Cats demand attention and always dictate the terms of your relationship. They have an in-built superiority complex dating back 4,000 years to when they were regarded as gods and goddesses by the Ancient Egyptians. Back then, as now, they were the boss of everyone, and the penalty for killing a cat was death. And moggies were given the full honours when they died: just like royalty, they’d be mummified before being buried. No wonder today’s pampered pusses have an innate sense of entitlement!
Here’s how your cat – whatever their temperament – will always come out on top in your relationship. But, hey, if you choose to be a cat-owner, you know you’re taking on a new boss of the household!
The placid puss
If you’re lucky, your cat will shower you with affection, settling in your lap and purring contentedly. But don’t be too complacent. This type is simply lulling you into a false sense of security. Try showing off to a friend about what a friendly feline you have. Chances are your perfect pet will high-tail it straight out the cat flap and refuse to come back in. Or climb onto your visitor’s lap uninvited and start the ‘paws/claws’ routine until they’re yelping in pain. Try to prise the persistent puss off and wince at the pulled threads in your guest’s clothes. You’re the one left red-faced again.
The hissy fitter
If you’re not so lucky, you may find yourself with a permanently hissy moggy. This type will go for you as soon as look at you. And they’ll enjoy all the creature comforts of your home without allowing you so much as a look-in. Fancy a sit-down/lie-down/sunbathe/fireside warm-up? You can bet your bottom dollar your bossy-boots pet has beaten you to it. And if you try to claim your rightful place, you know who’ll come off worse. Back you go to the hard chair!
The attention seeker
If you’ve ever tried to look at a book or newspaper only to find yourself ‘reading’ the back of your cat’s head, you’ve got an attention seeker on your hands. And, if you work from home, you’ll know the only way to prevent your moaning moggy from putting the kybosh on productivity is to shut them out of your workspace. Otherwise, you’re likely to have only half a dozen keys accessible on your keyboard as your pet settles on top for a snooze. But these needy felines won’t let it rest. As soon as you shut the door on them, they’ll start up with the pitiful mewling and scratching until you let them back in. Accept it – you’ll have to adapt to their needs, not the other way around!
The high-maintenance mouser
Then there’s the fussypants type of cat. These will instantly ‘go off’ any variety of affordable cat food the moment you take advantage of a BOGOF on a multipack. They’re so choosy, you end up steaming chicken and poaching fish exclusively for them (depending on what they fancy!). Even then, they usually demand you feed them from your own plate. But, just when you think their tastes couldn’t become more refined, you spot them smacking their lips in the garden – and go out to find just a beak and a pair of clawed feet left on the patio. But if you think you can train them to be more compliant, don’t hold your breath – they’re not going to change for you or anyone!
The pyjama-case cat
These may as well be fitted with a zip and put to good use, given the number of hours a day they spend snoozing on your bed. And there’s no point splashing out on a cosy looking cat bed. It’s your bed they’ve claimed – and usually your side, too. Many a worried pet owner has boxed up their sleepy moggy and paid the vet to find a reason for their puss’s inertia. The answer nine times out of 10? ‘Your cat just likes to sleep.’ Well worth a bundle of anyone’s cash! But just wait until it’s your bedtime. This is when your capricious cat suddenly gets a wicked glint in their eye, decides they’re wasting their life and have very important business to attend to. Like hunting your toes from the end of the duvet, bringing you a live bird, trying to clamber onto your dressing table, scratching up the carpet, trampling your head and keeping up a chorus of mewling, whirrupping, purring and general caterwauling. What’s up with you? Can’t sleep? You may as well get up and play!
The one curiosity killed
‘Where’s Tibbles?’ Good question. Have you checked behind the hot-water tank? In the loft? Under the bed? In next-door’s airing cupboard? This is the type that could be literally anywhere! They were curious as kittens and are downright nosy as fully grown felines. And don’t expect to coax them out when you do track them down. They’re quite happy where they are, thanks – especially if it’s time for you to take them to the ‘cat hotel’ or vet’s. A word to the wise: trap them indoors, get out the litter tray and keep them from going out a couple of days before you need to ship them off anywhere. And, if all else fails, bribe them with Dreamies!