Humorous cat behavior – Part 1

As cats age they seem to forget, more than ever before, that they are not human. Oddly, it may seem that they are, in some sense, human. It is a fact that animals are much more plugged into we humans than we are rationally able to admit. A fascinating treatise on this subject is Rupert Sheldrake’s book, “Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home.” The book chronicles stories of owners who have noticed this uncanny ability in their pets, even at times when they themselves had no way of knowing of a household member’s imminent return. The writer’s extensive research into this phenomenon suggests that pets employ a sixth sense, akin to reading the minds of their owners, as opposed to the preferred explanation that they must sense it somehow with their usual five senses.

I believe that not only are pets telepathic, but they may even understand what we are saying, somehow. My now long deceased pet cat, “Moose”, as my mother named him in frustration at my continued reference to him as “Kitty”, despite his large frame and noteworthy killing abilities, exhibited this possibility to me late in his life. My brother and I were sitting on the deck with the cat at our feet, discussing his descent into old age and its likely ramifications, one fine day. We laughingly suggested that his days of exceptional prowess with rodents must certainly be over and wondered whether he might still be capable of catching a mouse, even. Moose did not seem in any obvious way to be perturbed at that time.

However, not a week or two later, I was upstairs with the window open and heard him persistently meowing from the deck below. I looked out and saw him there, but there was no apparent provocation of his distress in sight. I questioned aloud what had gotten into the cat, but no one answered. So, I made my way to the door to the deck to see more closely what might be the matter with him. Moose, who never exhibited his kills to us throughout his life (instead we often found them in their grotesque forms in the woods nearby the house), sat there with a dead mouse under his paw. It hit me that he was crying out for recognition of his then still evident capabilities. I laughed aloud at this and told everyone, as there was no other explanation to my mind for his most unusual behavior.

There were other times, as well, when Moose astounded me later in his life. Once, after being dumped over the phone by a particularly brutish boyfriend, I sat and wept openly. Moose was at my feet and he quite uncharacteristically leapt up onto my lap, put his paws to either side of my throat, and rubbed his head against my chin. It was such an obvious and seemingly human attempt to console me that it shocked me out of my crying! Perhaps most human was his insistence, complete with paw stamping, that he get some food from the refrigerator at times when I was too lazy or disinterested in finding something for him. Very funny! I miss old Moose and hope to see him in heaven one day as some folks say that we will. Until then, Moose!

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