5 Purrfectly Reasonable Habits

I love my cats.  I try hard not to love them to the extent of being a crazy cat lady and, most days, I think I succeed.  There are some moments, though, where the truth cannot be avoided:  I’ve been brain-washed.

That’s the only way to explain the strange and inconvenient habits I’ve developed over the years.  They might seem perfectly reasonable to me, but none are easy to explain to non-cat-people who happen to witness them in action.

Here are some examples:

1. I check for cats before closing any door, drawer, or cabinet in my house.  No matter how ridiculously improbable it is that there is a cat in there.

They're usually not so conveniently labeled. (from http://getoutoftherecat.tumblr.com)
They’re usually not so conveniently labeled. (from http://getoutoftherecat.tumblr.com)

This is one of those habits that I’ve learned through experience.  It doesn’t matter how small a drawer is, or how high up a cabinet is– if it is open for any significant length of time, a cat will climb in.

When Dave and I adopted our first cat, we were living in an apartment that had a cabinet above the toilet.  To get to it, I had to stand on a stepladder and stretch up my tippy toes.  One day, while I was taking a bath, I heard a scratching sound coming from the cabinet.  I reached up to check on it and, sure enough, out came a flying cat.

I didn’t bother asking her how she managed to get in that cabinet, by the way.  Cats are the world’s best secret-keepers.

2.  I hesitate before buying canned food.

Somehow, no matter where you are in the house, cats can hear a can opening.  I’m pretty sure mine can hear me think about opening a can.

After the 47th meow, you begin to really wish that you had opened a can of cat food, and not just garbanzos.

You go into a full-blown garbanzo panic, fueled by meow-inspired adrenaline surging through your body:  “They won’t eat these! I was so stupid to open beans instead of cat food.  What was I thinking?!  How do I make them stop??

It’s not worth it.  Buy fresh foods.

3.  I don’t wear mittens.

I value warmth, but I value my fingers more.   As soon as your fingers go into a mitten or glove, all cats see are mitten-shaped mice.

Do you see the teeth mark in this boxing glove? Imagine knitted mittens. (from http://www.flickr.com/photos/tonyglos)
Do you see the teeth mark in this boxing glove? Imagine knitted mittens. (from http://www.flickr.com/photos/tonyglos)

4.  I respond to any sound as if it’s a real thought.

It started with responding to meows.  Now, some guy in the grocery story hiccups and I turn to him and say, “Yes?”

lotsofpeople

5.  I don’t put bedsheets on the bed.

Well, I do, but I do it the slow and laborious way– one corner at a time, in the dark, in total silence.

If you try to fluff a bed sheet into the air like that old parachute game we used to play in class, you will, almost certainly, catch a cat.

Trying to put a bed sheet on the bed is the fastest way to rip up your bedsheets and irritate the animal that winds up caught inside.

It’s not worth it!

cat-over-sheet

cat-under-sheet

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Are you a cat-person? Do you have any strange habits lent to you by years of living with pets?

94 thoughts on “5 Purrfectly Reasonable Habits

  1. I do all those, of course I have cats! Making the bed is always a chore lol My cat doesn’t just know the sound of the can opener, she can recognize the sound of a can being taken out of the pantry. Cat’s are great at the “glare of guilt”, I always feel as though I should have given her more food instead of gotten myself some soup. We have to be extra careful with the laundry, my cat has the ability to sneak into the dryer while you’re filling it with wet clothes (she’s very odd).

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    1. Oh no, thank goodness our laundry has always been way out of the way. I can’t imagine how paranoid I’d be about that. The dishwasher, as it is, makes me feel ridiculous. My sister (who does not have pets) looked at me like I was insane when she was closing the dishwasher and I screeched, “Check for cats!!” 😀 haha! I love their glare of guilt. It impresses me with it’s effectiveness. 😀

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      1. I forgot about the dishwasher check! But yup, that too! Though I’m not as worried about accidentally closing her in there as I am the dryer.

