Cats n Space

So, my girlfriend’s cat lives with me. She’s a complete hag (the cat). Growls and hisses at me when I walk into a room, leaps out from under the bed at my feet when I get up to pee in the middle of the night, and is just generally hateful to me and everyone else on the planet except E and her son. For those two, she’s about equal parts evil and snuggly love. I’ve never done anything to the kitty and E swears the cat was never abused, or at least not enough to account for such antisocial behavior.

I bought a kitten last week. He’s 3 months old and black as coal. We named him Chicken. The mean kitty’s name is Tigger. As I suspected, Tigger doesn’t hassle the kitten at all really. Well, no more than any other independent adult cat who encounters a new kitten strolling around the grounds. There’s a little friction, but Chicken gives as good as he gets; they’ll be pals in a few months.

See, I know cats. I know they have feelings, desires, goals (albeit nebulous ones) and I have absolutely no doubt that they are self-aware. They are difficult to communicate with because they nearly always insist on communicating on their own terms. One has to keep that in mind lest one decide, “fukkit, cats are just stupid animals.”

Did you get that last bit? Cats are stupid animals because they don’t step outside of themselves and communicate with us in human terms. They won’t follow rules except when the rules coincide with their interests, don’t typically come when they’re called unless they think they might be amenable to whatever it is we’re calling them for, and all sorts of other things. A lot of humans … most humans … are the same way. Does that mean that humans are just stupid animals too? Not all of us, I guess. But then I’ve had a cat who would come when I called him, who would seek me out when I was upset and try to comfort me, who would actually chase other cats off the kitchen counters because he knew I didn’t want cats on the counters.

He was an exceptional animal because he was willing and able to work with me in human terms. And because I reckon cats to be sentient and can work with them on their own terms I consider myself to be exceptional. And although I don’t have direct experience working with Chinese, Indian or Bushman humans, I understand that they will not respond to my traditions and expectations in the same way as someone from England. Effective communication will require a lot more than simply overcoming verbal differences.

So we live in a world packed with sentient creatures, all of which have a unique perspective on life and who have their own priorities. And yet we can barely communicate with our own species, and only occasionally does someone manage to cross that line and recognize the vastly different mind of another. We give up on each other. Humans regard foreigners as “sub-human,” and cats and humans regard each other is inert objects in their universes. Because we don’t take the time to try and grasp minds outside of our own.

I wonder, when The Space People come to visit, if they will recognize humans as sentient? Will we be worth talking to and working with? Or will they maybe have better luck with Elephants, or ants, or brook trout? And what if then? What use will they find for us? Will we be nourishing cattle or innocuous finches? And will I have an opportunity to present myself to them as my old sentient cat did to me and be seen as a worthwhile exception? And maybe they’ll feed me and playfully scratch me behind my ears (because I like that).

Cats have favourites, once kitty gets used to you he/she places you on a list.

For instance if kitty loves

Mr Haney

In that order then kitty gives attention to Lisa. If Lisa is at the gym, Eb gets the attention. If Lisa and Eb are both out, then comes Mr Haney. If Mr Haney is petting kitty in his lap and Lisa walks in, kitty acts all ungrateful and runs off to be with Lisa.


'Cause cats have lists and they only allow the benefit of their attention to the person currently at the top of their list.

Pigs in space!!!

Agreed. We have three cats. 'Stache, the oldest and the first is around 13, Banshee who is around maybe 10 or 11, and Jet Jaguar, he’s maybe 8. I dopted Jet myself.

My wife loves 'Stache to death. 'Stache loves her to death. If my wife is home I do not exist in 'Stache’s world. She only voluntarily interacts with me when the wife isn’t here. I’m just here for her convenience. When we had her fixed I took her to vet and I picked her up alone. So she associates me with that and she was visibly upset with me, not my wife. For 6 months afterwards she wouldn’t let me touch her. She’d actually put her back to me if I cam into a room. I think she olny began warming up to me a bit when we got Banshee, because now she had competition. (but 'Stache is the Queen, as we refer to her)

Banshee though, we got her when she was barely old enough to be weaned. I fed her myself with a bottle and an eye dropper. She was so teeny, the runt of her litter. No one else wanted her, so I took her. She completely loves me and will prefer to be around me over my wife more all of the time. She’s the only one that will actually come to me by me calling her name. Now Banshee likes my wife, but she prefers me. My wife and I hardly ever watch TV together. I watch it in my room, we have separate TVs. Banshee would sit there and in my chair when I wasn’t home. She’d sleep in that room by herself if I wasn’t around. I eventually put a kitty bed in it for her. She’d stay there while I was in that room which served as my studio if I was busy and wait for me to call her for “belly-wubs”.

