Wednesday, June 12, 2024
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Feline Faith and Understanding

dilute calico cat looking at doorknob
Peaches knows the door will open if she looks at the doorknob long enough.

This was one of my very first posts on The Creative Cat a little over four years ago—here is little Peaches just being herself, the Fantastic Four were 18 months old and playing in the bathroom, Cookie and Namir were right there with me but keeping out of the camera range at that moment because they were just plain tired of me and my little gadget.

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 inside the space behind the door. 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.

dilute calico cat looking at doorknob
Peaches continues to look at the doorknob.

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 but often have a spare kitty, and often it actually contains a rescue of some stripe or other, or a foster.

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 if someone can pee.

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 sometimes 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 existence of Mimi’s Children, so she’s in the room having quiet time and getting special attention.

dilute calico cat
Peaches is still looking at the doorknob.

So Peaches will patiently sit and look up at the doorknob, sometimes dozing off. Peaches is very sweet and I love her to pieces but 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, and that usually having to do with food or my lap; the rest of it is taken up with pure love for me and the rest of the world. She is 19 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 the door is closed and that means something is happening in there that she might like to see, and if she looks at 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.

I did ultimately let Peaches in there to keep Kelly company

*Underneath that understated exterior, Peaches is a very creative thinker as I discovered when she considered becoming a photographer—read “Area Senior Cat Finds Muse in Photography” in the writing area of my website.

Read more about Peaches, the kitty I rescued at age 15 after her owner died, and who lived to be 20, How Peaches Stole My Heart. Because of Peaches, I will always have a deep fondness for dilute calico cats.

Browse some rescued cats and kittens!

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8 thoughts on “Feline Faith and Understanding

  • We love those shots of Peaches. And SOMEbody figured out how to OPEN the closed door at the MOST inopportune time yesterday – just as the last coat of polyurethane was drying… *sigh* yes Faraday, that was YOU.

    • Lisa, Peaches came and stole my heart. She was also famous for walking on things she shouldn’t. Wouldn’t the smell of the polyurethane turn Faraday away? Not for the persistent cat! You closed a door! Do you have to sand out the pawprints?

  • Peaches is gorgeous. Litchi, my dog, does the same thing with food and water bowls. Just stares at them endlessly, knowing that, if she does so, eventually they will miraculously be filled. I hope the day never comes that I don’t notice her looking at them, because she’ll never come and ask me 🙂

    • Susan, she’ll just learn another way to get your attention!

  • Yes… the magical, mystical power of a closed door and the power it holds over a cat!! None of mine like a closed door, with the exception of Zoey. She has the strangest little habit – you will hear the sound of a door shutting in the distance… it is her… once again she has locked herself inside a room! Of course, we instantly come and open it for her, so I imagine it is just her way of saying, “Hey, I can get you to get up from whatever you are doing and I am in charge!” Either that or she just a very private cat…

    I always love hearing stories of your beloved Peaches and I like how you keep her in your life by re-posting about her.

    • Deb, I didn’t have enough time while she was here to post all I thought people would be interested in, and for people who don’t know I’ve ever had other than black cats, well, there’s the proof! I’m sure Zoey is being a manipulative kitty by whatever means at her disposal–or she’s trying to set up an ambush and she literally pushes it too far.

  • Ha ! I love how you leave me laughing over you for several days. Thanks !
    “…may have been anything that might at some time have been of interest…” How well I know this from my sleep-overs at Li’s ! I learned very early on that “my” (really theirs) bedroom door must be ajar at all times, even when undressing and sleeping. 🙂

    As for disabilities and that strange envy: don’t even get me started… (well, you did, anyway.) For some reason, I have had friends and family members think that being in pain 24/7, and living on S.S. disability at $10,000 per year is some kind of wonderful vacation. It’s a disconcerting revelation, to say the least.

    • Diana, trying to put into words might be floating through Peaches’ head is always fun! I used to call her my “blonde”, though I don’t believe in the Blonde theory, but she really did just ignore anything that didn’t concern her.

      And that envy is for people who’ve never been there!


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