T’was the night after the adoption event,
And all through the store,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a stray cricket on the floor
The Center Coordinators were all snug in their beds
Thinking of ways to move adoptions ahead.
The cage cards were hung on the enclosures with care,
Each telling the story of the cats who were there.
Poor Fluffy, poor Mittens, Whiskers and Sprite
Abandoned and alone on this cold Post-Adoption night.
Each cat was nestled in a Maddie’s Blanket, and thought twice,
I wasn’t naughty, I really was nice.
Why was I left in a shelter,
Almost about to pay the price.
When I first saw that tomorrow is National Answer Your Cat’s Question Day, I chuckled, and thought it was a joke. But sure enough, the folks at PetCentric have designated January 22 as a “holiday of feline understanding.”
And the premise is actually a wonderful idea. According to PetCentric, “the proper way to participate in National Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day is to be aware of your cat on a more conscious level, and notice when your cat is trying to ask you something. Your job is to stop what you’re doing and try to figure out what your cat is asking, and do your best to answer the question.” You can read the rest of PetCentric’s description of the holiday here.
How many times are we mystified by something our feline companions do? How many times do we wish that they could speak human, or we could be better at understanding feline? Cats’ behavior may not make sense to us, but it always makes purrfect sense to them. The more we try to understand why they do the things they do, the better our relationship will be for both cat and human.
And part of understanding our cats is to take the time to listen to them. Cats express themselves in a variety of ways, through body language, vocalization (you’ll be familiar with this aspect especially if you are owned by a tortoiseshell cat!), and habits. In order to truly understand them, we have to try and think like a cat.
PetCentric offers a number of examples of cat’s questions, from the cat’s point of view, along with the human’s answer and the cat’s rebuttal (you knew there’d be a rebuttal, didn’t you?), such as:
“Cat’s Question: Why do you bring strangers into our home? Person’s Answer: They’re my friends. And they love cats. There’s no need to hide when they come over. Cat’s Rebuttal: Oh yeah? I didn’t invite them over! They scare me. They always want to pick me up. If they’d just leave me alone and let me sneak up and investigate them, I could decide if they are my friends too, and then I might be ok with them petting me.”