Schooled by cats.

Alternate title:  why you should marry a man who has cats. 

Kevin adopted Kiki when she was around 5 months old and he was 19 (years, not months).  He adopted Flo five months after that, and she was around the same age as Kiki, making both of them a little less than a year old and Kevin still a young, strapping college guy of 19.  Years later, they all met me, and I’m convinced that if either Kiki or Flo hadn’t liked me, I would have been on the receiving end of an, “It’s not me, it’s you…,” talk.

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Kiki has always been a little angel.  Using her claws she would shimmy up window and door screens, but that was really her sole act of rebellion and it was more cute than troublesome.

Sweet young Florence on the other hand….  She had a wild streak longer than her slender little body.  She would maneuver her way into attics and escape into the great outdoors at any opportunity.  Once she even crawled up under the hood of Kevin’s truck, unbeknownst to him of course, and when he turned the key, a little white ball of fur went flying across the driveway.  She was a greasy, dusty mess, but fortunately, unharmed.

With that introduction to their personalities, here are a few lessons those cats taught Kevin – to my benefit.

Lesson 1:  Do not, under any circumstances, leave clothes – dirty or clean – lying around on the floor. 
Flo taught this lesson single-bladder’edly.  She mistook his clothes for her litter box once or twice, and that college guy learned – clothes go on a hanger, in a drawer, or in the hamper.

Lesson 2:  When the toilet is unoccupied, the seat and lid need to be down.
I imagine that a man with dogs learns this lesson as well.  Pets + an available mini-pool of water = a mess.

Lesson 3:  Put some work into developing and keeping a relationship.
When you first meet a cat, it doesn’t just run up and stick its nose in your crotch.  Oh no – cats need to be wined and dined (on wet food and treats) with patience and soft, pretty words.  Their affection must be earned.  And even after you have won their love and trust, you have to keep up the effort.  {For example, we beg Kiki to come sit on our laps after dinner each night.  Sometimes she graces us with her presence – such a treat! – and other times she plays hard to get – an independent cat, sitting three feet away from us, simply because she can.}  Any human conquest reaps the benefits of a man who has learned this lesson – Kevin spoiled me rotten in the beginning and continues to do so today.

Lesson 4:  Speaking of independence, cat owners humans (cats aren’t owned) have learned to appreciate independence – for themselves and in a partner. 
Cats don’t need to be taken outside multiple times a day.  They don’t need to go on walks or burn off a certain amount of energy to prevent them from chewing up the couch cushions.  You can dump some food in a self feeder, make sure their litter box is clean, fill up a few Eskimo Joe cups with water, and go on your merry way for a long weekend out of town.  They may give you the silent treatment when you get home but it’s nothing a few treats can’t fix.  A man who has learned this lesson appreciates an independent gal – and vice versa.

Lesson 5:  Stay calm in the face of an emergency.
Flo was the original instructor in the Pet Emergency 101 course (see above:  attics, outdoors, truck engines).  Since her passing, there was a vacancy.  However, the position has now been filled by little Rue.  For her first class, she decided to start things off with a bang and take a shortcut through the narrow railings around the staircase.  As her plump little belly casually hovered ten feet off the ground, Kevin kept his cool and snatched her up like a hero.

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What lessons have you or your significant other learned from pets?  Are you more into cats or dogs (or cows or hamsters or bunnies or…etc.)? 

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14 thoughts on “Schooled by cats.

  1. Cats are so much fun – too bad my hubby really doesn’t like indoor cats. He grew up with the barn variety and that’s all he’s open to today. Currently we just have bunnies and a fish. I learned that when given an opportunity to seek better life situations (the garden instead of the hutch), only the bravest will take the leap – and they’ll always be happy they did. Those who were too afraid to take the leap will always be sorry they missed out on the lettuce and Swiss chard.

  2. Flo flew out from under the hood of the truck??? I have never heard of such a thing. Completely hilarious! (After knowing she was unharmed.)
    I’m so happy you have found a worthy heir to her mischievous throne. It would have been a shame to keep it unoccupied!

    I nominated you for a sweetheart award: http://bit.ly/1DgNG2h, because you are awesome!
    Are you into these? No pressure if you are not. But Sam asked me a bunch of great questions, and I would be really interested to hear your answers to them, too!

  3. Oh goodness, this made me giggle! I’m glad the cats approved of you, and you weren’t the victim of a cat-induced breakup ;-) All of these things though…so true!! The toilet one…yes! My family’s cat jumped in the toilet as a kitten, and the lid closed on her…luckily my Mom found her before it became a lesson 5, but because of that moment I pretty much have a fear of open lids on unoccupied toilets. I’m more of a dog person, but I can totally appreciate cat personalities :-)

  4. haha. Love this! Cats do what they want. That’s my second favorite thing about kitties besides that they are low maintenance.

    Also, Lexie craps on anything you leave on the floor so I hear ya on the closet, drawers, and hamper thing. John says it’s her way of giving us the middle claw. (<– ha!)

  5. Oh! I’m so glad Kevin rescued her! My my, how much you have learned from those kitties. As always I love to see a Flo throw back. Sweet, sassy little miss. :)

    Just last week a friend of mine was trying to decide if she and her husband were ready for a dog or if they should start with a cat and wouldn’t know know it… dog lover that I am… I suggested a cat for them. Listing many of the reasons you mentioned in “lesson 4”. I love Oreo and I wouldn’t change a thing, but we also don’t mind having to work out day schedule around one of us going home over lunch to let him out. Or talking him on walks (well, when the weather’s nice, haha!).

    As much as I love Oreo, I’ve always liked cats too. My first pet was a cat! Christopher and I have talked about getting a serval or bengal, but so far we haven’t taken that step yet. We’re not sure how well it would get along with Oreo’s overt friendliness. ;)

  6. As a fellow cat lover, this post makes me happy. Those kitties definitely taught Kevin some valuable lessons. Haha. I was so nervous how my cats would do with a baby around but they’ve been great. They still think all his toys and accessories belong to them but oh well. I mean they really do own everything in the house right? :)

  7. So I can relate to ALL of these! (Except our laundry on the floor wouldn’t get pooped on… it gets eaten. Yes, our black cat likes to eat wool, and I have only a couple of socks that don’t have holes in them, as a result. LOL)

  8. All of these lessons are so true! And it’s so interesting to me that Kevin was the one with the cats, and not you. I guess the “cat lady” stereotype is just not true. But it’s great, because they taught Kevin to clean up his clothes from the floor and keep the lid over the toilet seat, and so many other things that it took me awhile to teach my husband, haha! :-) Our cat has taught us to “share.” As in, just because you were sitting in this chair before you went to the kitchen to get a drink, doesn’t mean that the chair will still be unoccupied upon your return. Our chairs, our couch, our bed–they are truly not our own. We are constantly “sharing” with The Fonz. I’m sure this lesson will come in handy as our family continues to expand in the years to come.

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