Monday, February 2, 2015

A Cat's Perspective Can Answer A Lot Of Questions

Dear Tazi:

I have a cat and he is driving me crazy. "Russel" is five years old and no longer a kitten, but he constantly wants my attention whenever I am busy doing something else! If I am just sitting there, Russel is nowhere to be found, but as soon as I fire up my laptop; grab the newspaper; or worst of all sit down on the toilet he shows up out of nowhere and wants to jump on top of me.

Yesterday I got upset with Russel for climbing all over me during the Patriots game and I shoved him to the floor. Tazi, this cat looked at me like I was some kind of evil. I felt badly and scooped him up to sit with me, which turns out is all that he wanted anyway. I know you have a close relationship with your "Mommie" and was wondering if you could tell me how I could learn to have that kind of relationship with my cat. You see, my girlfriend wants to get married and have kids someday, and I'm thinking if I can't handle a cat there is no way I am going to be able to handle kids. I love my girl and don't want to disappoint her.

Impatient Cat Owner

Dear Impatient Cat Owner:

Your problem rests in your signature - you do not own a cat; nobody actually owns a cat, they simply share a home with their cat, who has generously agreed to stay on in return for food, shelter, toys, and your undivided attention at all times (even when we are nowhere in sight).

Don't try to fight it, man...
In all seriousness, cats are not dogs and cannot be expected to act as such. I suggest you start to take notice of exactly when Russell comes out of nowhere and jumps up on you. You say it is whenever you are busy doing something, but that is not how it looks to Russel. Think about it...while you are on your laptop computer; while you are reading the newspaper; while you are on the toilet. What do these three activities have in common? I mean aside from the fact that you use the two former to keep you occupied while on the latter! The point I am trying to make is that you are sitting down during all three of these activities. From Russel's point of view you are not busy at all; you are just sitting there...ignoring him.

As you noticed while watching your football game, all Russel wanted was to be held - not to go for a walk on a leash (ugh!); not to play fetch with a tennis ball; not to do any number of things that dogs do; he just wanted a cuddle. Try giving your kitty a cuddle the next time he gets up in your grill and see what happens.

I think it says a lot about you that you are looking ahead to when you have children, and wondering if your lack of patience with your cat is a reflection on your parenting skills. While I cannot answer this (a child is not a cat) I do think your behavior is a reflection on your ability to make time for those around you. My Mommie and I are so close because we carve out time for each other. At the end of the day when all of her work is done and she is ready for bed, I jump on top of her for a cuddle to help her sleep. During the course of the day, we speak to each other with great regularity.

The next time Russel meows at you, talk to him! Cats do not meow at other cats, you know; we meow to communicate with our humans! The more you talk to him, the more loved he will feel, and if you carve out some one-on-one time with him you will find your cat-human interactions less disrupting, with Russel leaving you free to do your business. Catnip toys, a cat condo, or even an empty cardboard box will also fill Russel's desire for attention. Like a child, cats need toys; be a good Daddy and provide!


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

No comments:

Post a Comment