s so important to do your homework before
you get a cat. Something which I never did, nor did my boyfriend.

I remember when we arrived home with Suki, and she was just too scared to anything but to stay in her carrier. She didn’t want to play. While I wanted her to be happy, playful, be a kitten! But she was just too scared. She taught me to be more patient, so I just left her alone and she slowly got used to her new environment.

This is Suki’s serious face when she doesn’t agree on something.

When Suki got older she decided she didn’t like the wallpaper in our bedroom and living room. And that it was normal to wake us up in the middle of the night because she wanted to play, or she wanted to let us know she was hungry. It was difficult to let her know that we don’t want to play at 4 am in the morning. I learned how to be consequent and
that “no means no”. But it’s not easy being consequent when she looks at you with big eyes and such a sweet face.
Suki knew that…
Months passed by, and Suki started meowing. Not just once, or twice, but the entire day. It was annoying, and she was a pain in the head. That’s when you feel like a mother and your cat is your baby. You have no idea what she wants, and it’s just so frustrating that it makes you feel hopeless and desperate. I tried playing with her; we got her a bigger
scratching-pole and a cat-tree. We gave her all our love that we could give her at times when we were at home. We both had a job and I also had school, most of the time she was home alone. It wasn’t that we didn’t give her enough love and attention when we were home. She was lonely, and this was her way of showing it.

It’s difficult to try to communicate with an animal. You don’t speak the animal’s language, and the animal doesn’t speak your language. It’s hard, and it drives you crazy at times (I bet it drives the cat crazy too). But the stronger the bond between you and
your cat is, the more you understand each other. I don’t know if we had a bond or not. She rather sits on my boyfriend’s lap, than on mine. I think this is where jealousy came in. But over time I learned to accept it. I respect Suki the way she is, and Suki respects my crazy moments when I want to cuddle with her. Sometimes it feels like Suki is my
teacher, and I’m her student at the cat-language-and-behaviour-university.

For example, I know now what she’s trying to tell me when she does her business outside the litter box, or when she scratches the wallpaper. What does it mean when she’s scratching the kitchen door? That she’s hungry. But if it isn’t their time to eat yet, she’s not getting any food – thank god she doesn’t use her nails when scratching that door! Suki knows it, but she doesn’t always seem to care.

Hiro knows many ways to cheer you up.

In 2010 we got Hiro from an animal shelter when we decided to get Suki a buddy, so she wouldn’t be alone anymore when we were gone. This time we did our homework, so we set up a base-camp for Hiro and introduced them slowly.

Suki didn’t like Hiro at all! She was hissing and growling at him. But Hiro didn’t really understood what was going on.
Why was she growling at him? He just wanted to play! It was interesting to watch them interact when Suki finally stopped hissing. It took Suki a long time to finally accept Hiro the way he is. And that he was perfect as her playmate, even though he sometimes want to play too rough.
My cats taught me to be patient, to accept things the way they are. They can be so relaxed; they sit back and watch the world go by while they take another nap. I learned that it means something big when they show their belly to you, or when they want to sleep on your bed. They taught me to cherish the little moments. I don’t wake up a sleeping cat
anymore; I rather watch them sleeping so carelessly. They teach you not to be so down all the time when they act silly just to make you laugh. My cats are also the reason I try to keep my apartment clean and tidy. I’m a really messy person, but if I don’t clean up, Hiro will sneeze from all the dust lying around. Or there will be a morning when I enter
the living room, all the papers that were on my table the evening before — and which I never bothered to put away –will be all over the living room.

It took a while, but Suki and Hiro are now really good friends.

They taught me to be responsible for them, they made me love them. I can’t imagine a life without cats anymore; I wouldn’t be the person I am now. They can be so mysterious, they make me want to know more and more about cats,
as I try to understand their behavior, it’s like you never know enough.
I know people who find cats boring. But they probably never lived with a cat before. They aren’t like dogs, they are independent and you have to gain their trust and love. This doesn’t instantly happen when you keep their bowl filled with food, it’s not that simple. But each cat is different, so I can’t just tell you how to gain their love, as each cat has
their own needs. But if you don’t pay attention to your cat, keep them healthy or respect them the way they are, you shouldn’t expect any loyalty — or love — from your cat. They are your teacher (not just cats, but your pet in general, whether it’s a dog or a parrot), and if you want to, they can teach you a lot of beautiful things.


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