All day yesterday, Willow was trying to tell me something.
Once the morning chores are completed, the cats all settle for another of their lengthy slumbers. Willow has me trained to finish up at the far end of the house where I am to open the door to a spare room.
Cats cannot abide closed doors. It is considered offensive and hostile! In multi-cat homes, offering the maximum possible space is essential.
On the other hand, multiple cats results in multitudinous amounts of cat hair. If one expects ever to receive visitors, it is only polite to be able to offer a cat-free bedroom.
So that door is always closed and with heating bills through the roof, it seemed sensible to close off one other spare room.
Now that we’ve been here sometime, the cats are happy enough without needing access to the spare room, but Willow managed to teach me that once morning chores are complete, I must open the door.
She bounds in and onto a table where I am to provide 2 treats and give her a special moment.
If Sophia overhears, her little face peers around the corner and she also gets a treat.
Then the door is re-closed and I find my way to my “office”.
Willow chooses a spot for the morning.
There was nothing different about yesterday that I was aware of, but I hadn’t been at my desk long when I heard a plaintive meow.
Several of the other cats “talk”, but the voice I heard was not one of those. It was the normally silent Willow. I got up to check.
“What’s up, Willow?”
She looked at me with big eyes. I petted her.
“Come sit by me?”
She flopped briefly on the floor for a tummy tickle. I went back to my PC and pretty soon another meow from my complex girl.
She was needy. But Willow is not a needy cat. She knows when she is to get her medicine and that is one of our moments, strange as it seems. Brief, but intense. It’s when she knows I am focused on her alone.
So being summoned by her yesterday was very unusual. Finally I stopped what I was doing and asked her again:
“What do you want?”
We were in the living room. She looked up at me and walked a few steps, I followed… In this way she drew me back to my desk.
Lucy had abandoned her reclaimed chair, happy to sit by the radiator.
So I patted the chair thinking maybe Willow’s problem was a matter of territorial issues. Nope. She didn’t want the chair.
Next I moved her favourite black and white blanket onto the bed. No. Didn’t want that. What about if I move that big pillow off the chest? Sometimes she sits on the chest, but not on the big pillow.
No. She didn’t want that.
Finally, wondering if there might actually be a medical issue to worry about, I somehow ended up sitting in the “disputed chair,” leaving my desk chair available.
That’s what Willow wanted. To sit in my chair.
And that’s where she stayed contentedly for the rest of the day, with me sitting sideways to access the PC. I am guessing that Willow’s behaviour was related to Lucy’s sudden blindness, but I am not nearly smart enough to figure out how.
Willow and I do not communicate in words. I don’t visualise my expectations as I’ve heard you should:
“If you pee here again, bad things will happen!”
There is zero chance that would work. I tried it with Panther and he laughed for a solid day.
The first time I saw Willow she was coming down the hill behind my previous house. She stopped and looked up and our eyes met.
We had declared “no more room at the inn” months back, but it was not safe for a young cat to be running around out there, with a busy road nearby, not to mention that there were coyotes around.
So Grant put a trap out and she came straight to it without protest of any kind. Clearly this was a cat that knew what it wanted.
Willow was about 6 months old when she came down the hill you see here. She emerged from the trap straight into my lap, purring.
Our intention had been first to make her safe and second to have her checked by our vet. Did she belong to someone? We waited to see if anyone would come around looking but no-one did.
A pretty little cat like this would have been easy enough to place in a home but I knew the minute I saw her whose home she belonged in.
Yeti’s old cardboard house was still in my living room:
Had Yeti returned? Or Panther? What about Mo?
It is all far more complicated than that, I’m sure.
But I do know that cats are very skilled at getting what they want.
This beautiful cat was given to me after my first cat Mo disappeared. I named him Kina after Mt Kinabalu. He was Balinese.
He did not love me :(. Did not wish to live with a single woman.
Kina wanted a guy and preferably a family that would dote on him.
So he arranged for it to happen and he had a very long and happy life with just such a family.
Yeti had arrived in the meantime and she was quite happy when the boy was gone. I think she and Kina plotted the whole thing.
It was all very well to declare “No more cats!”
In the summer of 2017 a little black cat arrived in the garden. She had a clipped ear, indicating she had been spayed. She seemed vaguely attached to a house nearby but that wasn’t where she wanted to be.
We had been referring to her as “Blackie”, and when she arrived with her suitcase, the name stuck.
Miss Lucy seems to be doing alright.
It is very hard watching her trying to figure things out.
She has been waking in the night as if startled and crying out, which brings me immediately from my bed wanting to help.
Where does she want to go? What does she need?
But the best way to help her is to let her figure it out. If we try to help it will just confuse her and take her longer to establish in her mind the patterns she will need to follow.
Willow appears to have made whatever adjustment she needed to make and has reverted to “normal”.
Whatever that is for a cat.
4 thoughts on “The right place”
I do so love the politics of the cat family!
Oh, to think like a cat … it’s not easy, isn’t it! I liked your sentence about Blackie “who arrived with a suitcase” 🙂. And I’m glad to hear Lucy is doing ok.
Dogs are so much easier. Just saying… 🙂
Best wishes, Pete
One of my aunts had a Jack Russel that was completely nuts. It barked at everything including an ordinary conversation and it also bit everything. Furniture, books….when I stayed there it used to burrow into my bed and I was afraid for my toes. It had been rejected by a previous owner! My aunt adored the poor thing.