I used to read that psychologists and scientists who were developing drugs would use cats in their experiments because, psychologically, cats have some traits similar to those of humans.
As I am observing my two cats, I wonder what we can learn today.
Background: One of our cats, Sister, was in a litter born out in the woods surrounding our house. We think the father was the gray tabby whom we fed but who never would let us come near him. We named him Jeff. The mother was a pastel calico we just called Mama Cat. One kitten, whom we named Cory, for “Wrong Way Corrigan,” was left behind crying behind our house when Mama Cat moved the litter. My son trapped him with tuna, he was dewormed, and he became an indoor cat. He actually was afraid of the outside. Later, Mama Cat returned with the rest of the litter and nursed them in our front yard for a long time. She became friendly enough to feed and pet. Then the only one left was a pastel calico kitten we named Sister. We had two indoor cats (from shelters), and Sister did not want to come in while they were there. After they died, she came in, checked the place out, and stayed; but she went outside daily through a cat flap. She is what our vet, Critter Fixer Country Vet Ver nard Hodges, calls “a very vocal cat.”
After about seven years, we heard a kitten crying under the car that I had covered and wasn’t using very often. Another cat checked on it now and then, but the kitten stayed under the car. We fed it. Finally, Cory went to the back door and meowed and meowed, and the kitten, who is a small, smooth-furred, gray-striped cat, came in. She didn’t trust us a bit. She and Cory became friends, and Sister did not like her. Pounce was spayed, she recuperated in a spare bedroom wearing a collar, I fed her, and she began to want me to pet her a little. Now she’s domesticated, though both she and Sister disappear when we have company.
This year, Cory died of stomach cancer, so now the only two cats inside, and allowed to go outside, are Sister and Pounce. Sister became overweight during the time we were trying to get Cory to eat, and she always has been prone to hiss or grumble at little things. If Pounce, who lost a friend when Cory died, comes near her, she gives a big hiss and a yowl. No actually fighting yet, that I’m aware of.
For a while, Sister took the couch in the spare bedroom as hers and glared at Pounce from there. Pounce slept on the end of my bed many nights. Then Sister came in my room, checked the place out, and established herself at the foot of my bed. I mean, she has been napping there all day and night.
The new development: I petted Pounce before I went to bed last night, but thirty minutes later, she was crying in the kitchen. I got up, sat a few minutes, gave her a treat, and went back to bed. She cried again in a few hours and jumped on my bed. Sister hissed and Pounce got down and left. Pounce cried again around 6 am. I got up late as a result of all this, took care of some errands, had breakfast, and went to work on my writing. Sister had not returned to my bed. Then Pounce began going into my room and crying plaintively. She did it three times in a row, so finally I went in there and let her sit on my lap for a while. She got up grudgingly, but did not cry again. The last time I looked, Sister was back on the couch in the spare bedroom, either in a huff or depressed or both, I’m sure.
Can you see why I have titled this “Cats and Humans”?
Observations on the subjects of friends, family, country, cultures and nature.