The other day, as I was “communicating” with my cat Kezera, my daughter, Mariah looked at me and said,
“Mom, I think you have moved into a world of your own. I think we should call you “The crazy cat lady.” Do you really understand what that cat is saying?”
Actually I did. I can tell by the meow what Kezera is wanting. Each meow has a distinct sound. Mariah watched us for a few seconds, started shaking her head and walked out of the room. As she was walking away I simply stated,
“You know you can learn a lot about what human behavior SHOULD BE by watching cats.”
She just shook her head again, and mumbled something under her breath as she walked to her room.
I know that statement sounds weird but I think it is true. Let me explain.
I have seven cats at this time. Why that many? We live in the country on a dead-end road, and most of the cats have come from individuals driving on our road, usually in the dead of night, and abandoning a pregnant mama. Now, I cannot tell you how much that behavior angers me. To abandon an animal in that condition is wrong no matter how you cut it.
Anyway, it was the spring of 2001 when we had 2 pregnant mama cats abandoned on our property. I was able to catch them all so they could be brought into the house and domesticated. They were taken to the veterinarian. Shots were given as well as a complete physical. Once the kittens were born, and the mama’s all gave birth around the same time, we ended up with 19 kittens, 22 cats all total. After the kittens were weaned the mama cats were spayed, and within time all of the kittens were either spayed or neutered as well.
Since we do have wild life out here, coyote’s, cougars and raccoons, as well as a busy road, the population has been narrowed down to 7. 3 cats are from one litter, 3 more are from another litter and the last cat was a rescue kitty.
Each cat has a special place in my heart with distinct personalities. First there are the 3 cats from the same litter: Kezera, Sheba and Louie. Kezera is an indoor/outdoor cat. Though to be honest she is more of an outdoor cat during the spring and summer months. She usually sleeps at the foot of my bed, unless I am not feeling well. During my high pain level nights she wants to sleep as close to my right ear as she possibly can. She will purr and meow and try to provide comfort. Even during the spring and summer months if she senses I am in pain she wants to stay near me. She is my empathy cat. She has a brother, Louie and a sister Sheba. They both are outside cats. Neither one wants to be inside.
Louie is incredibly friendly. His favorite place is sleeping in my lawn chair on the front porch. He needs to be the center of attention for anyone who is sitting on porch. Usually in the morning, when I am drinking my morning coffee and enjoying the quietness of the morning air, he wants to be right in the middle of my lap soaking up all the love he can while meowing uncontrollably. He loves everyone and anyone who will take the time to pet him.
Sheba on the other hand is quiet and a loner. She does not want much human contact. Usually once a week she comes up and asks to be petted. Other than that, she hangs around the garage sleeping in the hay or up by the garden hunting moles. You rarely hear her meow. She just keeps to herself.
Then there is Jake, Rat and Eddie. They came from the other litter. Jake is my son’s cat, though when Daniel moved to Portland he was unable to take the cat with him. Jake has been an outdoor cat his entire life. To relocate him to apartment living would be unjust to say the least. So, we decided to leave Jake here.
He is the leader. He keeps everyone in line, and protects all the cats from outside invaders. I cannot tell you how many times a skunk in the garage has sprayed him because he was protecting the garage and the other cats from said invader. Jake gets along with all the other cats. He usually lies on the front porch and watches each cat as they roam around the yard. If needed, if a cat is in danger, Jake jumps up and runs down to provide protection. He doesn’t wait for a call from them because he doesn’t need a call. He’s been watching. He is the watchman, the protector, and the warrior.
Eddie, his sister, is the sweetest cat of them all. Her favorite place is in Mariah’s arms being loved on. She never slaps her hands or is unkind in any way. She rarely ventures far from the garage or the house. She has adopted Mariah as her owner, and when she does come in the house she is either in Mariah’s arms or on her bed. Eddie is a one-person cat, and Mariah is that person at this time.
His other sister Rat is, to put it bluntly, a bitch. You do not pet her unless she gives you permission to do so. She has been known to attack anyone who tries to pet her when she does not want attention. She is one of the moodiest cats I have ever had. Yet, when she asks for attention, and she wants to be petted, she is sweet. Unfortunately, that sweetness does not last long, as she does not want to be petted too long or too often. On the upside, she is the best mouser we have. I have watched as the other cats have followed her and she has “taught” them how to mouse as well.
As I have observed the cats and their “society” this is what I have learned. Each cat has a place, on this property, and each cat co-exists in harmony with everyone else. Cat fights amongst the seven cats do not happen. The only time I do hear a cat fight is if a stray comes on the property, and then it is Jake to the rescue. If only humans can learn to co-exist like they do. Unfortunately, that is not the case. We live in an angry world where personal differences are not tolerated. Individual personalities are assaulted on a daily basis. Just watch the evening news, or go on any social media website and you can witness the attacks first hand.
So what is the answer? I don’t know specifically, but I think this is a good starting point, it has been for me anyway.
Firstly, I cannot unconditionally accept someone else, and be at peace with him or her, when I am not at peace with myself. I have noticed that the times when I try the most to change those around me, and I am quick to trash talk those individuals, are the times when I am feeling lost and my inner peace is gone. Personal inner peace has to be the starting point.
Secondly, I cannot assume that I know a person’s personal motive. Motives cannot be measured by the outward eye, take the time to listen. Allow mercy and grace to rule, not criticism and judgement. I have to give those around me the benefit of the doubt whatever the situation is until I have more facts.
I think until we come to the realization that we all are different, and we need those differences in one another to balance each other out, the level of anger in society will continue and will escalate.
Just an observation from “The crazy cat lady.”