Commonly Held Beliefs about CatsThere are a number of commonly held beliefs about cats, all of which I bought into, until recently when my wife and I took in Sebastian, a wonderful, mysterious creature who has disproven much of what I thought I knew about cats. Here are some examples:
1. Cats are independent- Not this cat. He is extremely clingy. Unless he is sleeping, he needs to be around us nearly all of the time. We thought it was a kitten thing and that he would grow out of it, but he has not, though he no longer forces himself in between us when we are sitting on the couch.
2. Cats are low maintenance- Definitely not the case with Sebastian. He is constantly complaining about something, and has a whole repetoire of meows for different needs, though we have no idea what most of them mean. My wife told me that according to a myth from her childhood, at midnight on Christmas Day, the animals all speak in human languages. I told her that this would be a bad thing for us, as we really do not want to know what our cat has to say.
3. Cats are nocturnal- Sebastian typically falls asleep at around 11pm, so he is not nocturnal, but he might as well be when it's 5am and he's whining for someone to play with him.
4. All cats love fish- Probably most of them do, but our cat won't even try it. When he was a kitten, we gave him a kitty treat once that was supposed to taste like salmon. He sniffed it a couple of times, and then tried to bury it, thinking it was his own feces.
5. Curiosity killed the cat- Hardly. Yes, cats are curious, but they rarely die from it. Sebastian likes to explore the world around him from our second-story balcony. For reasons unknown to us (we think it may have involved moths), one night he took a dive from the balcony, 12 feet down to the ground below. When I came out to find him, he was staring up at me from the parking lot, not pleased, but completely unharmed. He seemed largely unaffected by it, and once upstairs, ran straight for the balcony again, but has never gone overboard since.
6. Cats mark their territory- Well, yes, but only when it's necessary. In this case, it's ALL his, so it's doubtful that he ever bothered marking it.
7. Getting another cat will provide companionship for your cat and keep them out of your hair- We thought about doing this, until we talked to a friend that said she tried it, and now instead of one cat following her around and waking her up in the morning for some TLC, she has three.
8. Once you have a male cat neutered, he settles down and is quite docile- What? You've got to be kidding me.
9. Cats are distant and aloof- Well, maybe they are, but only until they want something. When Sebastian wants to be pet, which is quite often, he is anything but aloof. He begins whimpering and rolling around on the ground and once the petting begins, he's like a feline rotisserie, turning over to each side, and then his belly. Often, he'll have this far away look on his face, as if he were at a spa, getting a massage. It's a little odd.
10. Cats can be trained- You may think this can be done, but ask yourself who is the one actually being trained. Which one of you has the other wrapped around their finger (or paw)? There is a reason why the ancient Egyptians, by all accounts a very intelligent race, one day found themselves worshipping the little beasts.