How to Love a Cat

A cat is easy to love.

They’re cute. They’re so cute with soft, fluffy fur and big, beautiful eyes.

They’re funny. They’re fun to watch because of how funny they can be: leaping, twisting, turning, crouching, wiggling, pouncing… all at invisible prey.

They’re champion snugglers. How can you do anything but love a fur ball who curls up in one sunny window or on one couch cushion and sleep for five, six, seven hours at a stretch? And then there’s the actual stretching! Cats are yoga masters, and their back bends, forward folds, and–yep–even their down dogs spark smiles and inspire relaxation.

A cat is easy to love.

How to love a cat |

But for us humans, we want to be loved back.

There’s the rub… it’s, well, it’s in the rubbing. And the petting and the hugging and the grubby fingers combing that soft, fluffy fur.

See, dogs are easy. They very often–and often to their detriment–work super hard to keep us happy. Cats, on the other hand, expect us to work super hard to keep them happy.

And it’s worth it to work that hard for a cat. Nothing beats a tiny little fuzz ball rubbing your ankles with her chin, purring away. Nothing beats a curled up, zonked out cat on your lap (unless you have to go to the bathroom, but even then… stay still… enjoy it). Nothing beats meeting a cat on her terms to achieve training goals.

Because you have to work so hard, the reward is so great.

Newt is a difficult cat. Or, at least, she is on the surface.

Newt’s reality is that she’s finicky. She likes things a certain way. She likes being pet a certain way and fed a certain way and cuddled a certain way.

So, how do you love a cat?

You love a cat by taking the time to learn what those certain ways are… and then appreciating them for what they are.

You love a cat by accepting that your cat might not like being picked up… and then by not picking her up.

You love a cat by striving not to bend her to your wants and needs and desires, but rather by figuring out what her wants and needs and desires are and finding ways to help her achieve those.

A cat is easy to love.

We humans? We’re a little bit harder.

But that extra effort is worth the purrs.

This last week of September is “Adopt a Less Adoptable Pet” Week. I’m not hugely fond of that terminology, to be honest, because I think it stigmatizes perfectly adoptable animals. However, I’m fully aware that black cats like Newt and, really, most shelter cats have a super hard go of things. There are far too many homeless cats of all ages, sizes, and health conditions, and they deserve loving homes. Whether they’re considered “less adoptable” or, in my opinion, perfectly adoptable, they deserve a home.

If you’re looking to add a pet, consider a cat like Newt who would be considered “less adoptable” because you will benefit so greatly from her love.

Let’s get ready to rumbleeeee!

In addition to work craziness, I’ve been working on a big post for Thursday answering some questions you guys have asked lately that I’ve missed responding to (see: work craziness). I have a handful–are you still subscribing to BarkBox? how’s Coop doing on The Honest Kitchen? any more tremors? etc.–that I’ve kept in a list on a sticky note, and I will tackle one and all on Thursday! If you have others, feel free to leave ’em in the comments.

In the meantime, here’s our nightly settling-in-but-only-after-we-pummel-each-other ritual. How would you caption this? Or pitch it if it were a movie? Other than Animal House. That’s already taken.

See you Thursday! Hope you’re having a great week!