Fake Poop and Other Cat Deceptions

So here I am, late again. I plead Way Too Much to do this week. But I digress:

I am a cat person. I don’t have a dog because I work, and a dog needs a ton of attention. But cats – there is this illusion that cats are easier as roommates.

Not so. A cat may have a walnut-sized brain, but it remembers everything that effects it: food, injuries, and repetitive human patterns. I have a cat over 13 years old, only he’s one of my Dorian Gray kitties – he acts like a year-old cat – and when he is going to get his toenails clipped, memory kicks into gear. When I get to the left front paw, he always pulls it back and looks at me as if saying: “You do know how to do this one now, right?” We’d made the mistake of allowing my 20/20 zillion-visioned Ex to trim the kitten toenails – and he hit the tip of the nerve on that foot.

Little brother remembers, and just wants to be sure that I remember, too.

I’ve built one house, and it had a lovely bathroom with a plant shelf over the closet. Well, this was the best cat entertainment ever devised. My cats would jump up from the far sink to the wall of the shower, to the other side of the shower, and then to the plant shelf. And then began to call for me: Help! Help! I can’t get down! So I would get the ladder, set it up, and then retrieve the happy, purring cat. Of course, being me, I then put away the ladder and went back to work.

Of course they, too, went back to work. Now it was the other cat’s turn to be trapped on the plant shelf.

Eventually we mostly foiled this game by building a cat ladder for the boys next to the closet door. They weren’t crazy about it (Ex did not put any grooves for traction) but they did use it.

Of course, they still could get trapped on the wall of the shower. So they weren’t totally deprived of their fun. After all, a cat can get lost in deepest, darkest closet… or under the guest bed. The opportunities for yelling for help are endless.

In case you’re wondering, no, telling them you never see cat skeletons in trees or on closet shelves does not change their behavior.

Then there’s “fake poop”. I know of a cat who, when he’s being stubborn and not drinking any water, races around the house like he’s in the Indy 500. His preferred person (PP) knows this means the cat needs to take care of serious business in his box. So PP catches cat and sets him in his room, with the door closed, until the sounds of cat litter burial tells the PP that business is through, and he can let the cat back out.

Cats are capable of hooking events with consequences. As far as we know, that cat has never figured out that running helps digestion and constipation (if your PP is a runner, said PP believes this) but the cat did figure out that PP let him out of the washroom after he’d made scraping noises.

Did I mention that PP doesn’t have the greatest sense of smell, dealing with allergies where he lives? So he goes into the washroom to shovel away the evidence, and there’s no poop. Not even a crumb of poop. The cat knew what it wanted, so it did what it thought got the door unlocked.

Like the kittens who try to crawl into the fridge, and as adults keep thrusting their heads in there – because canned meat lives in the box, and he must perform the magic spell to get the food! Repeat all steps forever. And small furry land sharks will mill about your feet when you wander into the kitchen for a cup of tea. After all, at least once this behavior produced snackies. Might work again.

Cat yodeling in the middle of the night? Cat opera, did you say? One sounds like an imitation of a lion coughing? Nope. They make that sound because they have a hairball or something about to launch.

Then there’s the classic cat fake out. I want under the covers with you! Do not fall for this – your cat is lying. Said cat is only testing to see if you’re awake enough to left the covers slightly to let him in. Does he get in? Noooo…he waits until I am really asleep, and then burrows. Or worse, he gets in, waits five minutes, crawls out a different way, and THEN comes back later to burrow under the covers.

Yes – you’ll sleep better without cats in your bed. They do become quieter as they age. Of course, they still lie, even asleep. I’ll try to keep an eye out for a photo op of Big brother curling up with the sleeping curled plush cat neck warmer my sister got me. After the double take, you immediately wonder what the other cat is up to – and why he needed a decoy/surrogate to accomplish his evil plans!

Oh, and if they suddenly stop sitting in a favorite place? Check to see if they urped there and are avoiding the spot until you clean it up.

By the way, they can out-wait you.

I also have nanny cats, supervisor cats and cats who know that they were once worshipped as a goddess, and see no reason to change the relationship! But other tales for other times.


About Katharine Eliska Kimbriel

Cat Kimbriel is working on a a contemporary fantasy about curses, ecological change, and very different ways of looking at the twilight worlds. She's still working on a short Nuala piece and mulling over a new Alfreda novel. You can find her fantasy & science fiction, including free samples, at her Book View Café bookshelf. These books can also be found at major online booksellers. Her personal blog is here, and you will find her on whatever social media currently interests her. Cat builds worlds that contain compassion and justice -- come join the journey.


Fake Poop and Other Cat Deceptions — 1 Comment

  1. My cat has learned to push a button to achieve desired results. In this case the button is my nose and the desire is for me to get up at the first sign of light on the horizon. Of course I live north of the 45th parallel and it’s summer. That means dawn comes about 4:30 AM. He’s also learned that claws get him thrown out of the room and the door firmly shut. First law of cats, when in doubt wash. Second law of cats, though shalt have no closed doors.