A Cat’s Whiskers Are Amazing!
I’d always been told that whiskers help a cat to know whether or not it can navigate through tight spots. They are like feelers gauging the parameters of a space so that dear little kitty won’t get stuck trying to go through something that would accommodate his body half way through – to his utter humiliation. It turns out that whiskers are feelers in more than just the physical sense. They are emotional indicators as well, tell tale signs of a cat’s mood or emotional state regarding something. Whiskers back can mean a cat is in a state of relaxation and is comfortable in his or her environment. Whiskers back can also reflect fear, in which case other things like wide eyes and flattened ears help to discern. Whiskers forward (my favorite) show that a cat is alert and highly interested in something. I never paid attention to the movement of whiskers as a child, but now one of my favorite things to do to Timba, since his whiskers are so long and prominent and expressive, is to take a toy in my hand and move it back and forth towards him to watch his whiskers jut out with piqued interest and then relax.
Cats Play Fetch Too!
Timba was the first cat I ever had or saw that would fetch items when thrown. I have since learned that this is a typical trait of Siamese cats, so being half Flame Point Siamese, it’s in his genes. However, after throwing enough paper wads, mice and toy balls, my other cat Toby eventually caught on to the game. He is half Russian Blue, and they are typically shy and reserved cats. But a little nurture to conquer the nature, and voila! Toby is now chasing and retrieving just as much as Timba. In fact, Toby once fetched a toy mouse and brought it back to me a record number of 8 times, no feat that my A.D.D. Timba has yet to perform! Nothing is so endearing as to feel a little tap at my back by a paw or a dropped toy mouse or paper wad. When I roll over and see the expectant look on one of my cats’ faces, I melt. Then I pick it up and throw it and marvel at the oddity that they actually bring it back for more throws!
You Don’t Have To Declaw Cats To Deter Damage!
Many people don’t have cats or get rid of them because of the damage cats do to furniture and fabrics with their nails. If they can afford to declaw their cat, they will, and contrary to human assumption, declawing is painful and can hinder a cat and even alter its behavior. No need to get into it, but here is one of many quick articles you can google:
The best alternative to damage is to train your cat, preferably from a young age, to use appropriate scratch boards and posts. Refresh them with catnip from time to time to re-interest them in using these things. Growing up, I learned that you can clip a dog’s nails, but I’d never heard of clipping a cat’s nails. Lo and behold, this is another thing which is best done since a young age. However, as with anything, a cat can learn to adjust to it. I had a friend who taught me how to clip my cats’ nails, and now that I can do it on my own I absolutely love it. My cats are so good, minus an occasionally growl from Mr. Sensitive Back Feet, aka Timba. It really helps lessen unintentional scratches to me and any that may occur when they play with each other.
Cats Are Better In Numbers!
One cat can be plenty for a person or a family. They can be just as lovable as they would be if you had more than one cat. However, the fun factor gets a serious boost when you have more than one cat. At one point, I lived with 8 cats between my roommate and myself. That was a period of a lot of laughter and a lot of learning about cat nature. Since then, I now live by myself with my two cats, who provide just as much fun and learning as did 8. When cats interact with each other we get to observe more of their antics that may not play out in a single cat. Another benefit of more than one cat is the emotional and physical health of your cats. Having a playmate and companion seems to make for a happier cat. Not that solitude is bad, but just like us, they are social creatures. They also exercise more, and while it may mean more trouble (toppled items from romping kitties) it is totally worth it to have happy healthy cats whose frolicking often evokes laughter.
Cats Are Not Disposable!
Growing up I had numerous cats, but very few until a ripe old age. We moved somewhat frequently, and we didn’t have a lot of money. Mostly the moving factor was what decided a cat’s next living arrangement. To a kid, it’s sad, but once it happens often enough it just seems the status quo: animals aren’t humans and sometimes you have to get rid of them.
Not a lesson I adhere to anymore. Yes, with 8 cats a few years ago, some of them were mine and I found them new homes. While a season of irresponsibility by taking on too many cats was not good, it did teach me about love, commitment, stewardship, and the priceless, invaluable lives wrapped up in whiskers, fur, and paws. They aren’t just animals or pets. They aren’t for our purposes. They are created by God for his delight, and we get the gift of being their stewards. I love how the pet-mom and pet-dad concept is growing in America and other countries. More and more people are calling animals their family or their fur babies. The bond is irreplaceable, as are the creatures with whom we bond. Having learned about them through life, growing in understanding and appreciation, I can now say there is nothing on earth that would ever cause me to dispose of my cats. No new homes ever. I am their forever home, their mom, their caretaker, their furless companion. Nothing makes my heart happier than to see other people loving their cats (and dogs) in such a way. I interact with various Facebook groups of Russian Blue and Flame Point owners, and people literally all over the world are loving their felines in ways that I can honestly say surely honors and reflects a loving Creator.