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Cat tales: Bored and lonely

July 21, 2012

She picks me up in the middle of my grooming session, gives me an awkward hurried hug and then leaves, shutting the door behind her.

We cats are moody creatures. Sometimes I wait for this moment and the minute she leaves, I jump with joy at having the whole house to myself. Then I can go scratch where I like, sniff, inspect, snoop around the kitchen and do all my favourite things like walking on the tables, jumping on the cushions, pulling at the curtains. I run around the house like crazy, knocking things over, play some football and do some of my favourite Ronaldo moves, eat or snooze as I please.

But today I don’t feel like doing any of that. I want her to be around. I want to hear her talk to me and other people so I can have all kinds of stories to think about.

I have a kitty feeling that she misses me too when she is out. Sometimes she feels bad about leaving me home alone, but she says much as she hates having to do it, there’s no way around it and sometimes kitties just have to take care of themselves while the owner or the rest of the family are away for a little while. Pity I can’t go with her when she goes out.

Sometimes I am in a clingy mood and all I want to do is to hang out with her, sleep on her lap or snuggle right next to her as she watches TV. When she is typing a report, I like to sleep on the monitor until it gets really hot. Doing that is nicer in winter, I must admit, because in summer it feels the monitor heat is going to burn my beautiful fur.

Right now there is very little to occupy me. After all, I can’t relax in front of the TV or the computer like humans do — the only entertainment we have is what we give to them. So with nobody home, who should I entertain with my clown act? Some of us seem content to nap away their day while people are out of the house, while others have a much harder time coping with being home all alone. These kitties could be suffering from boredom, stress or separation anxiety.

I know Charlie, the neighbourhood cat, hates being left alone. He gets so stressed and displeased that he starts throwing up food all over the carpet or even worse, as a mark of protest, he sometimes even pees on the carpet.

Then there is Polly, the pretty little Persian who lives in the house on the corner of the street. She just refuses to eat and grooms her furry coat so much to calm her nerves that she ends up eating hairballs and becomes sick.

I have tried a few protest methods myself. I sulk, hide, slink away from everyone or appear depressed. Sometimes I decide to go vocal and show my dissatisfaction by crying, moaning or loudly meowing right after she leaves the house. (If she sets up a recorder, she would hear some Pavarotti style singing from me). There’s really no end to the ways that cats can show that they’re upset with humans.

I am sure there are many ways to prevent us kitties from getting bored, anxious, depressed or destructive when we are alone. For one, I would like to be able to see outside, because a window is for cats what TV is for humans. We can see birds, people, things moving and not moving, and it is all very intriguing to us.

Interesting toys are always a good idea. A few mice with tails made of different kinds of material that is soft but chewy, so that we can happily play cat and mouse games with.

It is always fun to have a toy hanging from somewhere so that we can play with it while it bobs around our noses. Most important of all, my kitty dishes must always have fresh water and some snacks left so I can go munch on something to kill time, if not my appetite.

Meow and ciao for now. Talking of food makes me hungry, let me see what my human has left for me to munch on.