Cats are stealthy little suckers, so it’s not that much of a shock when my two kitties occasionally catch me off guard. While dogs are a walking calling card, cats’ little paws silently move throughout their spaces. I suppose that’s why they’re such great hunters in the wild. Dogs aren’t especially knows for their sneaking-up skills. I mean, I’ve known some dogs who can semi-quietly sidle up, but kitties are mini secret agents with whiskers.
Whether they mean to be sneaky or not, my Cosmo and Phoebe are experts when it comes to alarming me — here are five of the ways they succeed.
1. Feet, prey, love
Everyone who lives with a cat knows they can’t resist anything moving underneath a blanket. It’s automatic prey!
Like most people, I enjoy waking up naturally, without the aid of an alarm clock. There’s something peaceful about lazily allowing one’s body to adjust from sawing logs to rise-n-shine. My cats don’t appreciate my desire for that soft adjustment. As soon as I begin to stir underneath the blanket, my kitties suddenly think I’ve just invited them to full-out playtime. As much as I love my cats, I’ll take the surprise of my cell phone’s alarm to that of claws digging into my toes any day.
2. And behind door number one …
My Cosmo is King of the Cabinets … Prince of the Pantries. If he finds an open door, he doesn’t think twice about climbing inside to explore. The funny thing is that I don’t think he does much exploring. Occasionally I’ll open a door to put away toilet paper or a pan, and find him sitting, doing absolutely nothing. Seriously — he’s just sitting in the dark behind a closed cabinet door. When I see him, I can’t help but jump because — as often as I’ve seen this move — I still feel a little jolt of surprise when I discover him. Doing nothing.
3. The dark side
Again with Cosmo. I’m not sure what it is with him sitting in the dark, but he sure does enjoy the heck out of that “activity.” When I get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom or grab a drink of water, I sometimes switch on an overhead light. More than a few times, I’ve found Cosmo sitting in the middle of the floor, in the dark, staring into space. He doesn’t even look tired! When I unexpectedly catch him in my view, I sometimes feel surprised because I thought I’d just seen him at the end of my bed or something. Maybe he likes midnight meditations, or does his best thinking while standing in the middle of a room. In the dark. Doing nothing. I have no good answer.
4. Guess I just stepped in it
Ah, the surprise pile of cat vomit! Who hasn’t felt the squishy shock of stepping in a pile of that stuff? I’m not sure which is worse on the foot: cold vomit that’s already taken shape or the warm, fresh type. Either way, I’m always surprised when it happens. Then I do the good ol’ one-legged hop to the bathtub to rinse my foot. I think that’s one reason I have great balance — it’s better than yoga.
Cosmo has some mighty fierce whiskers. They’re long, strong, and bright white in color. Because they have an extended reach, it’s not too difficult for them to graze my body, giving me a startle. This is especially jarring when I’ve settled in bed or engrossed in a book or movie. He can’t get enough snuggle time with me, so he’s either flat against my body or attempting to move into that position. Of course, I love to feel him close to me, but that light grazing of the whiskers gives me that “spider is crawling up my arm” feeling. I’m sure I’m not the only one one who would prefer a whisker surprise over a spider one, though.
In what ways does your cat surprise you? Tell us in the comments!