Whoever says that cats don’t have personalities, preferences, and pet peeves has never lived with a cat. Or pet sat one.
I pet sit for a lovely little kitty many days each week. For my client’s and the kitty’s sake I will not give out her name…she’ll just be Little Miss I-Hate-Change (LMIHC) today, and I’ll use photos of one of my own cats who is equally resistant to changes of any sort.
The routine with LMIHC is the same every visit. I enter and I am instructed to get a move on and prepare the meal. The meal is served (promptly) in one room, half eaten, and then LMIHC moves to a different room and waits for me to pick up the dish, bring it to her, and sit and wait until she is finished. She must then walk around to my right side, even if she is already on my right side, before climbing onto my lap for ten minutes of petting. If you’re thinking that she has me well trained, you would be correct.
She has lots of other “rules” about litter box placement, water bowl placement, how far the door to the sun porch should be opened. You name it, LMIHC has a rule for it. And woe to you if you mess things up. Closing the sun porch door at the end of fall before it freezes in winter is a month-long process at least, adjusting the door an inch at a time so LMIHC doesn’t completely stress out.
We have been doing her very particular meal routine for quite a long time, so imagine my surprise this week when LMIHC ate her meal – in two locations – as usual, walked around to my right side, took one sniff and ran away from me. She actually ran upstairs and under a bed, something she does with strangers. Huh??
Well, this funny little feline has so many quirks that I didn’t think too much of it. I just let her be, said good night. Thunder storms were approaching and I thought maybe the change in barometric pressure was affecting her. But I came back the next morning, a bright and sunny one, only to have the whole thing repeated. LMIHC and I are BFFs…we’ve been BFFs for quite a while. She’s very timid and it took me a long time to win her over, but we’ve been solid ever since. I had absolutely no idea what was bothering her.
As I contemplated what was going on, I took a wild stab at the cause. I changed out of my summer khakis, which I started wearing often this week, and put my usual jeans on before visiting. Bingo! We were BFFs again. I don’t know if she has an aversion to khakis, or just thinks I look better in jeans, or that I smell different wearing khakis. Maybe she doesn’t like curling up on a khaki lap, but a jeans one is okay. No clue.
All I know is that I’m going to be wearing jeans when I visit if I want LMIHC to spend time with me, and I do. Quirks and all, she’s like family to me. I guess I’d better read her rule book over again, just to make sure I don’t mess up on any future visits.