For some people, a cat is just a cat. It’s something they “have,” much in the same way that they have a car, or have children. That is, it’s a being or entity in their presence that is NOT necessarily an intimate part of their lives. It’s like the dog chained to a dog house in the back corner of the yard, who gets some food and water dumped into bowls every morning, before it is summarily abandoned and forgotten.
A cat in this situation typically lives outdoors. They end up killing lots of smaller animals that they don’t necessarily need for sustenance. They get injured or killed in the wild outdoors. And when they die or otherwise cannot be found, they’ll talk about “getting another cat.”
It’s highly impersonal and not very caring. As a result, these cats are viewed as not caring about the family that “owns” them. Of course they don’t care, because why should they care about people who don’t care about them?
But for people like me, a cat is a being who becomes a member of the family, and who is welcomed and conditioned to participate in the household. They not only have names, but respond to their names. They will develop routines. They learn how to ask for things they want, including going for a walk. They sleep on the bed at night.
In other words, there’s more interaction, which indicates an actual relationship.
For me, I don’t consider myself an “owner,” so much as a father.
Today, I present to you the profiles of the cats who are current members of my family.
TIBO BAT PROFILE
Tibo Bat is a half-tabby/half-Maine Coon cat who was born on September 9, 2019. He was born of a cat who lived with someone who worked at the nearby animal clinic.
As a kitten, he was a violent whirlwind of sharp pin-like claws and teeth, with unbound destructive energy. Leather gloves were required to play with him. Over time, he learned how to play nice, or even play rough without causing serious damage.
His passions include playing tug-o-war with a dog toy and playing with wadded-up paper bags, batting them around like a ball and carrying them to where he wants them with his mouth. He also enjoys squeezing himself underneath the couch so that he can get up inside the body.
He has a blue handtowel that he considered to be his “blankie.” He is not afraid of the Shark vacuum cleaner, but has only recently started getting over the sound made by plastic trash bags.
For these reasons, and more, we wish to bestow upon Tibo Bat the distinguished honor of Goodest Good Boy.
RASCAL T. BRAT
Rascal T. Brat was born on March 10, 2007, and was the runt of the litter. He was adopted after being found on MySpace, right after I wrote, “Dibs on the orange one,” in the Married But Flirting chatroom on MySpace. I didn’t even know there was an orange one available. Luckily, there was.
His caretakers asked if I wanted him to be a lap cat. They also referred to him by name once we named him.
He was delivered to us less than two months after he was born. He became the buddy to my cat at the time, LP [2002-2019]. LP took Rascal beneath his wing and taught him well. He learned the art of snack time and when that occurred. He learned basic home etiquette.
Rascal was LP’s buddy and little brother for 12 years, until LP passed away on President’s Day 2019. Of course, I cannot write this without saying that LP was a master of human emotion in a way that is rare in cats. For example, I could talk to him on my phone through the home security camera, and he knew it was me talking to him. He’d look at the camera as if he were looking me in the eye, something he often did that is also unique.
Rascal probably would have been content being the only cat in the house. We got Tibo Bat because we thought Rascal might be lonely, but this was far from the truth. Rascal was not happy having to deal with the unchained energy of a young Tibo Bat.
As a side note, if you have an older cat, don’t get them a kitten as a friend. LP got Rascal when he was 4-5 years old, which is fine. Any older than that, and the older cat will experience some age-related challenges. The only reason this worked out is because I am here all of the time and was constantly running interference to make sure they weren’t fighting or getting into trouble.
Showing that an old cat can learn new tricks, Rascal took on the challenge of being a Maine Coon Tamer. He taught Tibo how to do snack time, how to play rough without causing harm, how to relax when getting nails clipped, and how to not be afraid of the Shark vacuum cleaner.
Rascal T. Brat used to love to play a great deal. These days, when he’s not sleeping, he’s laying around. Sometimes he watches TV. Most of the time, he will want to sit on my lap, as he was trained when he was young. When he wants to be alone, he will go sleep in the closet. Tibo Bat used to join in him this, but he later learned about boundaries, and also came to appreciate his own space.
Today, they are best buddies and get along great.
The end. hehe