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Does My Cat Have Perpetual Amnesia? He Sure Acts Like It

Cosmo and I have shared the same house and the same routines for 12 years, but every day he behaves like it's his first time on the planet.

 |  Oct 24th 2013  |   10 Contributions


I've shared my home with my tuxie, Cosmo, for 12 years. He's my cat. He follows me everywhere and sometimes stares at me like a stalker would (well, an adorable little fuzzy stalker). In the past dozen years, we've lived in the same house and not much has changed. I'm an insanely routined person, so even my daily activities are pretty predictable. This is why I'm confused as to why Cosmo has always acted like he's a first-time visitor to his own house -- or even the planet.

Cosmo: "Hold on -- let me check it out first."

This phenomenon is most evident -- and kind of hysterical -- when he enters the lower level of our house. We live in a split-level home, and the bottom floor includes the family room and my office space. There are always people in that space, which means there are always cats in that space.

When Cosmo arrives in the family room, he always walks slowly and cautiously, smelling nearly every object he passes. It's as if you'd dropped him in the middle of a brand-new house inhabited by aliens. Like I mentioned earlier, he follows me everywhere; my mom says he's like my Secret Service agent because he'd tail me into the lower level and walk ahead of me, sniffing everything. My safety is his top priority, you know. 

Cosmo: "What's 'jump?'"

When Cosmo finally decides the downstairs area is safe, he usually wanders over to my desk, looking for a little lap time. He circles my chair and meows until I pick him up. I pick him up because he acts like he forgot how to jump. He may have made the leap even just a few hours earlier, but somehow confusion overtakes him and has no clue how to get from here to there. So I pick him up and place him in my lap. Please note: an hour later he'll remember how to jump. 

Mr. Owl-y eyes.

Once he's standing on my lap, the bewilderment continues. He looks like he's thinking, How did I get here and what do I do now? He walks around a bit, sniffing and investigating, before cautiously curling up. Once he's settled, he relaxes and starts purring, but up until that moment, he acts like a stranger in the foreign Land of Lap.

And then there's mealtime. He starts harassing me a solid hour before mealtime -- sometimes two hours. The other two cats seem to remember it's not quite time for food, but Cosmo somehow forgets. Well I suppose if he thinks he's in someone else's house, maybe he hopes mealtime is earlier there. No dice, son.

Cosmo: "How did I get here?"

I think part of what makes his apparent befuddlement extra amusing is his facial expression. His eyes are so big and round -- not Steve Buscemi big, but kind of owl-y. In fact, I sometimes call him Mr. Owl-y eyes. These eyes often make him look surprised and sometimes puzzled. I typically get the owl-y eyes when I come home from being away. Do I know you? Do you have food for me? Are you going into the lower level? 

I want to be clear that he doesn't have any neurological issues -- he's always acted this way and the vet isn't concerned. He's just a little odd ... and maybe kind of stalkerish ... and perhaps has a wee touch of amnesia.  

Does your cat ever act like he's been stricken with amnesia? Tell us about it in the comments!

About the Author: Angie Bailey is an eternal optimist with an adoration of all things silly. Loves pre-adolescent boy humor, puns, making up parody songs, thinking about cats doing people things, and The Smiths. Writes Catladyland, a cat humor blog, Texts from Mittens (birthed right here on Catster) and authored whiskerslist: the kitty classifieds, a silly book about cats wheeling and dealing online. Partner in a production company and writes and acts in comedy web series that features sketches and mockumentaries. Mother to two humans and three cats, all of which want her to make them food.

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