January 24, 2009

Like he knew what he was talking about...

A funny thing happened to Kevin and me today. We were sitting in a restaurant and wouldn't you know we were sitting right next to a family of "cat experts." Well ... at least the younger man in the group thought he was an expert. We couldn't help but overhear his monologue about how cats are very independent and do only what they want to do and how they don't like attention, etc. After this family left, I mentioned how great it would be if tonight's posting was about dispelling folks' misconceptions of cats. So, here it goes ... time to dispel myth #1.

Myth #1: Cats are aloof
Fact: Although there are a small percentage of cats that are aloof, our experiences at the shelter (and, combined, we've been volunteering for over 16 years) have proved otherwise. When we enter each room, 99.9% of the cats can't wait to interact. The other .1% are mostly asleep...(:

I've attached two photos of cats at the shelter who love loving (and laps):
Ilona (top photo) is such a cute kitty who loves a good lap. Once I let her out of her cage, and I sit down, she comes over and jumps on my lap.

Vine (bottom photo) is fairly new to PAWS but is warming up very quickly to her surroundings. She jumps on the couch next to me and wants me to cradle and pet her.

Some thing most folks who aren't as familiar with cats don't know is that cats give clues (like dogs) that indicate when they're happy to see you (come up to you excitedly or rub their faces against the cages). When they want you to pet them (rub up against you or their tails twitch). When they're mad or anxious (tail swishes side to side). Insecure (often fold their legs under their bodies). You just have to be receptive and responsive to the cues they're sending. One thing I'd like to stress is that they can often be subtle with some of these cues so it's important to watch their behavior carefully. It's often difficult to pick up on when they're not feeling well so it's important to make a mental note of their routines. If there's a break their routine (i.e. eliminating outside the litterbox, etc.,) that's often a sign that their surroundings may have been disturbed (such as new furniture, a new person or animal in the household) or they may not be feeling well.

Until tomorrow night...(:

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