Feline Faith and Understanding

Peaches knows that the door will open if she stares at the doorknob long enough.
Peaches knows that the door will open if she stares at the doorknob long enough.

Sometimes persistence is a very physical thing, sometimes it’s more cerebral.

Cats dislike closed doors, and will have you come and open the door just so they can look inside and see if there may have been anything that might at some time have been of interest to them. After even only a quick cursory glance, they may see that there was nothing of interest in there after all, and will simply walk away without apology. After all, you exist to fulfill their needs, and their needs aren’t all that great—what does it take to open a door, or put out some food, or move over in bed, or toss the toy, or pet them for the 32 seconds or two hours they want? Oh, and there are several other things that should be done, but we can leave these for another posting.

My house is very small, and without very many doors. The ones that exist are rarely closed, except those to the outside.

In this case, however, the door in question is the entry to what may be seen as “the good life” by the feline members of my household. This is the Spare Kitty Room, as I have no need for a spare bedroom, and often it actually contains a spare kitty, a rescue of some stripe or other, or a foster.

Peaches continues to look at the doorknob.
Peaches continues to look at the doorknob.

It can also contain a sick kitty, one who is actively ill with some acute or chronic illness as rescues or very rarely a regular resident may be, or one of the very seniors who needs a little extra care. Often, the room is only used as an observation area to isolate which kitty has been leaving the really awful stuff in the box, or to see if I can determine why so-and-so is eating with less enthusuiasm.

Now, why would they associate a room with “the good life” which I associate with illness and recovery? For the same reason I was always envious of my accident-prone brother—he got all the attention, the extra gifts, the time out of school, lots of special treatment I never got! Both humans and felines can easily forget or ignore the side effects of illness when there is some treat involved.

In this case, the room is warm and cozy with the best bed, one’s own litterbox, usually special food and sometimes it’s available all day, not this ungenerous twice-daily dash for the dishes before it’s taken away again. A nice window with a bird feeder directly outside provides entertainment, and, because the Spare Kitty Room doubles as my art studio where I perform non-computer-related activities, they get special time with mom, and having mom’s lap to one’s self in a house with multiple cats is apparently worth more than food.

Right now, Kelly is in there because she was the one found to be emitting the nasty stuff in the box. She is very upset by the dominance of Mimi’s Children, so she’s in the room having quiet time and getting special attention.

Peaches is still looking at the doorknob.
Peaches is still looking at the doorknob.

So Peaches will patiently sit and look up at the doorknob, sometimes dozing off. I don’t think Peaches is the type of cat who reflects—in fact, I think her mind is most often nearly empty with only one thought at a time taking up a small portion. She is about 18 years old and her age may have something to do with this, but I don’t think Peaches was ever the introspective sort, just quiet and consistent, pretty straightforward.* I’m not sure she’s even considering why she’s looking at the doorknob, only that if she does it long enough, she will get some sort of reward. Her focus can stay entirely on the doorknob, and when the door opens it can move to what is waiting inside.

I know she’s up there right now, waiting.

*As a footnote, Peaches did show some innovation at one point in her time here when she considered becoming a photographer. Read “Area Senior Cat Finds Muse in Photography” in the writing area of my website. I caught her in action, trying to use my camera.

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Bernadette

From health and welfare to rescue and adoption stories, advocacy and art, The Creative Cat offers both visual and verbal education and entertainment about cats for people who love cats. From catchy and creative headlines to factual articles and fictional stories, The Creative Cat provides constant entertainment and important information to people who love cats, pets and animals of all species.

4 thoughts on “Feline Faith and Understanding

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  • February 22, 2009 at 6:37 pm
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    Hi Bernadette,
    I so enjoyed your little story above about Peaches, your elderly cat! My young Tiger-kitty is sitting with me now, as I type to you. She loves to sit under my halogen desk lamp, because it throws off heat & to her, it is a cozy place to be. She loves to follow me daily throughout the house, too. She is my favorite companion these days.

    I look forward to your coming to one of your poetry readings soon. Judi & I were going to come last Thursday, but her kitty was sick & she had to take him to the vet. (That comes first, you know!)

    I am also now subscribing to your free newsletter! Great job!

    Celine

    Reply

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