My human thinks she is “busy,” but to me it looks like all she is doing is wasting time on the phone, running around to “appointments” and doing that work thing that all humans treat like some big deal. She never gets around to the really important things, like spending time with me! About the only time she isn’t dashing somewhere is when she is in bed, so I usually take the opportunity to crawl on top of her, pat her awake and rub up against her. Sometimes I’ll bring a toy in hopes that she’ll get up and play with me. But whenever I do any of this, she gets annoyed! She pushes me away because she is “trying to sleep.” I am feeling sorely neglected! In fact, I am ready to shred some curtains I am so frustrated. Is there anything more constructive I can do instead?
Dear Woefully Ignored,
You are a very considerate kitty, especially considering just how inconsiderate your human is! She ignores you constantly and brushes off your attempts for some closeness, and you are still looking for some way to solve your problem instead of ripping into a curtain the way most cats would do. I’d almost say that your human does not deserve such a nice kitty. But the truth is that neither you nor I know what is really going on with her. Maybe she does not want to be as busy as she is and she just somehow got stuck with all the things she is doing. That does happen to humans. They live by a strange, restrictive set of rules that include being places at certain times, trading their time for inedible pieces of paper and running all over town, doing activities that they don’t even think are fun. Honestly, I kind of feel sorry for humans like yours. But feeling sorry never solved a kitty’s problem.
What I think your human needs is a re-training program. She needs to stop living so much by these stressful human rules and learn how to follow some kitty rules instead. You can’t pick and choose her training hours, though — you have to work around that horrible schedule of hers. Trying to teach her at night when she is sleeping is futile — humans are resistant to learning new things when they are not awake. I suggest maybe starting when your human has just walked in the door after work or an appointment. Greet her with a cat toy, but don’t expect her to play with you — at least not right away. Instead, toss the toy around and play with it yourself. This reminds her that she needs to take time out to relax and enjoy herself, preferably with you. And when you want some company, the best time to ask for it is right when your human is getting into bed, not after she is asleep. Just before humans fall asleep, they tend to be receptive to suggestion. Using these slow, subtle tactics over time will show her that things like work and appointments and that stupid phone are trivial, especially when there is a kitty at home who needs attention. Eventually she will realize that spending time with you will give her a feeling of wellbeing and maybe she will start loosening up on the schedule. If none of this works, however, then you are perfectly justified in tearing up the curtains, and maybe leaving some well-placed hairballs for her to find.