I have been living with my human for a few years now, but before me there was another cat. Apparently, this was a very special cat because my human talks of him often, and even though he died a long time ago, I think he still misses him. Sometimes this makes me wonder if I am not as good as the cat before me. I am actually pretty well behaved and don’t cause too much trouble — I keep my human company, always use my litter box and almost never use my claws on the sofa. Is there any way I can show my human that I am as good as that other cat was, anything more I can do?
Not Second Best
Unless your human is a child, chances are many of you kitties will have to deal with the specter of “the cat that came before” — a cat in your human’s past that holds a special place in their heart. The way your human talks about this cat, you would think he or she was something exceptional, a shining beacon of felinity that no other cat could live up to. But I will let you in on a secret: I’ll bet the cat before you was pretty much just like every other cat (of course, we kitties are all exceptional creatures!). Maybe this cat had a couple of special quirks that your human found charming, but that’s not really what was important. Chances are the cat before you lived with your human during an eventful time in their life, and was there when your human needed a lot of comfort and companionship. (I know this is true of my human — her life is pretty boring now compared to what was going on when she had the cat before me… although I think she likes it better now!) So your human’s emotions have a lot more to do with his own life events than with the cat before you. It’s not really a matter of your human loving your more or less than that other cat, it means he just loves you differently. In fact, you could argue that since many of your human’s associations with that other cat are a bit centered on self, that perhaps his love for you is purer and comes without as much drama and turmoil. And that maybe, years from now when you too are gone, he will look back and realize that you helped make a nice time in his life even more joyful. So don’t worry about living up to the cat before you — your job is to be you and no other kitty.