Back in August, our friends brought over their two kids to meet our three cats.
Of the two kids, one was a boy who was used to the idea that cats could be cool pets, but hadn’t had any experience with them, and a girl who was really scared that cats would scratch and hurt her.
Now, our three cats our giant softies. They’re what I call “old man cats” because they’re so stinkin’ lazy for the most part it’s ridiculous.
Their hobbies are napping, napping some more in the sunlight ideally, and cuddles.
They are massive lap cats and I often don’t have room for all of them to sit with me when they want to – because it’s mostly constant.
All three want to be in my lap for many hours in the day, and while I do my best to make this work out for all three of them, my legs go numb after some time and I end up moving a lot more over time, and so someone has to go.
I can usually stick it out for at least a couple hours, though, and some of my old man cats have preferences when it comes to time of day that they cannot be happy without sitting in my lap.
So this helps me space things out a bit and give each one enough cuddle time, as much as possible.
All this to say – they are cuddly little bugs. Super, super cuddly.
And while I had to do some training to get them to be more cuddly than when they first came into my home, over time they just got more and more cuddly, both as they acclimated to my house and got stupidly comfortable with the safety and cozy comforts of life indoors (they were all stray cats), and as they aged, I think, because the older cats always tend to be far more snuggly in my experience.
All this to say, when these two kids came to our house, the poor girl took forever to gain any trust in them, and freaked out and watched as her brother engaged for ages before she finally decided to give it a go.
To be fair, everyone was immediately impressed by how sweet the cats were being.
Each cat has a different threshold for accepting “new people” to our home. Different preferences, and different lures.
My two Persians, Bjorn and Athos, for example, love people and love to be played with.
They’re not timid, but one doesn’t like to be picked up (Bjorn, the more brownish coloured one with green eyes), although he loooovess cuddles, and the other is a potato (Athos, the more grey one with yellow eyes) who doesn’t care at all what you do with him as long as he’s not facing up when you’re holding him.
None of them bite or scratch, but the Bjorn, the one that doesn’t like to be picked up, will typically hop away a lot more. Athos will just meow and sneeze and slowly make his way off if he’s bored.
Then there’s my shorthair, Avery.
He’s absolutely not the kind of cat that likes newcomers, but what can override that is his love of food. And if you give him snacks? Complete BFFs for absolute life – he is instantly living with you and trusts you so completely well.
Avery will let anyone do anything to him if he trusts them. He doesn’t care.
You wanna pick him up and throw him over your shoulder? No problem.
You wanna flop on top of him as though he’s the pillow and you’re the blanket – he purrs up a storm like, “Thanks for the cuddles, this is nice.”
You wanna seat him upright and hold him like a baby for a while? He’s good for as long as you are.
No amount of petting is enough. He’s such a snuggle bug and likes really good massages, none of these trying-to-be-gentle with him precautions or they just make him beg for more strong pets, and brushing is to die for for him.
So that’s the cats, now about the kids. We brought out the kibble and the boy immediately was like cool, how do you feed them? And then handed out the grub.
The girl just watched anxiously to see if her brother would be bitten, but Avery’s so stinkin’ gentle and only uses tongue, and the two idiot Persians couldn’t even find the food for ages so it had to be placed on the floor in front of them (I love them to bits, but it has been said that they probably share a braincell, and I have to agree, I mean look at them…)
We brought out the toys and the Persians went bonkers from happiness and played with the boy. Avery’s lazy but he watched a bit. The girl still would not engage until around ages and ages of watching her brother and us switching up activities so they could engage with the cats.
Eventually, she pet the cats and that was good. She liked that as long as someone else was holding them and there was not any risk of them jumping onto her because she was terrified they would scratch.
In the very end, we got her to hold Avery (her personal favourite and I honestly believe the #1 cat to all of them because of how obsessed with pets and how gentle he is) for just a moment, which was a massive win because you could tell by the look on her face that she’d just tackled a lot of stress, anxiety and fear, and overcome it.
I was really proud of her, actually. And the boy had a crazy good time, by the looks of it.
I don’t think any of them realized just how sociable our cats were, how much they would like to play, and really how snuggly and cute and cuddly they were and how much they loved to be pet and stroked and cuddled.
I think there’s a lot of misunderstanding around cats because people expect them to be more like dogs. Which makes sense if you have only had experience with dogs, but cats are absolutely a different kind of being.
To be fair to most people, cats are probably a far weirder, and thus hard to understand type of being than dogs…
If I’m honest, I almost feel as though most people expect cats to be horrible, and at best neutral. Never sweet and affectionate and wanting cuddles in the way that most of us cat owners know many cats to be.
When this perspective changes because they’ve finally met the right cat, or met a cat in the right environment where it’s possible for them to engage with them in a “cat approved” sort of way, I think a lot of people are shocked and surprised, but also lose their preconceptions instantly with just that one experience, or having met one magical little kitty.
I wrote about how becoming a pet person doesn’t take much time, it’s just about meeting the right pet.
The problem to an extent is that a lot of cats don’t warm up to newcomers in their lives super quickly, and so it takes time for them to show their true amazing, incredible, and super sweet personalities. And so I guess for a lot of people, the awesomeness of a cat will remain hidden until they have that moment where a cat is comfortable enough with them to show off just how incredible they are, and the illusion of cats being standoffish and mean can finally be broken.
But that’s just what I think. And I don’t blame people for feeling indifferent or even disliking cats.
Instead I just think they don’t realize what they’re missing out on, what they don’t yet know.
Because if people knew just how sweet cats can be, I really don’t think the world would be anywhere near the same kind of place as a lot more cats would have homes where they were making their humans a lot more happy and a lot less lonely.
Cats are incredible best friends, after all. At least I think so.
Your Thoughts on Most Not Knowing Cats Are Sweet?
Do you think most people don’t realize the true nature of cats?
I do think this is changing a lot these days, but that there’s still a stigma that probably only exists because cats take so long to warm up to humans, typically, and so that experience with a super sweet cat hasn’t been had by a lot of people who aren’t cat people.
Let me know if you have any stories or thoughts of your own on this topic by leaving a comment. I’d really love to read about your opinions, so please do leave them below!