I spend far too much time personifying my cat. Not in the sense that I dress him up in baby clothes and sit him at the table expecting him to eat with a knife and fork attached to his paws (though this has been done, check Youtube if you don’t believe me,) but in the sense that I humanize his every action. Most pet owners are guilty of this but I’m beginning to get quite worried at some of the assumptions I make of his relatively normal feline behaviors. Teddy now even has his own Instragram and I can’t help but get a bit jealous when his ‘selfies’ rack up more likes than any of mine ever have.
Reality: The cat has a bit of a weepy eye in the morning and just so happens to be leaning against a wall.
My Interpretation: Look at him, he’s had a night out on the lash! He looks like he’s stumbled in at 4a.m after a night of whisky and poor decisions. I bet he was out chasing the local pussy. Did you pull, Ted? Are you feeling a bit tender this morning?
Reality: The cat is waiting at the garden gate to be let in by someone rather than go through the effort of squeezing through the gap. (Can be difficult, he has a rather large waistline.)
My Interpretation: Yes sir, oh mighty one, I will be your slave. He thinks he runs this place making us humans run around after him. I suppose I’ll pick him up and carry him inside to save him the short walk as well. How stubborn. I better go and open the gate for him; I don’t want him to be in a mood with me all evening.
Reality: The cat interacts with the dog. Brushes up against him/shares his bed/bats at his wagging tail.
Interpretation: My cat is a genius of manipulation and mind control. He is the boss of that dog and anyone who dares look him in the eye. That subtle flick of his tail right into the dogs face? Clearly a scare tactic designed to suggest future whippings. Ignorantly turning his back to the dog when he’s trying to play? Obviously portraying his superiority with a nonchalant ‘kiss my ass’ – Oh, wait, the dog actually does try to do that. See? Point proved.
Reality: The cat is sick of being smothered with attention so bites me or struggles when I try holding him for too long.
Expectation: Oh wow, this cat has some serious attachment issues. Maybe he’s has a bad experience in a past relationship and is scared of getting hurt. He is pushing me away because he’s reluctant to let anybody else in. He is the cat equivalent of Christian Grey. Come here baby, I won’t hurt you, I just want to stroke that irresistibly fluffy tummy one more time… No, please don’t bite me again, just let me love you.
Reality: The cat is stretching while I am taking (yet another) photo of him and happens to end up in a funny pose.
Expectation: Just look at you working that camera! You absolutely love it! Stretching that leg out like a model and looking at me with those come-to-bed eyes. My cat is such a poser, he is wholeheartedly aware of his beauty and plans on using it in every way possible.
Despite my reluctant acceptance that Teddy is in fact a cat and probably wholly unaware of my obsession with him, I absolutely love the little character he brings into my life. I am off to say goodnight to him now and give him exactly 3 kisses on the head, as always, so he knows that he is loved.