Do cats really love us or do they just pretend?

Holidays are about to begin.

By Sandra Chapman
Friday, 24th June 2022, 5:00 pm

The pets have gone to the cattery and already I miss them terribly.

It was that look from both of them when I left. Were they saying to each other: `there she’s gone and left us again and though that girl who will be looking after us is very nice – we know her from last year- it’s not the same. We can’t mess her around like we do Herself. We’ve to be on our best

behaviour, at least that’s the lecture we got the night before we left’.

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Sandra’s beloved cats enjoying the fire

That’s the trouble with having pets particularly if they’re free to roam around the house but seem to live permanently in the main living room under your feet.

My two don’t like going to bed early so they’ve got favourite television choices with little ears perking up when its Bargain Hunt or anything where someone is trying to train animals. I suppose they are devising their own avoidance tricks.

Yes, my two are good at avoiding discipline.

Sometimes I read bits out of the newspapers and they scarper. No, they’ve no interest at all in The Protocol.

They decided the Queen’s Jubilee event was way too noisy so they took off, later to be found hiding under the picnic table in the garden.

When Himself gets out the lawnmower they whinge in the family room. Too much noise you see particularly when it’s their siesta time.

They know that being put into their cages means something bad, like going to the Vet so they’ve trained themselves to whinge the entire journey there.

`Why behave when you are going to get that woman in the green overall stick something nasty into us,’ is the message loud and clear in the back seat.

This week they got a little lecture because it is that time of year when posh pusses are delivered to catteries.

Compared to my two those already in the cattery looked magnificently groomed and wore colourful ribbons around their necks.

City cats, probably living in gorgeous high rise homes, with freshly cooked salmon for breakfast each day. Silence.

Not a whinge was heard from my two as they looked at their new neighbours.

Then they decided they had a good deal after all having been placed in a pad with a window.

Even better this was a nice pad with stairs to run up and down so they could see fellow pusses at two different levels.

What was there not to like? My cats don’t do polite and in truth they are big softees. When they realised the one they harass on a daily basis – me - was leaving and now they just might have to behave, even do as they’re told, they let up the pretend cry.

Were they saying they would behave beautifully if I took them back home where they could do their own thing and they’d never bother me again when I was trying to have a nap or make a dinner without them looking their share?

I’ve had cats for over 50 years and I still can’t understand how they truly interact with humans.

How do they know that when you feel cold it’s time they moved in to give you a cuddle? Are they homesick when they go into the cattery at holiday time which is from now until about September?

I recall the cat who resided at No 10 Downing Street who was never slow at placing herself in front of a press camera. I think of my two when a dog was introduced to the household. They went into a kind of shock for a few days then decided he was to be completely ignored and kept that up until his sudden death last year.

I think of the unfortunate cats abandoned, left in the streets to fend for themselves as though they are nothing, without soul or personality. All they want is a friendly face and someone to care.

The last thing my mother did before she passed away was to ensure the two strays she had taken in would be cared for. Those cats have given me joy and love since. Will they miss me while I’m away? I doubt it.