        The front and back doors are other “freak out” points for me, since the cat is always trying to sneak out between the feet of people not paying attention. It’s rough being a cat owner 😉

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  2. I have conversations with my cat, who is very talkative. Usually when I come home, they go something like this:
    “Meow? Meow! Meow.”
    “Oh, good to see you too. Miss me?”
    “Meowmeowmeow.”
    “I see you didn’t use the oven. Good girl.”
    “Mrrow!”
    And so forth.
    I have to check the fridge in addition to cupboards. I don’t know why, but my kitty has a fascination with the fridge and its contents, and there have been a couple times she started climbing in without me noticing. Luckily, no fur got on the food. 😀

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    1. I love your sample conversation, haha! 😀

      Yep, they love to climb in fridges! So random. Once, I decided to close my younger cat in the fridge for 2 seconds just to show him that he didn’t want to be in there. I closed the door, counted to 1 locomotive, and then opened the door– to find him relaxing and cleaning his paws on my shelf. He kinda looked at me like “What do you want?” as if I walked into his bedroom, haha! Cats are ridiculous. (And I guess, so am I… since I had to clean my whole fridge after that. 🙂 )

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  3. Garry and I both had cats, individually and separately for many years … 4 when we started living together. When we decided to merge households,its success depended on our cats getting along. Fortunately they did and the rest is history. We don’t have cats now. We have 4 dogs. Big Guy was our last cat. He was the best cat ever and when he died, we didn’t want another cat. There couldn’t ever be another Big Guy. All the things you do? We did them with our cats … and now we do the same with the dogs. They are not as different as people think. Doesn’t everyone talk to their pets? Big Guy talked back. The Cat and the Cardinal was about Big Guy. Garry put Big Guy on television a couple of times. He got hundreds of calls wanting to know about that beautiful cat. He was very special.

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    1. Dogs and cats aren’t as different as people think? That is true, in terms of talking and attention, and thinking everything is a toy or game. But I never hear about dogs climbing into random things! 😀

      Big Guy sounds very special, indeed!

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  4. I am now a cat person due to my little squish faced cat Bixby. Now I talk to cats, respond to meows, don’t mind being pawed in the face when it’s time to wake up and put up with a cat that loves watching me shower and put my make up on. Ha

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  5. I’m a cat person and the bed-sheet “game” is really one of the funniest things, besides the costs, of course.

    But we only have one cat, a tomcat called Bruno and since we live in a house he prefers to stay outside most of the day. So the bed-sheets are quite safe being changed during the day.

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    1. Haha, it is pretty hilarious. 😀 Unless you’re actually trying to get the sheet on in a hurry, in which case it’s madness! 🙂

      Ah, Bruno sounds darling! Mine are both indoor cats so I can only do the beds when they are distracted. 🙂

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  6. I laughed so hard at this.

    “Cats are the world’s best secret-keepers.”

    It’s true. My cat disappeared for almost a month, once. Prior to that he used to disappear for days at a time on all kinds of adventures. Since his month-long-stint, though, when we had almost given him up for dead, he does not leave the yard. Nobody knows what happened, and we probably never will.

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    1. They all do things like this! So random. Although a month-long is scary… at that point, even I’d give up hope. That’s amazing that he made his way back.

      When I volunteered at shelters, you could almost figure out where the puppies came from by how they reacted to certain “human foods”, colors, materials, and television shows… but the cats… they had a poker face all the time. They kept their secrets deep inside! 🙂

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      1. True enough. Although my cat learned to talk from other cats in, not a shelter but a “Kitty Condo.” I dropped him off in one for a few days when my whole family took off across the border over Christmas, he was a silent cat before that, and when he came back he was LOUD! And his meow actually sounded creepily like the word “Mom,” but only when he was talking to my mom. Weirdo.

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        1. Haha! My older cat Perdita (cat 1) had the same problem… she didn’t purr or meow before we brought home Flash (cat 2). She had to learn to be a cat, but even now her meow sounds a little rusty! 🙂

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  7. I respond to meows! I have different responses for each cat. One of mine does this little purr-y thing in her throat that I always respond to with ‘really?’, like she’s just pointed something very interesting out. The other is quite vocal and will meow lots…so I meow back. I hope I’m saying the right things to her….

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  8. My cat was always getting locked in the closet. We’d never see her slip in, but if she did not come to greet us at the door when we got home from work, we knew exactly where she was! When we’d open the door, she’d brush right past us with her nose in the air, and stomp off to the litter box. After a visit to the food dish and water bowl, then she might think about coming to find us to ask how our day was…

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  9. Oh thank heavens I’m normal!! I thought I was the only one that deals with a cat that thinks she’s my boss. I’ve tried to fight this for some time but am slowly giving in. That guilt-look! Has me scrambling around for fresh good, clean water, the hair brush. She sometimes gets closed in the loo or in my studio. I close the studio door at night prior going to bed. After five minutes of her not joining me I’d start worrying. I’d listen for a meow. I’d rush to all the places where she could possibly be. One night, she conveniently had her paw out from under the loo door to show me where she was. I laughed so loud! And yes, of course we talk. That’s in between the times I’m not apologising to her for not treating her as she expects me to. We discussed being queens the other night. Told her I think I’m one too! Now what are we going to do about who comes first in this house? Thinking of opening a can? She knows Everything I think! I’d try and meditate behind a closed door (lots of closed doors in this house – helps for privacy from my cat). She’d sit and silently vibe me from just outside until I give up and open the door. In she’d stroll with a smug look: ‘that’s better!’ it says. I can go on and on.

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    1. Haha, I know that smug look all too well! As well as the vibe. I get nervous when we’re out on an unexpected trip too long because I know mine will be upset about not being informed. I can feel the vibe from miles away! 🙂 Well, that’s the eternal question of cat-ownership… “do you own one, or are you owned by one?” 😀

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  10. I’ll have to get Murphy to read this so that he understands what real cats do. Apart from complaining non -stop to eat, he doesn’t sleep in drawers, doesn’t play, and doesn’t communicate. Sigh. He does have a habit of climbing into cars with open windows and falling asleep in them though – once he ended up in a neighbouring village that way. We finally got him back after putting ads all over the place – he was being fed ice cream and wailed when we took him home. So much for being thankful.

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    1. Doesn’t sleep in drawers?! I’m pretty handy with cat training but I can’t get mine out of drawers. 🙂 The car window thing would make me nervous although it sounds like it worked out fabulously for Murphy, haha! 😀 I love that story. I can just imagine a cat, grumpy from being pulled away from his adoring fans. 😀

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  11. My cat seems to wait until I make the bed and then jumps on it as if he’s saying ‘excellent, thanks for making the bed for me, I can fo for my nap now’. I completely agree with 1.

    I have to add one to your list – not leaving tasty things around that cats can try to get inside.

    When my cat was a kitten he somehow managed to get his head stuck in an empty baked beans tin, thankfully we were able to pull it off his head but I’m quite sure it’s made him crazier than he was before.

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    1. Haha! Oh, that must’ve been hilarious to watch… frustrating, but also hilarious. 😀 Yes, you’re right… anything they can plop their heads in, like cracker boxes or tins of any sort… they’ll go for it. 🙂

      One of our cats is like yours with the bedsheets… the other one turns making the bed into an hour long project. 🙂 Ah well, they’re crazy, but I love them. 🙂

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      1. I can look back on it and laugh now but it was a scary at the time.
        Awh that must make changing your bed sheets a pain, it always amazes me that you can buy a cat actual cat toys and they ignore them, but as soon as they see an everyday object like paper, bed sheets or bottles they go crazy.

        Cats are awesome and they’re all so different and completely nuts in their own way. I sound like a crazy cat lady now don’t I?

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  12. If you celebrate christmas, how’s your cat’s relationship with the tree?
    Back home, when my mom brought a cat that she found behind a trash can, I’m sure she was not aware of what she was doing. Christmas came, she put the tree with her al time favorite and most precious crystal decorations, they lasted 2 days, she was furious. The cat loved to climb the tree and jump to the curtains.

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  13. We have two boy cats who are going on a year old now, and they are into everything. Checking to make sure the door to the bathroom, bedroom, and office are latched and that both boys are accounted for is just second nature when we leave the house.

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    1. Only a year? awww, they’re babies! Yes, door-checking becomes second-nature. I only really notice when a non-cat-person is around. They’re always baffled by my quick check of closets and drawers. 🙂

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    1. Small turtles are darling! The horses and dogs, well… just too much spit and smell involved for me. But they’re amazing to see in videos and from a distance, or to visit very briefly. 😀

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    1. They cracked me up. I’m not even sure how someone managed to video tape that to make the clip. Trying something like that would cost me my fingers, I’m sure! 🙂

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  14. We play “Where’s the cat?” all the time… she might be in the closet with the water heater or in the crack btwn the backdoor and the screen door – or she might be in the cabinet with all the paper towels b/c she likes to open that door when she’s annoyed with me. I love nutty cats…

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    1. The opening of doors is constantly surprising. They’re little magicians. I had my cat in a full body harness for a week, confident that he couldn’t Houdini out of there like he always does with the collar. Then one day it was bothering him and I wouldn’t take it off, so he went to the closet… and came out without it on. *mind blown*

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  15. We’re catless these days, but you are so right about the way cats reprogram us!

    I love your final clip with that tuxie doing the backstroke between the mattress cover and sheet 😀

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    1. I didn’t want to put two gifs for that one list point because it made the post look a little sloppy, but the two kitties in those gifs were just too cute to not include. 😀 I love the backstroke, too, though I know what that bed sheet probably looked like at the end of it all… 🙂

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  16. One of our cats likes to be swaddled like a baby. It started out with the kid being funny but it turned out the cat liked it. So now when the cat meows, the kid makes him into a cat burrito.

    The other one likes to drown toys and has this ratty pumpkin toy from Halloween several years ago that he has to bring me every night. It got lost for awhile, so I would have discussions with the cat about losing his pumpkin.

    Two years until the kid leaves home…I am totally hosed if it is just me and the cats from then on.

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    1. Perdita, our older cat, does the same with the drowning and swaddling. It started with me putting clothes on top of her because she was in the way… and now she loves it. 🙂 Flash, the baby, has a little toy that he beats up when he’s angry and I’m constantly telling him to “go find Buck”, which also sounds nutty. Oh, cats. They’re turning me loony! Well. Loonier. 🙂

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  17. I haven’t developed any strange habits inspired by the cats, at least not that I know of, anyway. I’ve had cats in my home pretty constantly since I was 8. Anything out of the ordinary was ingrained so long ago, that I’ve completely forgotten. They’ve got me well-trained by now.

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  18. Definitely not a cat person! Highly allergic! I am a dog lover. I know this is almost foul language to cat lovers everywhere, but . . . My name is Benzeknees & I love dogs.

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      1. Of course! I wanted to try it out. When I first started blog #1 (I have 4 now! Yikes!) I went with WordPress because I liked the design options better and it looked like it was more user friendly. I had no computer/tech knowledge/education then, (I’ve learned a lot since 😉 tho) so that was better for me. Also, there seem to be way more cat/pet/animal bloggers over on blogspot, though I feel WP allows for easier commenting, liking, and communicating with other bloggers (unless someone switches to WP.org then it gets difficult). Feel free to ask anything else. You can email me too to the email that shows up on your comments page.

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    1. 😀 Very true. Your mind and bedsheets are safe from goldfish! Of course, then you don’t get any adorable cuddling or animated gifs. Win some, lose some. 🙂

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  19. I talk to my cat sometimes and if i forget to close a cupboard then I have to take time and check all the shelves because more often than not the cat will be sleeping in there.

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  20. I have 3 cats I love dearly. I talk to them, even asking questions and feeling like I got an answer from them. I also check al room, drawers boxes, etc for cats. Loved the post.

