5 Super Weird Things Only Cat Lovers Understand

I’m a dog person. My family has had a series of five dogs over the course of my 22-year long life, which has made me really confident around dogs. Also, I’m going to raise my own children around dogs because I think they’re so valuable to childhood. There is no doubt in my mind that they fulfill their stereotype as “(wo)man’s best friend.” They’re loyal, loving, aim to please, and will do everything while making you laugh. I love dogs.

Cats, though? I’m still on the fence. And before you ask, yes, I’ve lived with a cat. One of my apartment mates has an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) cat named Bubbles. Bubbles is a 10-month-old American shorthair who is super soft and very pretty. I’ve grown to love him, but I honestly had no idea what I was in for in the beginning. Having never lived with a cat before, I assumed (falsely) that it would be like living with a dog. WRONG. Over the past year, I’ve compiled a list of observations and questions I have about cats.

 

1. Why do cats like boxes so much?

This is a question that no one has answered to my satisfaction yet. But it seems to be a universal thing that if there is a box in the room, the cat will sit in it, and Bubbles fits right into this stereotype. Small boxes? Yup. Large boxes? Definitely. Smaller boxes inside bigger boxes? Obviously the best.

 

 

2. Cats like exactly four and a half pats and only on specific places.

This was a big learning curve for me since my dogs could never get enough of being pet. Bubbles, on the other hand, has a tolerance of roughly four and a half pats until it gets old and wants you to go away, thank you very much. I’ve been swiped at a lot, nipped several times, and even hissed at once. But don’t worry, I’ve learned my lesson.

 

3. Cats want to go outside, but definitely not on a leash.

Bubbles has escaped our apartment a grand total of four times. Each time we’ve found him in the immediate area within the hour, usually under the cars parked in the Morgan lot, but he’s also darted into the woods and tied himself to a telephone pole. Thinking that Bubbles wanted to spend time outside and wanting to be a good human, I put him on a leash. The problem is, he doesn’t walk when he’s on a leash. He just kind of…falls over on his side and refuses to move. I end up carrying him more than he walks and he usually just squashes ants that are within reach. I don’t get it.

 

4. I think cats can sense our emotions and choose whether or not they care.

Sometimes Bubbles is a total asshole. I’m talking swiping at my ankles as I walk up the stairs, running like a bat out of hell between rooms, refusing to come out from under my bed, getting purposefully lost in our storage closet asshole. But there have also been really sweet, really tender moments with this cat. The morning after the election, I woke up and just sobbed. I had so many emotions and I didn’t know what to do, so I just laid in bed and cried until I heard a very persistent meowing at my door. I opened my door and in came Bubbles, who jumped right up on my bed and aggressively nuzzled my face with his for about 15 minutes. It was wild, thinking that this tiny 8-pound creature could sense my utter despair and could decide to make me feel better with affection. My initial assumption that cats are the heartless spawn of Satan had been reasonably refuted, so my opinion now is that they choose to be aloof or sensitive. What makes the cut for affection still remains to be determined.

 

5. They’ll stalk you just because they can.

I think one of the weirdest things about living with a cat is the feeling of being stalked in my own home. Dogs won’t stalk you, they’ll follow you around hoping to get a scrap of food or a pat on the head. Bubbles, though, stalks me. I’ve often looked up from my work to see the cat staring intently at me from across the room. Any sudden move triggers a leap. You’d think that something so small would realize that taking down a 155-pound woman isn’t going to work, but bless his heart, he tries his best.

 

 

Cats are definitely different from dogs, but after living with one, I can see their merits. I’ll always be a dog person, but I’m glad to have had the experience of living with Bubbles. I may have more than a few scars on my hands from being swiped at, but I also realized that I definitely didn’t give them enough credit. They’re smart, sweet, and graceful creatures, even if they think humans exist just to please them. Bubbles may still be plotting my death, but I’ll snuggle with him if I get the chance.

 

 

Image credits: Sarah Lloyd, Oscar Anderson, Claire Naughton