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My life with cats

Currently having no cat, I'm musing on why cats are so important to me.


We always had cats growing up. Usually ones that we found or that started hanging out outside our house.

I don't recall a time when a cat's behavior confused me that wasn't later determined to be illness or pain or something along those lines. I suspect that cat body language was my first language, and certainly the first nonverbal communication that I understood.

So being around a cat is relaxing in a way that humans, even the humans I love dearly, just isn't. I can know what to expect from a cat, and don't have to worry if I missed something or accidentally upset them or something.

Cats are warm, and soft, and their purrs are so soothing. They tend to cause people to interact with them in ways that are delightful to watch and experience ("you're a kitty!"). Ones which like humans (I wouldn't want one that did not) will tend to want to know what their humans are doing, so you will periodically notice that the cat appeared out of nowhere to figure out what you're up to.

Cats make me happy. Even in the middle of winter, they are a calm space, a space where I _know_ - even in the worst of my depression - that I'm loved and wanted and they welcome my presence. They may not manage to improve my mood at that point in time (hard to tell), but they at least offer a safe space in the midst of hardship.

Cats remind me to get out of my head. The first cat I got after I graduated college was, at least in part, to make sure that I continued to get out of bed and get things done in the middle of winter with no one else around. Cats need feeding, and their litterbox needs changing, and they can't do it themselves. At the time, I had forgotten all the other benefits I get from cats, as it had been a while.

Cats are sometimes silly creatures. I know that at least one of the cats that I have had would do things purely to entertain me. Ash pretty much didn't play, but every so often he would and I would laugh. I like to think that's why he did.

Playing with a cat is fun. You might see them make crazy leaps, or attempt to kill a small toy with their back legs, even though it's far too small to actually reach with those back legs.

Cats are, well, cats. They require far less work than most other pet animals. They don't need to go for walks (although some can be trained with a harness and _enjoy_ going outside on leash). They can typically get their exercise inside, especially if they have a feline companion with whom to play. They use a litterbox, rather than needing to be brought outside regularly. They don't have complicated food requirements, nor a cage to clean. They don't have a noticeable scent, and don't need regular baths (because they bathe themselves!).

Having a cat, in many ways, is a significant improvement to my life. They're a mood booster, a source of calm, a reminder to stop thinking so much (and a space in which I _can_ stop thinking so much), a tactile delight (fur and purrs)... Small furry companions are important to me, and they are one which doesn't take a huge amount of change in our lives to incorporate.

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( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
jasra
Oct. 25th, 2013 04:51 pm (UTC)
Are you guys thinking of adopting again?
corwyn_ap
Oct. 25th, 2013 06:13 pm (UTC)
I remember the first thing I did when I committed to buying a house: finding a new cat to move in with us. We picked her up the first day we moved in. For me, I always want to have a cat(s). Sadly, they aren't as good at overlapping as I would like.
dsrtao
Oct. 25th, 2013 10:10 pm (UTC)
So there I was, having moved to a new city, acquired a decent apartment with a decent roommate, stable job... it was getting to be about time to find a cat. Possibly I would have put it off until the next apartment.

Instead, I fell in love with elizabear and she came fully equipped with wonderful cats.
blk
Oct. 26th, 2013 03:06 am (UTC)
I spent time in college, then promptly had two long term relationships with people who either were highly allergic or had close relatives who were (who might visit). Once I ended those, I got my cat, and now I am sure I never want to be catless.

(I will admit that when xuth initially told me he was allergic to cats, I pondered whether the relationship was going to last, because I sure as hell wasn't getting rid of my kitty. Fortunately, he turned out to be actually not allergic to cats, just other things. And he likes the cat.)
johnpalmer
Nov. 7th, 2013 07:49 pm (UTC)
I saved this to read and I'm glad I did; thank you for sharing.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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