I have never had a cat before, and the cat I have now I “inherited”, as in it came fully grown with my girlfriend — who’s also fully grown, to be clear. So I don’t really have a benchmark, but I think he’s fairly objectively pretty cool: doesn’t scratch any furniture, doesn’t wake us up when he’s hungry, actually manages to pace his eating — except when we’re gone for the weekend, and then he turns into an animal (I consider him to be a human being otherwise) —, doesn’t care if his litter stays uncleaned for a couple of days… in other words, as long as you don’t pet him too hard, you stand very little chance to be scratched or bitten. But I do love petting him, so my arms usually look like a Pollock painting anyway — colors included.
One thing bugs the little guy, though: when we’re away too often and/or too long. Basically, when we’re not there to pet him, feed him, generally be around. Again, he doesn’t like to be held all that much, or pet all that often, but if you’re not there, he’ll resent you like hell. This is cat psychology 101: he wants to have everything happen on his own terms, and those terms may change in a heartbeat. The switch from please-scratch-my-back to not-even-sorry-I-scarred-your arm can happen real fast. Cats should be magicians; only they would really have one trick…
In any event, we’ve been away quite a bit in recent months, to Berlin, to Lyon (less exotic but it counts), to Annecy (worse)… and we’re going to Milan this weekend, to Moscow in 10 days and to Berlin (again) in 6 weeks. For that last trip, we’re actually taking him with us: we’ll be away for 3 weeks, time he got to discover what hipster city looks like (that and riding a plane). Needless to say, when we start packing our bags, he now gets it. And looks clearly pissed off. But still doesn’t act on it all that much: worst he does is position a single small dropping in the corridor to indicate his feelings towards us. And that has happened maybe 3 times in 2 years.
Last Thursday, before we were getting ready to leave for the weekend (unbeknownst to him: we yet had to pack our bags), we heard scratching in the bedroom. It happens some time: he starts fighting bed sheets, just because. His hunting phases can be weird: he still can bite his own tail. My girlfriend (well, fiancée) got up and went in the room to see what was up: he stopped his scratching, softly mewed and that was it. We swiftly got back to watching our show about Berlin (of course). A few minutes later, we heard scratching again, this time I decided I would get up (what they call equal move).
I got in the bedroom: as expected, the cat was back to scratching linen. However, he looked somewhat more insistent than usual and did not stop with me standing right by him. I got closer and noticed that he was actually hiding something: in the dead center of the bed, he’d actually pooed. And not just a tiny bit, like he does on occasion (and on the floor) when he’s mad. No: this time, he’d taken a full on dump on our bed. And he was now scratching the sheets next to it for some weird reflex-based (I assume) reason.
Me: What is that?!
Me: What did you do there?!
Fiancée: What’s up?
Me: Huh… The cat actually shat the bed…
Fiancée: But we didn’t even leave yet!
Me: You think he can understand us?
Now that’s a scary thought.