My Cat’s Funny Behaviors

My cat Jake does some really funny and delightful things. Here’s my list.

Bathroom Scratches

Jake seems acutely aware of when I am sitting on the potty. (Perhaps this is oversharing, but being above 50, it can take a little while to pee, so sitting down works for that, as well. Ok, that was oversharing.)

Anyhow, Jake will come in to the bathroom and demand his rightfully due scratches as follows:

  1. Scratches along his back near the tail. He informs me when this phase is complete with a small meow and turning around to offer his head.
  2. Correct protocol requires that I offer my fingers for sniff inspection. At some point, he’ll move his head forward on one side or other, allowing the actual scratches to commence.
  3. He’ll warm up each side with very brief, light scratches, back and forth several times until one side feels right, at which point he’ll lean in for more firm scratches. Even then, left then right side scratches are often required.
  4. If I am shaving or otherwise failing to perform required duties, he’ll lift a paw and gently remind me to correct my priorities. The threat is usually sufficient, but if not, a single (razor sharp) claw is helpful in attitude adjustment.
  5. He is fully aware that any use of toilet paper, or standing up to buckle my pants, or a flush is the end of the session.

Shower Water

Jake appreciates the finer things in life, such as shower water. When I turn on the water for the shower, this is Jake’s cue to make repeated mad dashes along the hallway, each ending in a cardboard scratching pad that takes action before he turns around and races back.

After I am done with the shower, he is standing on the bathmat, waiting patiently. He frequently indicates his excitement with a rather loud meow — just saying that he’s happy.

He positions his front paws on the side of the tub, surveying where it’s best to walk so as not to get paws too wet, then proceeds to hop in and lick up and enjoy the fresh shower water.

Closed Door Anathema

I tend to leave my kitchen door ajar along with the one to the basement. This allows him access. However, he almost never actually goes through the door to the basement.

Yet, in the morning before turning on the coffee grinder, I shut the door for a moment in order to avoid waking up my upstairs neighbor.

Within moments, Jake has positioned himself in front of the closed door, staring intently at the knob. Within ten seconds of the grinder stopping, Jake meows with a form clearly saying “WTF, Tom, you know this door is incorrect, and as I do not have opposable thumbs, I demand immediate correction.” If I am feeling saucy, I’ll stare back at him for a moment. But I always relent.

Choice of Paper

In the morning, as I am getting ready to get out of bed, I tend to read the New York Times on my iPad. I find it really amusing that Jake prefers the Washington Post, and will almost always look for opinion pieces by Hugh Hewitt. I am pretty sure he mostly wants to understand alternative viewpoints, and it is true that few of the Times’ opinion columnists offer a truly conservative viewpoint as Hewitt does. We do both agree that the NYT crossword is better.

Taunting Birds

I have a bird feeder outside my office window that is very popular with the avian set. Jake will sit inside and make chattering sounds, taunting the birds. The birds, knowing they are safe, tend to chatter back at him, saying things like “Hey shitbag cat, I am eating black oil sunflower seeds. What’s in your bowl?”

The Amazing Cat Beds

I purchased several cat beds — just the right size of round for a cat like Jake to curl up in, with soft furry sides and a soft and springy bottom. He absolutely adores these beds, and will no longer curl up in the crook of my legs at night.

Da Bee

There’s a cat toy called Da Bee (also Da Bird, Da Mouse, and others along the same theme). These toys are made like fishing flies, with a great deal of care to have the features that make Jake go wild. They have wands to which a metal stranded wire is attached, and a spring clip at the end, allowing easy attachment of many of Da Animals to be attached.

Properly deployed, Da Bee and others can fly around just above his head, quickly until he pounces or bats it to the floor. If he’s really into it, he’ll grab the toy in his mouth and shake hard in order to break the neck of the prey. Once he has captured and killed the prey, he generally requests three to five more iterations.

After coming in from outside

Jake is a very vocal cat, and social as well. When he comes in from outside, he finds me and demands to be heard, and a few pets & scratches are welcome, as well. He and I can have ongoing conversations where I meow, and he meows back, often many times. He becomes especially animated when the conversation turns to mice, or the challenges of Middle East politics, especially anything to do with Netanyahu. He is far less interested in insects, although of course moths around lightbulbs are indeed fascinating, but less to discuss and more just to play with.

Jake is a very smart and handsome cat. I am lucky to have him in my life.

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Tom Harrison

Tom Harrison

30 Years of Developing Software, 20 Years of Being a Parent, 10 Years of Being Old. (Effective: 2020)