skilled cats


Jumin Han: Ofcourse meow 

Fey is not an unusual cat.

Or rather, Fey is somewhat of an unusual cat, but when people say she’s unusual, that’s not what they’re talking about.  They usually comment on how much she communicates with me, and say they wish they had “a cat like Fey”, and then describe their own cats in terms that make it very clear that the issue isn’t the type of cat, but the type of relationship they have with their cat.

[Image description: Fey in bed with me and a lot of yarn while I hold a crochet project in one hand and she touches her paw to my other hand while we look at each other.]

Which is not necessarily their fault, but which is a completely different situation from Fey just being an unusual cat.

If Fey lived with them, they would rapidly discover that they didn’t have “a cat like Fey” either.  They would probably decide she was mean and standoffish and uncommunicative.  Because it’s not her, it’s them.

I can’t explain to anyone how to have a deep relationship with a cat or any other being.(1)  

But I can say that if you take any cat, and try really hard to listen to them and understand them and engage with them on the same level of emotional complexity that you would engage with a human being on, then you’re likely to get better results, and a better relationship with your cat, than if you treat them as food-devouring mousing machines who only like you because you feed them and are probably just faking affection to manipulate you.  Or even just if you treat them better than that, but not really taking them all that seriously.  

Taking a cat seriously is the first step to having the kind of relationship I have with Fey.  And I can tell you right now that it’s not Fey that’s unusual about our relationship.  It’s our relationship that’s unusual.  Put Fey in a context where she isn’t being respected or understood or seen as emotionally complex and a real actual being with thoughts and feelings about the world, and she’ll look like “just any other cat” to you, and possibly like a particularly mean cat at that.

Which is why it’s sad but almost funny to me when people tell me “I wish I had a cat like Fey, my cat is so mean.”  And then describe a situation where Fey would be twenty times as mean if she had to live in it, than their cat is being (when their cat is being mean at all, which isn’t always).

Mind you, I’m not a cat whisperer.  People try and call me that but I find that pretty offensive (to cats).  I do not understand all of what Fey tells me.  I don’t even understand a quarter of what Fey tells me.  Fey and I fight on a regular basis, we misunderstand each other constantly, and we get frustrated about our inability to get basic information across to each other in both directions, and sometimes that ends up as frustration with each other.

But seriously?

If you start with respecting the intellectual and emotional complexity of your cat, and the fact that your cat is your equal in terms of worth and value (equal doesn’t mean alike, so nobody blast me for using that word, I find that really irritating and I’m especially irritable at the moment because I’m sick).

And if you make a serious long-term good-faith effort to understand and communicate with your cat as who the cat is, not as who you want or imagine the cat to be. (2)  (This may take a lot of time if you’ve been projecting your own fantasies over the top of your cat, because your cat has doubtless noticed and responded to you in kind, and it will possibly take a long while to build trust.)

Then you have a good chance of, if not “having a cat like Fey”, having an amazing, fulfilling, complex, and demanding relationship with your cat, in ways you didn’t dream were possible.  Which is what people seem to mean when they say they “want a cat like Fey”.

[Important but somewhat lengthy footnotes below cut.]

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anonymous asked:

humon slep scedul is vv strange. slep all night then wake all day, is not normal. i think must be sick! but then today humon take two whole naps, say is because she is "feel sick"? but i know naps is good, mean she is getting better! naps is normal. i snuggle with her to show pride for learning nap skills.

cat are renowned napping experts, she will succeed with your help