The bond that grows between human and pet over the time when we are introduced can be attested to by anyone who is blessed to have one in their life. Dogs are typically identified as being the pet that mutually reciprocates the affection their owner shows them. However, all pets – cats, hamsters, horses and other beloved companions all form an attachment of their own kind to “their human”. I say “their human” because I think animals like to mark their owner as belonging to them- cat owners especially could relate to being their cat’s personal assistant.
When I say all animals can have a way of demonstrating their ownership of their human – their unrivalled mark of who is “theirs”, I can say from personal experience that I had a Siamese fighter fish who, yes really, showed signs of recognition and acknowledgement toward me. I still maintain this, though most people I have related this too haven’t believed me. However, I will tell you readers at ready for pets, because out of all people than most, perhaps you’ve had a fish who has had their own way of acknowledging me. Aside from feeding times, Edgar, (his name) would without fail, swim toward me in his tank when I walked into the room. People would attribute this to Edgar’s expectation of a meal. However, as I said this was also apart from all feeding times. It’s like your husband. He doesn’t just say “hello honey” when he wants dinner. Hopefully there are other times when his affection is made apparent. (Hopefully also, he cooks dinner for you).
He didn't jump like this fish, but Edgar demonstrated some emotion/Image courtesy of Vectorolie at freedigitalphotos.net
In this article, I want to tell readers how my cat, Suzie, demonstrates her unmistakeable love toward me, as well as defend cat cynics who tout felines as aloof and undemonstrative, showing signs of love to their human when their stomachs are empty – commonly known as cupboard love. By the way, I am not saying this is not an aspect of cat love, but we all get hungry don’t we? This is survival instinct to keep their human informed of their needs. We have all heard of the expression “puppy dog eyes” – is this not a canine equivalent?
I have to also defend the cat cynics. Yes, some cats are seemingly more aloof in their behaviour than others. However, to all owners of these cats (or personal assistants I should say), there are signs, if you look closely. They’re just more subtle. A lot like your husband perhaps who isn’t one to always say “I love you”, and isn’t into demonstrative signs of affection. You know your aloof husband cares. (or aloof wife for husbands reading this).
Anyway, every day I am reminded and touched of Suzie’s unique ways of telling me she loves me. I say unique because I don’t know how other feline personal assistants are told of their cat’s affections, but the most common I hear is they sit on their lap, and nestle close.
When I first got Suzie, it became quickly evident she wasn’t a lap sitter. At first, I must admit I was disappointed. I had preconceptions of a furry feline on my knee while I watched television, me fondling her, and her purring in response. The two of us sitting there in pleasure. However, it is only in winter, and then only now and then when Suzie will sit on my knee. I lap this up enormously. Thus I will say her manifestations of love are unique. This is also because I have never had another cat who has demonstrated these behaviours. In addition my neighbours and others have often said to me “I have never seen a cat do that before.” I am sure, when you read this, Ready for Pets readers who do have or had a cat that you will relate to many of these. However, they mean so much to me, they bring me so much pleasure in my day that I feel compelled to share them with you.
Firstly, when I go out, she is sitting the driveway, waiting for me. With her paws tucked under, she watchfully surveys the driveway. I think “Wow, I am that important to my little one and I mean so much to her that I am worth waiting for!” I don’t tell her anything amusing, there are no expectations that humans have (like a boyfriend waiting for sex!). Okay, I know what you’re thinking. “She is waiting for a meal”. In her defence, my neighbours, who have also fallen in love with Suzie, and her with them, will have already satisfied her little palate by giving her beef or some such other delicacy.
Secondly, she shows not only is looking forward to seeing me again, she is actually excited about it! Much like a dog, she runs to me! Always! I can’t tell you the lift I feel when I see this little cat galloping to me. I feel excited too. I feel loved. I feel cherished. I can’t say any other person feels that excited when they see me. It’s not cupboard love guys. She isn’t running to the door, waiting for a meal.
I am worth the energy burst demonstrated by a run!/Image courtesy Source: Love Cats by Helgi Halldorsson at commons.wikimedia.org
Thirdly she collapses onto the ground – a lot of feline owners are aware of this one. In that moment of mutual pleasure you are able to show your puddy cat how much they mean to you. Scratching under their neck, watching them roll from one side to the other when you I can demonstrate my excitement.
I have to add here, that no matter how bad my day has been I am always always always smiling when these things happen. I don’t know if Suzie is aware of the impact she has on me.
Fourthly, when I pat her, she feels the need to reciprocate. She invariable starts purring, and then will start licking me. It’s almost like she feels the need to earn her pat. I always feel guilty. I say “Suzie, you don’t need to lick me. This is about you!!”.
A cat's lick is like a kiss - I'm touched I am worthy of one/Image courtesy of Lazy Lightening at commons.wikimedia.org
Fifthly, it’s not just when I come home that I get the gallop toward me. Again, much like a puppy dog, when she has been say, in the next door neighbours’ yard (!) and I emerge from the house, say, to put the washing on the line, she has this cutest way of trotting toward me. This little black and white cat trotting to me. It’s the most beautiful sight in the world to me.
Thank you, Suzie. Thank you for the ways you show me you love me. You mean more to me than you’ll ever know.