I had to post a shout-out to our friend Sparkle’s post this morning on Common Misconceptions about Cats, because in it, she perfectly expresses the way I feel:
Cats Are Not as Friendly as Dogs
I look at it this way: would you want to be friends with someone who liked everyone indiscriminately, or would you prefer to have someone befriend you because she decided you were special and worth it? Would you want a friend who was needy and always begging for attention, or would you prefer someone who had your back, but most of the time made no big deal out of it? When a cat likes you, it is a gift not to be taken lightly. We are friendly to the people we trust, and isn’t that a better way to be?
You would not believe the number of people who just couldn’t believe there was a CAT at the St. Patty’s Parade yesterday. And I hear it all the time: “OMG I’ve never seen a cat out a leash like this! How do you do it? Is he specially trained?”
Nope. He’s just my cat and I’m his person. Kind of like Catalyst and Catacombs, without the telepathy.
Most people don’t understand, but Jacoby does the things he does because I ask him to, and he likes to do them. I keep wanting to try to clicker train him…but then, I wonder what that would really do, since he already cooperates with me. Although I would like to teach him things like “Leave it”…
The one thing I would add is this: I have always said “Cats live up to your expectations of them. If you expect to have a cat who’s afraid of strangers, going out, being in a carrier, not come when called, not understand things like “Get down” or “Get off” and hide under the bed when you have company, well…that’s what sort of cat you’ll have. But if you expect a cat to be sort of a partner, a roommate, a creature that you can take out to the park, call over to you when you want to show them something, understand what you ask of them and comply because of your relationship, well…then you’ll have that sort of cat. Since I was in junior high, I’ve been leash-training cats; my cat in high school would go on bike rides with me in his own special basket. Harri, my Siamese, camped with me for 5 years when I was active in the SCA, and even when he was older he travelled with me.
And now Jake (and his brother Gun-Hee) rides the subway with me, helps me run errands and takes walks in the park, and also runs to the door when I come home to give me headbutts.
What cat myths do you hear all the time that really drive you batty? I’d love to hear them.