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  21. My cats love “helping” to make the bed. And while they don’t have a can obsession, one in particular can sense when we are going outside, and she times her run perfectly so she can sneak out between our legs. It’s amazing. New habit picked up because I have cats? I no longer leave plastic anywhere… they will find it. Smell, sound, a disturbance in the plastic force, I have no idea… but they will find it!!

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    1. Plastic? Like crinkly plastic or like… outlet covers? 🙂 Our cats were blissfully unaware of the glory of cans until we gave them wet food… once! After that, it was meows all the time and now wet food has to show up once every few months to appease them because they simply will not forget. 🙂

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      1. Hah! Plastic – plastic bags, plastic liners, plastic anything.
        I am very thankful that both of our cats turned up their noses at wet food. *phew* dodged a bullet there!

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        1. Ah, that makes sense! My youngest is the same with gift wrapping paper. I now know how to gift wrap in the air, haha, just to keep the paper safe. 😀

          You really did dodge a wet-food bullet there… totally worthy of giving thanks. 😀

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          1. Gift wrapping in the air is quite the talent! I just give them distraction scraps and ribbons to keep them occupied.
            That never works, though. So, all my presents come with disclaimers – I have cats. Most people understand.

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  22. OMG I can so relate! I have 4 cats and had 3 others over 20 years of marriage. I cant even imagine the money I have spent, including 20G on laminate floors from cat pee. Any unhappiness and its’ goodbye to the litter box. Recently one of them got caught in a closet. Yup, peed on everything. Of course, only part of it was removed by my daughter and husband. I found the rest and I think fire actually came out of my eyeballs. I go postal with cat pee! Otherwise they are fascinating and entertaining pets.

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    1. You can train kitties to use the toilet. I’m not really sure if that’s less gross or more gross, but it’s a viable option. 🙂 Yay for kitties on the bed!

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  23. Oh, you hit it on the head, Rara! Not only the bottom sheet, but especially, the duvet. Elby That Cat! has discovered the joy of entering inside the duvet from the bottom and attacking anything that moves. Yikes!

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  24. I happily admit to loving my cats and appreciating their different personalities. As well as all your habits I’ve developed the swift side-step, a move deployed solely as a means to avoid ankle attacks from my angelic-looking but highly spirited white cat.

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    1. Haha! Yes, the side-step. It’s also handy when you have a cat who seems to get literally “underfoot” all the time. 🙂 Or, when you have a cat, like mine, who tries to get stepped on in order to trigger the “Oh,poor thing, give him treats” response. 🙂

      I love cat personalities! So varied, but so… colorful!

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  25. I love this post! And I would add: 6. Never fully closing the bathroom door. Because some cat will always want to follow you inside. It’s second nature now, but highly embarrassing if you’re out at a friend’s place.

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  26. I never wear socks, for the same reason you don’t wear mittens. My cat is pretty sure my toes are food anyway, but covering them in something that at one point smelled like sheep is just like ringing a dinner bell.

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  27. Except for canned food, I think I have all those habits. Although there are times I forget about doing the bed sheets slowly, then I quickly regret…
    My hair ties are the issue. I always have to remember to put my elastics away in my drawer, if not, its gonna be a midnight party and getting stomped awake in the middle of the night.

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  28. Awesome kitty gifs 😛

    I have developed some habits because of my dog! I will never say the word ‘walk’ in my daily vocabulary anymore unless I am actually going to take my dog for a walk since whenever I do say the word, Macy goes absolutely crazy and won’t calm down. I also leave an available pillow on the bed since she likes lying on them. And I also respond to barks, whimpers, and whines like I do with words, like you…

    Oh God. Macy is taking over.

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  29. I could relate to much of this (we have three cats in our house, or rather, three cats allow us to live here, feed them and pay all the bills :))

    When I sleep, I try not to change positions. Apparently, a leg moving under the blankets is the best toy EVER! I am also careful to not leave my iced tea sitting around, because I’ve busted them drinking it. Gross.

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  30. I do all of these when I live with cats. I don’t live with cats currently, but I expect that trend will reverse itself after I move back to the US.

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