Submitted for your consideration, a brief video from The School of Life. They’re an international company dedicated to teaching emotional intelligence. If an asteroid or pandemic doesn’t get us first, how will we do ourselves in? They don’t provide the details, but they’re probably on the right track.
We had both cats and dogs when I was growing up. I never paid much attention to the cats. They didn’t bother me and I didn’t bother them.
We don’t have a dog, but about eight years ago, we got a kitten from an animal shelter. As soon as she was in the house, she crawled into my lap. It’s been that way ever since. She still makes her way onto my lap or sits next to me, purring. She gravitates to whatever room I’m in (she just came in now). She’s partial to the rest of the family, but never seeks them out and sometimes runs away.
I wasn’t the one who wanted a cat, but since she’s attached to me, I try to reciprocate. I open a window for her, even when it’s hot or cold outside. We play a “catch the string” game. I pet her and brush her. I never asked for this relationship (can you ask a cat for a relationship?), but we’ve had it for eight years now.
This afternoon, however, she surprised me. She was relaxing on a towel I wanted to move. So I kind of pushed her off a little and pulled at the towel. And she hissed at me. Quite vigorously. I gave her a look and pulled the towel some more. And she hissed at me again.
Ordinarily, in that kind of situation, she gets up and runs away. Not this afternoon. She clearly wanted to stay where she was and make me go away.
Was this merely a semi-random event with no special significance? One of those things that happens between animals living in close quarters? Or has our relationship entered a new phase? Will she now demand to be treated with more respect? What does she want from me anyway? It’s certainly not behavior you’d expect from your dog. And she wasn’t even sleeping!
I persisted this afternoon, so she did get up and I was able to move the towel. But as you can tell, I’m still thinking about what happened.
She has moved on to other things. Or so it seems.
(Not our cat, but there’s a strong resemblance.)