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My Cats, My Teachers


Endlessly fascinated by observing my cats, I find they always have something to teach me. It is a bit like watching charades and trying to figure out exactly what is going on since they do not have the capacity to add words to the behaviors. That also allows me to make what I want out of the behaviors and not be told I am wrong.

The two who own me right now have a more precarious, tentative relationship than most I have had. There is a bit of stress all the way around in the dynamics. I tried “Feliway” to calm one main room but it was by my reading chair and I think I was the only one on which it had any effect.

I have been observing the dynamics of a ritual I have never seen before in previous cat combinations and there are multiple places in the house in which this happens.

Faloopity chooses to sleep in his usual spot on the bed, until he gets up, at which point Tuxie comes and claims the spot and then will claim it for several nights to come and Faloopity has to locate elsewhere. Or Tuxie chooses to sleep on a dining room chair, until he gets up, at which point Faloopity hops up and claims the chair and it becomes his spot for several days. This happens with the cats post, a blanket on the dresser as an alternate sleeping space (for cats), the chairs in the living room and my desk. There is a continual round robin experience taking place.

Each time the other one claims the space a pattern occurs of focused exploration that includes sniffing, pawing, and taking time to settle in. I do not get a sense that either cat is trying to steal the other’s space, more that each one wants to know more about the other and it is, in some strange way, a part of how they are still resolving their life together.

And once in a while I get a rare treat such as the photo…peace and quiet right next to each other. Perhaps that is what all the exchanges are ultimately leading to. I can hope!

The learning for me is this. If I took time to intentionally explore the spaces and ways of those who are different from me, and actually settle in to absorb who they are, what they believe, how they see the world and what it feels like in their shoes, I might choose to stay a while. And when I leave it will spur me on to repeat the process in a new location. The thing I also muse about is that the cats do it wordlessly. Sometimes simply by our presence and in silence we can learn from one another.








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