I’ve decided this evening to write about something I know very little about so this could go one way or another! Please enjoy!
So – ‘Playful’ – Fond of games and amusement; light-hearted. (Description courtesy of Wiki)
Let’s talk Cats! I’ve never been a cat person. Dogs are what I was brought up with and what I have always been comfortable around. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t dislike cats at all and would class myself as an animal lover, but cats always seem to be so ….well, unpredictable and generally pretty ungrateful. As kittens they start life as these cute and fluffy little playful bundles of cuteness. Their adorable faces (especially sleeping) are a creation of pure delight. Their gorgeous little blue eyes and those ears that they are far too small for, keep you smiling as you enjoy their cuddles. I’m told, just like dogs, cats have their very own awesome little personalities…. This is what I am ‘told’. I haven’t been lucky enough to be blessed with experiencing this as yet though.
As cats grow they suddenly lose this cute, bouncy playfulness and in an instant you are left with a feline member of the deep jungle! I was once told by a vet when taking my guinea pig, Boo to be checked because she would kick out when you stroked her, that it was a simple case of having a stroppy teenager in my home (and paying £33 for the privilege). So, I get it! Animals can be grotty – but on the whole, they simply have their off days – whereas cats – I’ve just never seen one have an ‘on’ day.
I realise I am probably going to divide the animal loving population almost in half on this but please hear me out on this one…..
When I return home either from a few hours out or even just popping to the outside bin, my dog greets me as if she hasn’t seen me in FIFTEEN YEARS! She comes bouncing over to me and then runs off to find her old faithful ‘Squirrel’ to bring to me. Squirrel has been well and truly loved by my little pooch for three years now and it’s pretty much unrecognisable! She has obligingly removed all of Squirrels features and has since happily removed all of poor Squirrels limbs! Please let me be clear – Squirrel is a stinky old squeaky toy and not the real, living, breathing thing! But I digress! My point is she loves me regardless. She snuggles up to me, asks for tummy tickles, nuzzles me and sometimes even licks my feet for me after a long day. (Let’s not mention that she also does her business OUTSIDE! No wait – let’s just mention that…..she does her business outside!) When she’s feeling playful (which is 90% of each day) she has a dig about in her toy box and returns with her much loved and very stinky Squirrel. And we play! It’s that simple! I throw Squirrel, she runs after Squirrel and after a few cheeky squeaks of Squirrel, returns the Squirrel for me to do it all over again. There are NO conditions!! ‘Mummy, I’m feeling playful – let’s play!’ That’s it!
Now, let’s compare this to the magical felines of this world. When you return home, let’s say from a day at work, you walk in to a quiet and calm home. In fact, the trusty puss that you’ve lovingly reared and fed for the last six years is nowhere to be seen….UNLESS they’re hungry. If that’s the case, it’s a whole different ball game! At this point they are all up around your feet like a serial killer ready to trip you over at any second given the perfect moment of opportunity! You’d better make sure you have your life insurance in place if you’re a doting cat owner! They also do exactly what my mother complained I did as a teenager and treat your home like a hotel! Dogs, on the other hand treat it as the best thing since sliced bread!
IF you’re lucky enough for your cat to bring you ANYTHING, (I’m told it’s a sign of affection if they do) it’s usually either living and scuttled under your sofa before you’ve had a second chance to register there is a rodent in your home, OR it’s covered in feathers…..and blood! Give me stinky Squirrel any day of the week!
Then there are the snuggles! Before child (BC) my other half and I would have his sisters cat while she went on holiday. We lived in a one bed flat at the time. This beautiful Ginger, longhaired fella was something of a predator! If I walked past my bed, a small, furry little arm would fly out from underneath and swipe at my feet. Socks would be a no-no as this was like a challenge to him! ‘Remove me if you can’….. Then affection would consist of sitting on the sofa behind me and swiping his tail across my face as I tried to take a bite of my tasty chow mein. This would have been funny the first time but I’m sure he had it in for me so decided to swipe that tail at every meal time…. Until he had enough of swiping and then POUNCE….. He latched on to my head and bit it… just because he could!! That cat bit my head!!!!
Then there was the false suggestion that he wanted you to tickle his tummy! Now, after the beauty of Facebook ‘Do you know’ posts, I’m fully aware that the only place considered ‘ok’ by a cat for affection is the top of their head – but I didn’t know this back then! NEVER STROKE A CATS TUMMY! Suddenly they feel ‘playful’ although this isn’t the sort of playful you see in their kitten selves – oh no – this is ‘Hunter v’s Hunted’ playful! Those sneaky claws that flick out at any given second and teeth like needles! Wave goodbye to the skin you’ve been blessed with all your life – cats are determined it’s theirs for the taking!
Cats even have rough tongues – you can’t enjoy a foot lick from a cat – I’m sorry – it’s just, eurgh!
Finally, let’s talk poo!! Clearly with two weeks in our flat, Mr. Ginger needed to use a litter tray for the whole time….. This little dude was precious! That’s the only word I can use! If he had taken himself to do a wee while we were sleeping and then decided that before we had a chance to clean it up in the morning he needed a poop, he would wait until he saw me with the rubbish bag and new litter in hand before climbing back into the litter tray, finding the clean area, standing in it and HANGING HIS BOTTOM OVER THE SIDE before POOING on my bathroom FLOOR! I also need to add that he stared me in the eye for the ENTIRE ablution! I didn’t know about Lifetree World back then and spent a small mortgage on cleaning products and Dettol!!
Playful to that little man, meant fighting with the side of our leather sofas and leaving beautifully sliced claw and teeth marks behind as a reminder, swiping at my toes in the early hours of the morning should they DARE to hang over the end of my bed and chewing my head while I was asleep frightening the living daylights out of me at 3am. Did I mention using my slightly larger than average nose as a toy too? Yep – he’d tap at that with his paws too before taking a bite given half the chance.
It’s fair to say that a cat’s definition of playful and a dogs definition are, (in my humble experience and opinion) poles apart. However, secretly, I think after writing this little blog, cats really do have their own crazy personalities and perhaps a tiny part of me misses having Mr. Ginger cat to stay nowadays……
Happy Monday one and all.
Lots of love,