What is it with cats?

As you probably know, we have two cats, both recently acquired. As a kid, I was always desperate to be allowed animals, any animals, but a cat or a dog would have been my dream come true. No go. My mother can’t bear cats and the only dog she’s warmed to in all her years is our dog, mostly because he’s easy to drive.

Our dog is easy to drive because I put a lot of time and effort into training him when I first got him. He’s also a really super dog and loves to please, which made things a whole lot easier. As he’s aged, he has mellowed and he’s really the best, except for one or two pretty revolting dog habits I’ve failed to break him of.

But cats… cats, I’ve come to realise, I just don’t really get. People always say cats are so much easier to look after than dogs. I disagree. These cats are the most nuisancy, confusing, cryptic animals I’ve ever met. I just don’t know what they want from me. One of them demands to be let out on a frequent basis, only to circle the house and demand re-entry through the kitchen window almost immediately. He’ll happily repeat this process all day. The other wants out, but has to have the open-door invitation at least twice before he’s prepared to take you up on it. They stare at each other for hours. They studiously ignore each other for hours. Like so:


One guards the other one’s food and water, preventing him getting at it. The other, in revenge, sprays piss all over the guarder’s bed (and quite frequently the rest of the house too, in random places, with no apparent trigger). They sneak and stalk and I’m constantly checking to make sure they’re not up to no good.

And then they kiss – each other, us. They snuggle with us on the sofa and purr.

I just don’t get it.

Any cat whisperers out there?

vee xxx


13 responses to this post.

  1. I love (some of) our cats, but I do NOT get them, one little bit. The only one I do get is our buddha kitty, Greg, but he’s not like most cats.

    Now, if you could just teach me how to teach OUR dog to be so obedient… *g*


  2. Cats are just weird. I once heard that you are the master (or mistress!) of your dog but the servant of your cat. That about sums things up in our house. Except really BG Talula is the master of Charlie the dog. Big time.

    Although you TOTALLY crack me up saying your dog is “easy to drive”- love that!


  3. Ahh, I love quirky kitties, though that spraying habit sounds horrible. I love how cats have such distinct personalities and moods. We definitely have one happy/shy cat and one grumpy/manipulative cat and I just love to see their little personalities at play. I don’t know if I’m a cat whisperer but I definitely get cats more than dogs.


  4. Posted by tbean on November 24, 2008 at 10:31 pm

    In our house these mysteries are referred to as “Signals from the Cat Planet”


  5. I might be a cat whisperer. Or rather, I was probably a cat in a past life.

    We have 3 cats and I think the trick is when they are babies to treat them like dogs–not like what ppl think of cat behavior.
    Ours come when called, fetch their toys, beg for treats and obey at the clap of my hands and a sharp call of my voice (but not for K).
    They only use their scratchy post and are terrified when I hold up the spray bottle.
    Nevertheless, they are cats and still stare you down.
    I don’t get dogs–but I do get cats!


  6. Posted by rhetorician on November 24, 2008 at 11:55 pm

    they are territorial is the problem, even when they are relatively hormone free; your 2 sound like mine, no clear winner, so hence the ignoring (passive aggressive) and the kissing (only checking out one another’s scent). Give them separate areas, separate food bowls etc. and get the amazing cat de-odorizer stuff and put it anywhere they piss. We had major problems with this (leading to deep fears about turning into mad cat ladies whose house smelt of cat pee) until we used this stuff – they no longer pee in the house. I assume that people as wise as the two of you would not have unneutered cats. If I am wrong, go to the vet!

    Ours are quite well trained – they go out obediently at night, and know that they don’t get to stay in the house when we are not there.


  7. Posted by scarredbellybutton on November 25, 2008 at 12:35 am

    We have 6 of them. They piss me off. And I love them. Thank goodness none of them spray though!

    Vinegar is good for getting rid of the cat pee stink.


  8. Your cats sound like a couple of my ex-girlfriends!


  9. Posted by reproducinggenius on November 25, 2008 at 5:09 am

    I don’t understand cats either. I love them, but I don’t understand them. Your cats sound so much like ours. One moment they will clean each other and the next will hiss and growl.

    And for spray, you may want to get some Feliway. It’s a cat pheromone, and it works remarkably well for behavior problems, anxiety, and all other sorts of catty issues. That has been our cat potion in the last year, and it works so well. No more spraying, especially.


  10. Stopping by to invite you to my coffee giveaway. Pop on over and check it out:



  11. I love cats….but they are stubborn little things and don’t give their love as easily as dogs do! You have to work for their affection sometimes…. But, I love them regardless! I grew up on a farm with like 30 cats (I was practically a crazy cat child) so am sort of partial to them. The only thing I can’t deal with is males spraying…….ugh.


  12. Oh, cats don’t make sense! And one will not make sense in ways completely different from another! I don’t know why, but I still love cats. There’s just something about having a kitty in the lap that makes me happy.


  13. Oh i am no cat expert but oh how I love them. I love your description of them hissing at eachother and then moving right on to the kissing. Our 3 do that too. It is so funny. I am really sorry about the spraying. One of ours pees and the only way we can clean it up is to your an enzyme cleaner (biokleen).


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