Tuesday, January 26, 2010 7:29 AM

Kitty Tricks

Cats, sneaky little devils that they are, are prone to what I like to call "kitty tricks". This term applies to a wide range of cat behaviors, most of which have one common thread: They usually involve stealing. Don't panic, though--it's all in good fun!

For instance, one popular kitty trick around here is what we call "seat stealing". J. and I will be sitting in the living room, having a snack, reading or watching television. Unless the wood stove is going, all three cats are usually right there with us. Even though they appear to be fast asleep, they are really just waiting for an opportunity to steal someone's seat (J.'s or mine, that is). So, when one of us gets up to make tea or attend to some other bit of business, that person will generally come back to find that the seat they left vacant only minutes before is now occupied by a cat. This cat, despite the narrow sliver of time that has passed since the seat was vacated, once again seems to be fast asleep, as if he or she had been there for hours!

Since I usually sit in the Cat Chair, this scenario happens to me quite often . In fact, I sometimes come back to find two or even three napping cats on this one chair. This is a big game with these guys, and we get a kick out of it, as well. I have watched this occur, just for chuckles: I get up, go into the kitchen and watch. The Bear, the primary thief of my formerly occupied seat, will suddenly raise his head, look over at the newly empty chair, and run over and jump right in. Then, dispensing with the usual laborious process of getting comfortable, he'll hunker right down and tuck in, just as if he'd been there all along. Goldie is the usual perp when J. loses his barcalounger seat. Little Girl is equal opportunity--she'll steal anyone's spot.

This behavior also applies to food. I feed each cat in a separate area, mostly because Little Girl will steal someone else's food if they eat together. She'll bump one of the boys out of his bowl, while leaving hers half full. She eats his food, then goes back to her own. Not only do the males not stop her, they don't usually eat her food, either. This is the only time they are this passive. This lady would be as big as a small country if I didn't take charge. They will also steal our food, if we look away for a moment. A couple of years ago when J. was visiting his elderly father, he called me as I was sitting down to a nice dinner of broiled chicken. While I was on the phone, a political canvasser came to the door. It only took a minute to send her on her way, but meantime, my chicken wound up on the floor under the table, with three cats feasting on it. I never made that mistake again.

I have tried to head off this behavior by announcing, "Don't even think about it! I know kitty tricks!" to no avail. In fact , they don't seem to understand what I'm saying!
Chat later!


January 26, 2010 at 4:34 PM

My little Roxanne likes to play with soda bottle caps and she will through them up in the air and have hours of fun. She is so sweet. http://tinyurl.com/4xvkkk

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Amanda has worked with animals for many years and has always had cats in her life. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two excellent cats.
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