Jet Jaguar? He really had a hard time adjusting to being a house cat as he was at least 6 months old when I took him in. He always acted like he was scared of me, he’d run from me all of the time even when I was being nice to him. But he got lost while we were in Germany. He was missing for two weeks. When he got back he was skinny, cold and dirty. But after I cleaned him up, fed him (hewas so hungry, poor guy must have been starving) and took him to a vet to make sure he was okay he became my best buddy. He’s all wanting me to play with him now and wants me to pet him. I can tell that in his mind he made the jump from “This human is making me stay inside” to “This guy really takes care of me. He’s not a jailer, he’s my friend.” . (As I told a coworker when he was missing…I spent a lot of time looking for him…when I took him in he became my responsibility. He’s a cat, sure, but his well being is my job). Jet is in the middle though. He likes us both the same, though I get more upset with his antics. (If the litter box…and he has his own personal one…is not up to his standards, he’ll take a dump on the floor. In our old place he did in front of my bookcase because he KNEW I’d see it. But as mad as Jet makes me, he did this that touched me. When I got back from the hospital last year because of surgery, I was feeling bad. Sick, weak, could barely speak and drowsy from pain meds. (thyroid removed). He never did it before but he would climb up into bed and curl up next to me, like “Its okay, man. You’ll get your wind back, but I’m here for you”.

Many will not understand. You have to own a cat to see their personality.

This is one of the True Mysteries of the world. Also, I should note one, it’s one reason the rest of the world should fear an **Inigo & Mr Bus Guy ** coalition. There’s simply too much intelligence involved. I’ve also dreamed of the day when the intelligent masters from above make it our way. I think they’re going to cats. Well, cat-like but with opposable thumbs. And there will be exceptions to their general Rule #1 - which is most likely be to enslave the rest of you humans because you make excellent heavy lifters and basic manual labor. But we, who have held cats in high places, who have an entire Rubbermaid container full of cat toys. who have waken up at 3 AM to make sure the sick kitten would not miss his feeding and play time, who have tried to clean up kitty barf and laughed when you were beaten to it by the little shithead kitten that thinks it tastes better than his own real food. Yes, WE will have privilges, and favored status.

Meanwhile you others will be cleaning litter boxes with no tools, or even gloves.

And catching mice for their amusement.

Also, for all that cat-persecution and slaugher in the 1400’s over that witch nonsense, there will be some absolution because the temporary absence of cats caused the plague, which watched in amusement.

And Egypt will become the only entire country to be left independent, cuz they’d been worshipping the right gods all along.

Although as I see it happen, all of us favored folks will be able to pick their personal ear-scracther I’m surfing the Victoria’s web page right now.

So I’m prepared.

Pics, please?

I personally never found the need for cat toys. I bought a couple for my old cat, but he always ignored them in favor of paper bags, shoe strings (I used to walk around wiht my shoes untied just for him) and crumpled up tin foil balls. Or my feet, he loved attacking my feet. Great cat, hehe.

I know what you mean about cats doing a total flip on you. I adopted a cat that had a bad ear mite problem when he was a kitten and no one wanted him. I took care of him but he was still a little iffy around me (it was college and I had parties, so I’m sure he got freaked out sometimes, though he was allowed outside whenever he wanted it cause my place was too small to keep him inside all the time) but he was a great hunter and always gave me a respectful kill once or twice a week (and after I got him to stop bringing them, disemboweled, to me while i was IN BED I always appreciated it). He got a cyst in his paw at maybe 6 monhts or a year old and had to get surgery. He wore one of those stupid collars for a week or two, then was completely healed, and he was so in awe of me (I’d taken him to the vet, etc) that he literally upped his kill count to three a day for a couple weeks, always bringing them to me for my approval (and even though it was gross I’d give him a good scratch and a couple treats before throwing the thing away, out of his eyesight of course).

So I invite the conquering cat people to come, I’m ready. Just let me curl up in a nice sunny spot for 3/4 of the day and let me play with my toys for the rest, I’m alright with that :smiley: