October 15, 2016
We often get asked what it's like living life with a cat or two. Well I have come full circle in many respects. I was about to write cats have only been in my life for 10 years and that I was always a dog lover. However as a family we grew up with cats. From Burmese - Moggies there was always a feline friend in my life and family life from a young age. Lizanne was the true cat lover and I was always found with the dog. However the feline species has gradually captured my heart and now I can't imagine life without cats.
More recently Maine Coons came into my life 11 years ago after my then partner John had his 50th Birthday. What do you get a man as that special something? I had heard Maine Coons were dog like and he was not a dog lover and had always loved and wanted a Maine Coon. A dog was never going to be practical with my work and his job so it seemed a good compromise. So Basher arrived and my 10 year love and passion with Maine Coons arrived with him! However it was not just this breed but all types of pedigree and moggies that engrained themselves and their quirks into our hearts.
It's also the reason Tigga Towers began, as I fast realised dogs were catered for in so many ways, but for cats the selection was somewhat limited but that's another story for another day!
So what is life like with a cat or cats. It's simple really. You get out what you put in. Yes they are more independent than dogs and yes they have a mind of their own. But if you are on your cat's wavelength then the rewards are immense. Unconditional love but when it suits them! Yes again that's true but understanding a cat is like understanding a woman in life. Dogs are like men in my opinion - they like the simple things in life. Cats now that's a different matter indeed! It does have to be on their terms but understand them and you will have your feline friend wrapped around your finger for life. Some would say they have you wrapped around their paw!
In more recent years, I have been fortunate enough to meet so many cats and breeds and travel with them too. Something I never dreamed possible and had someone said I would be writing a blog on cats I think my answer would have been extremely interesting a few years ago.
From the looks they give you to sulking by turning their back on you. Peeing outside a litter tray suddenly for no reason. Cats are complicated but also sensitive animals. If something changes regardless of age they will find a way to let you know. The hardest thing is to work out what it is that's affected them to solve the problem that arrives. It's a bit like a man being able to read a woman's mind. As we all know they have two hopes for that. If only we could read a cats mind?
We all assume purring is the sign of pleasure and happiness. However it's also a sign of a cat who is controlling immense and deep pain - something I learnt after my first litter of kittens. You have to look and know the signs.
My gang of 3 are always there to greet me when I get home. If not something is up - that I know for sure. They love routine and get very cross if you slip out of it or do something that's not normal. Bring a new cat bed in the house and they can avoid it like the plague. So annoying especially when they are found in or on the bag or box it arrived in!
But did you know they sleep in different ways. Like a human and their bed, some prefer memory foam and some pocket sprung mattresses. Some stretch and some curl. And some simply want it to smell of home ( the cat and its bed this is) or be in their place they pick for a cat nap. Who would have thought cats could be so fussy eh. The art is to be able to know exactly what they really want.
My guys love a cuddle and love that one on one attention. Having moved from rather a lot of cats (the number shall remain a secret) to just 3. I have learnt how they really do enjoy one or two as company. More cats together means it can get quite territorial and opens up a whole host of different problems. Only a true cat lover can understand this to know what I mean. Those who do rescue work with cats - wow I take my hat off to them. How tough is that job and I guess as rewarding as it can be, it must also be heart breaking at times. Tigga Towers is a massive supporter of all animal charities as we know every little bit helps.
Working from home is always entertaining with my gang. The printer is fair game and it always makes me smile when one is lying on top and seems to get so annoyed with the printer churning out documents. Melly can be found smacking the paper tray with her paw and Santos - well given a chance he's off with a piece in his mouth. The amount of times I have to re print due to tooth marks on a document presentation - I have lost count!
I wonder how many of you cat lovers out there often know when something is instinctively wrong. They don't have to look ill as we all know how well they hide it but cats are without doubt creatures of habit in many ways and it can be the smallest thing that changes and makes you suddenly stop and think...mmm often it can mean its more serious too and it always worries me when I first arrive home and someone has not come to greet me within the first 10 minutes of being home. The welcome committee as I call them are either at the window, by the door or sitting at the top of the stairs.
Night time parties do make me smile. Thankfully as they get older or grow up these are less frequent. However I am sure we can all recall occasions when you come down the stairs and look and think really!
I have never ever forgotten in my early days, I had to leave my brothers then girlfriend to go to sleep on the sofa to collect my brother. It was pretty late and she was a little worse for wear. I left the house all tidy and she was fast asleep. I think it was well after midnight when I got in - lights out and in the shadows I could see these 4 cats. 2 on the back of the sofa and one on the arm - the other was sitting bolt up right on top of her. She was none the wiser! As we got closer and turned the light on - oh boy! She had slept through the whole lot - bookshelf on its side - books everywhere. The mini coffee table turned over and they had dragged the blanket off her and tried to drown it in the water fountain which had subsequently caused it to overflow and food everywhere. What a mess from 4 cats?
Currently I escape those presents they bring home as outdoor access is restricted for safety due to where we live. I am sure many of you can recall some entertaining escapades of your cats and their little trophies they bring home. I know my brother has fished a number of live animals out from behind his wardrobe courtesy of Bluebell and Cuwahara. Apparently he thinks they work together as a team!
Anyway asked would I change it or could I imagine life without them now. Absolutely not. They enrich my life in so many ways and yes some might say they are my children. Life is definitely a happier and calmer place with my gang. After the year I have had these guys have kept me sane and smiling though the tears too.
It would be lovely if you're reading this and can add your own personal comments too - I don't think any true cat lover can get bored of fellow cat lovers stories on their feline companions.
For now I had better go and serve dinner before they call Cat ChildLine and report me for not feeding them for the last 8 hours! Hopefully it's given you a small insight into my life with cats...