Waking up with a paw in your mouth

Waking up with a paw in your mouth

The cat hadn’t gotten my tongue.

Not quite.

But his paw was in my mouth.  He was also purring loudly, and slightly flexing his claws.  Not exactly a full on “milk tread”, but enough that it was impossible to ignore.  Maybe a “skim milk tread”.

I’m always amazed at the control cats have in these situations.  Yes, they sometimes get their claws stuck in things, but in terms of how much or little they hurt something initially, they have that largely under control. 

So, my offspring would have an answer in this case: “Chuck the cat.”  I don’t chuck cats, though. 

I spoil ’em. 

I’ve always thought that was kind of an odd expression, though.  “Spoil” seems to imply that you take something that is good, and then ruin it so it isn’t good any more (especially for other people).

All cats, though, are crazy…even before I get to them.  I think what happens is I allow them to be their normal crazy.

I’ve always had cats and dogs together, pretty much…along with some really quite exotic other animals.  I haven’t had any of the latter for many years, and I don’t recommend it.

Are all dogs crazy?   No…some of them are quite sane doggy-type dogs.  Type specimens, in fact.

Cats, though?  They all act in ways that are contrary to their best interest…seemingly, even contrary to their short term desires.

If you spoil your cats, you’ll see all kinds of interesting behaviors.

So, let’s talk “spoiling”.

Exhibit 1: I feed the cat off a spoon.  Just one of the cats (we have two).  He gets up on a cat tree, so he’s at a comfortable height.  I scoop some canned food on to the spoon, and he eats it.  Yes, some of it gets on the carpet.  Yes, it takes forever.  My Significant Other (SO) thought I’d gone over the edge when I said he wouldn’t eat off a clear plastic spoon, just a white plastic spoon.

Exhibit 2: I saved some garbage for the other cat, because he likes to bury his food with it.  We were having somebody come in to clean the house, because we were going away.  We do that every once in a while, and really like the person we use.  Anyway, there was a strip of corrugated cardboard, and a thing of twine.  Every morning and night, this cat buries his leftover food with that stuff.  So the cleaners wouldn’t throw it away, I put it in a bag in the garage.  After we came back, I put it back next to the food, so the routine could continue.

Animals like routine.   Yes, you absolutely have to provide them with novelty as well.  You want to keep pet lizards healthy?  You need to give them something new to explore (but if they have a “home spot”, leave that).  Animals like to be able to predict what will happen, though, just like many people do.  I sing to my dogs every night when I go to feed them…the same song.  I flip the Tupperware “scoop” I use in the air, to go along with the song.  They like that.  :) 

Oh, one key point…if you have dogs and cats both, always feed the cats first.  The secret of having cats and dogs is that the dogs have to know that the cats outrank them.  Dogs take a lot of their clues on the hierarchy based on who eats first.  You, for example, should eat before the dogs.  They love getting “last bites”.  Not too much, because you don’t want to make them overweight, of course.  However, if you save them a little piece of food (like the size of a dime or smaller), they’ll generally wait very patiently for you to finish.  That’s what many pack animals would do in the wild.

None of this always works, of course.  They are complicated animals, and they aren’t “normal”. 

You may find it easier to chuck the cat on to the floor.

Me?   I’ll wake up with a paw in my mouth…

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.  If you are reading this blog for free and would like to support it, just click here and then shop at Amazon. 

2 Responses to “Waking up with a paw in your mouth”

  1. Aphrael Says:

    I have just adopted my first kitten and discovering that she is in a class of her own. Thankfully, I am yet to awaken with foot in mouth, I am sure the day will come!

    Loved this blog entry

    • bufocalvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Aphrael!

      Congratulations on the kitten! Cats are all individuals…I’m not sure you’ll ever get that paw in the mouth, but you’ll have something unique happen about which you could tell people. I’ve had lots of cats, and this is the only one who has done that particular thing. It could be because they haven’t really been “purpose bred”, like dogs have. The only breeding thing seems to be for different appearances…although different breeds to tend towards certain temperaments, they have a lot of variability within that range.

      Thanks so much for writing!

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