I’ve come to accept the fact that it is not odd that one of my cats finds his favorite place to bond with me is when I sit down on the toilet seat to pee. He is obsessed with this ritual; any time I wander into the bathroom, day or night, he will magically appear out of nowhere to jump on my lap and settle in for a long nap. Since I know how much he looks forward to our together time, I don’t shoo him off right away, but at some point I do have to leave for work and I gently remove him from my lap.
I tell you this because I know I am not alone. Many cat parents experience this oddity so I no longer feel it is a deep, dark secret that I must hide for fear you will all laugh at me. And I also know that many of you, like me, will sit precariously perched on your office chair so as not to disturb your darling feline who needs her 16 hours of beauty sleep. The back pain you feel as a consequence is completely worth it as long as kitty is happy.
I also know without asking that you will risk a dangerous bladder infection or deadly leg cramps in order to make sure you don’t have to wake up the cat that has been sleeping on your legs for over two hours. This, of course, is the same cat that will squirm like a wild banshee to jump out of your loving arms when you pick her up to be held. But I digress.
I am positive as well that most of you reading this article are contortionists of one form or another when it comes to sharing your bed with your cat — or in my case, cats.
Many of us have also experienced the thrill of a cat jumping onto our shoulders with claws in full force, as well as one trying to climb up our leg like a tree trunk. This is another form of bonding, albeit painful, and we just accept it as such because it pleases us to know that our cat is seeking our attention and wants to be with us.
Well, I have had a lot of cats in my life and I thought I had seen and gone through just about every bonding scenario there was, but I was wrong as my cat Mia proved to me. Mia is four years old, and although she was born in my house and has gotten boatloads of love and attention every day since, she was always a timid cat that shied away from petting and snuggling.
Recently Mia has been making small personality changes — she is becoming more talkative and will allow some random petting here and there. The trick is to not get all crazy and emotional about it; tread slowly and act nonchalant, like it’s not a big deal that she’s letting you pay attention to her. So, about a month ago, I was getting ready for work and got out of the shower. I was pleasantly surprised to see that she was waiting for me and she jumped up onto the hamper I keep in the corner for me to pet her.
This was sweet, I thought, so I petted her and was shocked at how animated she became. She chirped and meowed her appreciation, and rubbed her head against the wall. It was a touching moment, but I did not give it much thought other than I was happy that she was happy. Then I showered the next day and the same thing happened.
And again and again and again. Mia was now waiting for me each morning to finish my shower and I could not dry off quick enough for her. She would meow until I petted her, but here’s the kicker: one day when I petted her, I bent down with my wet hair wrapped in a towel, turban style, so that my head was level with hers. I didn’t think anything of it, but then she stretched her front paws onto my head, jumped onto it fully, then turned her body around to situate herself on top of my head while I stayed bent over. I know this is hard to imagine, so that is why I am providing pictures as proof…
It’s a rather awkward and uncomfortable pose for me; I feel extremely vulnerable wrapped only in a towel while I am getting ready for work, but this has now become "our thing." She literally sits on top of my bent-over head every morning and kneads the back of my head with her paws until she settles in for a nap. It really is sweet and I don’t dare move her off until she is ready. I am very happy she is building her confidence and enjoying the bond we have, but I do kind of wish she could be a bit more conventional. Not to mention, the "my cat was sleeping on my head and that is why I was late" excuse is wearing thin at work.
How about your cats? Has any of them gotten into a habit so weird with you that you just can’t believe it? Let us know in the comments!
Deborah Barnes lives in Florida and is the author of the book, The Chronicles of Zee & Zoey ÔÇô- A Journey of the Extraordinarily Ordinary. She is the creator of the award-winning blog Zee & Zoey’s Chronicle Connection, which covers the everyday journey she shares with her cats as well as cat-related topics humorous and serious.
Read more from Deborah Barnes: