Wednesday, August 29, 2012

george is one of us

Cats and I have a touchy past. I grew up with them, but they were never an animal that connected with me in any way. I always felt used around them, the vehicle for food and litter duty. Their work was vague, their roll even more murky. I like animals to have a distinct purpose: hunt, ride, cart, herd, or be eaten as food. Cats seem to want to be my equal and I'm not supposed to question their motives or work. Like the author S.M. Stirling says, "Cats are furry little republicans". I think they are more like furry little CIA agents. Don't bother them. Don't ask questions. They're on it.

Few cats I have met in my life have been dog-level affectionate with people, and if they were, it wasn't with me. I think that aloofness kept me from ever getting one. That, and I was always more drawn to canines. I still am. To be honest I am probably more canine than human at times. I live for my community, thrive on other pack members, hunt in daylight, love to run and play, need to know my place in life and adore a good steak.

But let me tell you something, this George character? He's growing on me.

George is one of the boys, as dog-like as a cat can be. He comes when called, eats dog biscuits, and roams the farm like a fat tiger on the lam. His sister, Lilly, moved into the barn a while ago and is rarely seen anymore. After 6 months of being too shy to leave the laundry room I left the backdoor open for her so she could enjoy the great outdoors instead of a dank room. She has remained a full-time barn cat ever since. She'll always be a stranger to me.

George is not a barn cat. Not at all. He's a loafer and a lover. There is nothing he enjoys more than eating, pooing, and then stretching out across the kitchen floor making dog and human walk around him. That's where you can find him most of the time. But that changes when the keyboard to my old computers start clacking. When I write he is always just at my feet, purring and opening his mouth in silent meows of inclusion. He makes no sound but I can hear loud as day, "Hey, Lady! Pet me!" and I do. I reach down and get him under the chin and his eyes shut in that way that makes us all think cats can smirk in pleasure.

I never thought I'd love a cat so much. George has proven to me that some cats have the gusto to live with a pack of wolves. I respect the hell out of him.


Blogger Cathy said...

Love that George! You are right...he is more like a dog (don't let the other cats know, they'll tease him unmercifully). We are also dog people but a few years ago, adopted a stray cat. She hid under the bed so she was named Dusty Kitty - don't judge my housekeeping skills. When we sat down to eat, she was right there next to our dog, Misha, begging. When I pulled up in the driveway and walked to the sliding glass door, there Dusty was right alongside Misha to greet me. If I could be sure a cat would act like that we'd get another one in a heartbeat.

August 29, 2012 at 7:37 AM  
Blogger In Upperground said...

Two years ago, two brother cats crossed my path in life. I've raised and trained them. Both will sit on command, give paws, high-fives and do the wave for a treat. When dawn sets in, I walk long walks with them. They take their own route, chasing me when I've gone around a corner. They stalk through tall grass and run next to me. Often, we encounter an owner walking his dog. They are always surprised.

August 29, 2012 at 8:21 AM  
Blogger Diane said...

I am a cat person, which also makes me a goat person. I find so many similarities between them - their independent personalities, their complete disregard for human rules and discipline,their take-it-or-leave it affection. I think there are also dog-and-sheep people, who like animals that are a little more malleable and predictable and take a greater interest in whether their human is happy with them. I love my sheep, but my relationships with my cats and goats are more like the give and take of equals. That may be flattering myself a bit - I'm sure the cats view me more in the role of staff.

August 29, 2012 at 9:30 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

It took me a long while to appreciate cats too. George sounds like a male lion, they expect the female to wait on them. My guess was that Lily did not want to accept that role, good for her, I hope she is happy hunting for herself out in the barn.

PS The fourth sentence did you mean role?

August 29, 2012 at 11:32 AM  
Anonymous Kelly said...

We have a cat like that, his name is Eddie. Everyone that meets him thinks he is more like a dog than a cat. He is best of friends with our pit bull and when we let him outside, the two go hunting for lizards side by side. We have two other cats with completely different personalities but Eddie doesnt mind,he still plays with them and when he sleeps, he always has to touch either a dog, cat or human with at least part of his paw if not his whole 24 pound body. Everything you have said about George reminds me of Eddie!

August 29, 2012 at 6:11 PM  
Blogger Why's woman said...

Hi Jenna,

As a "cat person" I really enjoyed this post. I'm really glad to hear that Lilly has moved out to the barn. I'd worried about her having a really limited life in the house. Whatever made her so shy may never be known, but her life will expand outside.

Best regards,


August 29, 2012 at 7:56 PM  
Blogger marilyn said...

George is training you well! Love that big fellow. Give him an extra chin rub for me.

August 29, 2012 at 8:37 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

Seems to be the trait of Maine Coon cats. My nephew had one, and Grover was more like a dog than any cat we ever had. He learned to fetch,and would play the "shell game" with a treat under walnut shells. He was rarely wrong! He was big, affectionate and often vocal. I'm not much of a cat person, but Grover was cool.

August 29, 2012 at 10:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My take on cats is different (yes I'm more of a cat person). Dogs are affectionate to anyone. If you've earned the affection of a cat you really ARE special! We had a kitten, Sofi, this past year who was SO special and full of personality. Every time I walked out to my garden she would come running out from under a plant to greet me. SUCH personality! Unfortunately she died unexpectedly early this summer. I don't think I ever cried so much over a pet (still get teared up)and I sure have loved many!


August 30, 2012 at 6:06 AM  
Blogger Tiffany said...

I have a dog that thinks she's a cat and two cats that...well, one of them thinks she's a dog (she plays fetch-the dog does not). The other cat is just as lovable as can be, always near, often purring, currently giving me a dirty look for playing with my phone rather than petting him! I've come to think that "cat person/dog person" is subjective and that my feelings toward them are based on their personality.

August 30, 2012 at 6:52 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

I totally get it! I have a cat who attaches herself to my leg every time I start sewing.

August 31, 2012 at 4:33 PM  
Blogger Cindy said...

f 87 icriestaDogs? They are so easy! Cats? If you get a cat to love you, then you know you are special. I appreciate my dog's love, but I trust my cat's love.

September 1, 2012 at 1:05 AM  

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