Picture the following scenario — I am up at three in the morning because I feel like I need to get a drink of water, the sensation of dehydration all over me. I get up out of bed and find my way to the door, and am about halfway to the kitchen when I just about trip over a bowl of cat kibble. This is not the first time this has happened, and I doubt that it will be the last. The cat is trying to send us a message and we must hear her loudly and clearly — “I WANT MORE FOOD!” When our cat Abby feels that there is not enough food in her bowl, she will drag it out into the middle of the room. It doesn’t matter that there may be what looks like plenty of food in the bowl — it is her judgment call, not ours, that ultimately matters.
Abby has been with us for a few months. It started out when a friend of ours asked us if we could take care of her while she found a pet friendly apartment to live. That didn’t work out so well for her and now Abby is part of the family. Abby is an adopted cat and we like it better that way. Why people spend thousands of dollars for cats when there are so many unwanted cats out there is beyond me.
When Abby is thirsty, she is not shy about letting us know. On more than one occasion I have been sitting in a chair, reading a book or even writing an article, and Abby will come up to me and paw at my leg and meow loudly. She does not let up until I get up, pick up her water bowl, and fill it with some nice, thirst quenching water.
She does not seem to be particular about whether the water is cold or filtered — so long as it is wet! When I have not been around to fill her bowl, she has helped herself to water from the sink. I once came out of the bedroom and caught Abby jumping up to the sink — a good three foot jump. Once she was actually on the sink, she started licking the faucet. I yelled at her and then got her water.
Most cats love toys, but not Abby. On a couple of occasions, we have bought cat toys and took them out of the bag only to have her walk right past the toy and start playing with the bag. Our cat has an odd obsession with plastic bags. She will play with them, lick them, and chew on them. Once she has nibbled on a bag for awhile, she will tire of it and look for a new one. However, the sound of a plastic bag being crinkled up, particularly when I am crushing one to put in the infamous “Bag of Bags” that goes out to be recycled when it is full, drives Abby crazy and she runs when she hears it.
Something else that terrifies our Abby — the vacuum cleaner. It used to be that when we would turn on the vacuum cleaner, she would run away and hide in the closet. Now all I have to do is wheel out the vacuum cleaner, and she will run for cover. She just knows that the sight of the Dyson means that there will soon be a very loud noise.
Let us discuss the word TREAT. What does it mean to you? Perhaps you think of it in terms of the October holiday in which children go from door to door, looking for candy. When we say the word in the apartment, we have to be careful that Abby is not anywhere near us because she associates it with kitty treats! I can be in the kitchen, talking about something unrelated to Abby and she will come running when she hears the word treat. Being a good cat owner, I of course give her a few.
The bedroom — it is the only place where we do not permit Abby to enter, for wanting to keep it completely free of Abby hair. Guess where she always wants to go? Any time I go to my bedroom for anything, I can almost be guaranteed that when I open the door, she will be there waiting to try to come in. Sometimes when our roommate Chad will go out at night, she will paw at the door after we go to bed, sometimes scratching for upward of half an hour. Other times, I will open the door and she will come running from wherever she is just to try to get in. I have seen her running from all the way across the apartment.
Lastly, I would like to tell you about Abby’s choice in places to rest. You can guarantee if you want to sit in a chair, Abby will try at some point to take over that chair and stretch out as widely as possible to prevent you from sitting there. Don’t think that picking her up and putting her on the ground will dissuade her from getting back on the chair. Well, she is our cat, and we do love her — weird qualities and all.