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This is a cat's world and we're just changing their litter.

Hey all!


It's been a while since I made a post, and I'm just trying to get into the groove again. This whole lockdown situation in Ontario is starting to make me lose track of time and all of its meaning. This post is me trying to get something productive and worth-while done this afternoon. I mean, I can always nap or eat more Triscuits later, *shrug*.



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Today's the day I formally introduce our two cats: Ace (white and tabby) and Bandit (tuxedo). I'm using three photos of Ace and one of Bandit not because my love for them is unequal. It's really just a representation of how many ridiculous, photo-worthy things Ace does per day, versus Bandit. This is not to say that either cat has less of a personality or absolute domination of our household, just that Ace is going through the phase where he is much more outspoken about it.



I'll add more photos to this post, or just add another post, as I collect the visual documentation of this cat world that I live in. For now, enjoy Ace displaying ownership of my car and the dogs' bed and Bandit using unfinished sections of the house to be both mentally and physically above us all.








As you can probably already tell, I'm a major cat lady. My fiance, Flav, is definitely a cat lover right along with me, but he's not the one with a handful of cat shirts, cat mugs and other cat items. (I am). *****Now, I spend a lot of time with dogs, and love them to pieces, too. I appreciate and am fascinated by all animals, and I will always say I am a bigger fan of non-human animals than our much within society. <<< I love people! I just think we treat each other and the planet like garbage a majority of the time. But this can be for a different post!***** But there's just something about cats that makes my heart sing in a specific kind of way, and there always has been.


I'm pretty sure a big part of it is that having a housecat in your home is like having a piece of the wild, which would usually be frowned upon. That's because, as far as I can tell, cats are just barely domesticated. Sometimes they're just barely putting up with us at all! They seem to demand this fine balance of privacy and autonomy, but accept affection (and some enjoy this much more than others!) on their own terms and only when an escape is available at whatever point they choose.


I know I'm painting housecats with a wide brush right now, and some are probably quite different than this. I've met some cats who seem to require much more "human time" than others, and some cats that really only like one person and that person doesn't even really like them. But I'm just sort of describing an average of personalities of all the cats I've had in my life. And while I've lived with a decent number (five in total) over the twenty-eight years, I've come to realize how little I really understood them.


It seems to me that there is a large focus on understanding how to interact with dogs, but very little effort to really figure out what cats are all about. They are in so many households and are still so elusive to a lot of people. There is also a very strong "I hate cats" mentality out there. I'm that person who will always say "oh, you just haven't met the right cat then", back to them, but want I kind of want to do is storm away in fury. How can you not like them? I say while my hands are scratched from my cats getting angry with me the day before.


I am trying to do some more research and anecdotal gathering on this idea, but I've come to believe that a lot of people feel a dislike towards things that they:


  1. Can't control.

  2. Don't understand.

  3. Hear other people saying negative things about.

>> And all of these traits apply directly to cats! <<


I want to be clear that I don't think that dogs are to be "controlled" and I also am not under the impression that we just simply know what a dog is thinking at any given time. If we don't know what other people are thinking even as they speak out loud, in our language, to us, how can we be so certain that we know what our dog wants or feels when they bark at a broom? We just do our best, and it's easier because a ton of academic research has been put into the topic already. Even then, though, things get misconstrued and the wrong (read: improper, ineffective, occasionally harmful) tactics are sometimes used.


So that means that we really have no idea what our cats/ any cats are thinking. It's a mystery why they swat at us when we want to pet them and make them cuddle with us and so we fill in the blanks with things like "my cat is an @**". I am guilty of trying to push my human needs on my cats and coming to this same conclusion, too. It's way easier to do that than spending a whole lot of time trying to decode their every move.


I think I'll keep writing more about cats, because this has been fun! The goal for tonight was to mention some fun anecdotes about my cat fellas and their antics, but then I started to write from a place in my brain that has been ruminating about the relationship between cats and humans and I just kept going and going.. so I'll finish this post with some fun facts about Ace and Bandit:


  1. Bandit is absolutely in love with our landlord, who lives upstairs. When she was off work during this second lockdown, I would just send him upstairs everyday for them to hangout together. Sometimes I would get adorable selfies of them, which warmed my heart in a thousand ways. When he comes back downstairs, he usually smells faintly like floral body spray.

  2. Ace is sometimes alarmingly fearless and outgoing. As a partly-outdoor cat (and I'm sorry to those who disagree with this cat lifestyle) he has made friends with most of the neighbours, and will not shy away from people walking by. Sometimes these people are even walking a dog. And you can be sure that Ace will roll onto his back beside the sidewalk, exposing his under-belly, much to the surprise of both human and canine alike. Ace also walks around the neighbourhood, behind me and the dogs. We often get remarks about how cute this is, and they aren't wrong!

  3. Bandit seems to despise when I sing certain songs. This is especially true with Dolly Parton's Jolene. I've read this is because of a pitch that they don't like. But all I know is that, if I start singing Jolene, Bandit will run into the room, meowing, and start to bite at my arms. It's a great way to feel terrible about your own singing!

  4. Ace enjoys mildly tormenting his canine siblings, sometimes just doing things that he knows gets our shepherd mix, Buster, going. I'm quite positive that everything Ace does is highly, highly calculated.


I'll talk again soon!


Joy





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