I am the type of person who should stay out of animal shelters. I often end up adopting. I haven’t adopted for quite some time. Actually, our last "adoption" was Zorro, the feral I rescued. But I was in a local shelter a few months ago and fell in love with Mr. Bates, who I could not take (we’re at our limit for animals in the household, currently).
Happily, Mr. Bates, who is older and had been at the shelter for quite some time, recently found his forever home.
Mr. Bates made me stop and think. He was a sweet, shy boy. I’ve been called shy, which I’m not sure is exactly true. I have also been called sweet, which is pretty true. Are we attracted to cats like ourselves? Do we see ourselves in the cats we are drawn to? I’m not sure if any of this holds any water or not, but I decided to unscientifically look at the personalities of my own cats and see if I see any of myself in them. My suspicion is that there’s a little bit of me in all of them, or vice versa.
Kali is no longer alive, but she’s the first cat I thought of. It’s no accident that we named her Kali (after the goddess) -ÔÇô she was fierce, tender and passionate all at once. Am I fierce? Not usually, though my partner has admitted that I am tough (probably in a quiet way that is not noticed at first). Am I tender and passionate? Absolutely! Kali and I had a strong strong bond -ÔÇô perhaps because of some similarities.
My first cat Tigger (a beautiful cream-colored, long-haired, and blue-eyed cat) was like me in that she was extremely sensitive. But she was also high strung, and I don’t think that applies to me.
Zorro adores me, and I love him. He’s the cat that I’ve been with the least amount of time. But Zorro is very different from me. Zorro loves to be the center of attention and will seek it out. I would rather not be the center of attention (I’ve realized this as I’ve gone down the path of "author" ÔÇô- the attention can be exhilarating, and uncomfortable, all at the same time).
Kieran is a little bit of a mystery, and he definitely reminds me of myself. I have been called mysterious (though I don’t think I am). Kieran is quiet and not noticed (except at mealtime, when some kind of a switch goes off for Kieran and he starts to low like a feline bovine — really!). He seems to be a dreamer. I can relate to much of this. I have had moments where it seems that no one sees me. I can be quiet. And I love to dream. That’s where ideas come from! Kieran also loves music ÔÇô- and music is a huge part of who I am. Kieran might be the cat who is most like me.
I have a strong connection with Rama, and we’re not alike at all. He had trust issues; I probably trust too easily (and always have). Rama crabs and whines under his breath ÔÇô- it’s just a natural part of his vocabulary. On the other hand, I am so laid-back that it would practically take a major event to set off my temper. Rama really isn’t temperamental, he’s just very passionate in a cranky and innocent sort of way. He and I have the innocence and the passion in common -ÔÇô maybe that’s our connection.
Jamie is fun and sweet, and has some calico spunk. I’ve been delighted to see her beginning to play with Zorro. (Zorro used to terrorize her.) Jamie doesn’t remind me much of me, though I couldn’t tell you why. I am fun, and I can be spunky, but in my case, it probably looks more like "tough." I feel really connected to Jamie because she can make me laugh. I love to watch her enjoying life, whether she’s rolling around doing her what I call "calico dance," or whether she’s happily darting into the bedroom to get a night full of private time with us on the bed.
So, are we attracted to cats like ourselves? After looking at mine (who are all over the board), I’m really not sure this applies. I think perhaps if cats have certain qualities that we also possess, we may understand them better. But the one cat of mine who is most like me (Kieran) is also the greatest mystery to me, simply because that mystery is part of his personality.
What do your cats reveal about your personality? Do you think you are, consciously or not, drawn to a particular type of cat? Tell us in the comments!
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About Catherine Holm: Told that she is funny but doesn’t know it, accused of being an unintentional con artist by her husband, quiet, with frequent unannounced bursts into dancing liveliness, Cat Holm loves writing about, working for, and living with cats. She is the author of The Great Purr, the cat-themed memoir Driving with Cats: Ours for a Short Time, the creator of Ann Catanzaro cat fantasy story gift books, and the author of two short story collections. She loves to dance, be outside whenever possible, read, play with cats, make music, do and teach yoga, and write. Cat lives in the woods, which she loves as much as really dark chocolate, and gets regular inspiration shots along with her double espresso shots from the city.