Because I’m not your typical cat, a lot of people ask questions about me and my behavior. So I am answering some of them today.
How did your human train you to wear clothes?
No training was necessary! When my human first brought me home, my breeder joked, “That kitten is so laid back, I bet she wouldn’t mind if you put a dress on her.” My human happened to have a cat pirate costume, so she put it on me — and I liked it! So I’ve been dressing up ever since.
Now it’s just something I do regularly, and I look forward to it. I get excited and run into the photo studio or turret as soon as my human starts setting up. And if you listen closely to many of my dress up videos, you can hear me purring.
This is why my human actually discourages people from dressing up their own cats. Ninety-nine percent of cats don’t like it, or worse, really, really loathe it. She always says people should just enjoy my dress up sessions instead of subjecting their own cats to it.
How did you learn to just sit there in your space at the cat shows?
The thing about cats and cat shows is that either you like it or you don’t. And if you like it, you just figure things out.
Most cats start showing in competition as kittens. Usually it becomes obvious right away whether they’re show material or not. Some kittens and cats are too scared to ever adjust to being handed by a judge, and they aren’t brought back to shows anymore. But for those cats that do adjust (and it’s a surprisingly large percentage!), it becomes a way of life.
Cats do learn by watching other cats. And by sitting in the judging ring and observing other cats being judged on the table, they learn they have to stay put. Yeah, sometimes we jump off the table before the judge can stop us. (I did that once!) But we learn pretty quickly that we have more fun staying on the table and being admired and playing with the judge.
So we learn that staying put is just better. And our own areas in the show hall — our benching areas — are our home base, so we’re naturally more inclined to stay put there. My enclosure and show set up are familiar to me, they smell like me and I know them. So of course I feel more comfortable there! Why would I want to leave?
What kind of training did you have to be a therapy cat?
The truth is there’s no real training to become a therapy cat. Sure, my human worked on my socialization for a year and a half. She traveled all over, taking me to cat shows, took me shopping at pet stores, and even attended events with me. She harness and leash trained me. She didn’t have to get me comfortable with regular baths and claw trims because my breeder had already done that. And all that helped me pass my evaluation.
But while all that was necessary, it didn’t train me to actually be a therapy cat. That only happened once I started doing visits. Because you never know how an animal (cat, dog, rabbit, or other critter) is going to react around kids, seniors, sick people, or other situations until they are actually on the job. So it wasn’t until the first visit or two that we did that my human and the organization knew that I was really a therapy cat.
Yes, animals do pass evaluations and then it turns out they can’t do therapy work. Not everyone has it in their DNA.
Don’t you want to have another cat as a friend?
Not really! I don’t really like other cats all that much. When Binga and Boodie were here, they were family so they were okay. And the outside kitties are family too — I watched the peach kitty and his siblings grow up. But another cat in my house, taking up my human’s time and energy? I don’t know about that!
The thing is my human is my companion, and I don’t really like sharing her that much. In fact, it took a long time for me to accept her boyfriend. (Binga and Boodie were around when they first got together, and they loved him immediately.) But I had to be convinced. Finally, I realized that having him around was like having a second human, so after that, I accepted him. In fact, in Santa Barbara, while he was trying to sleep, I kept trying to groom his hair.
Sometimes my human wonders if I know I’m a cat because I enjoy human company so much! But don’t worry, I totally know I’m a cat, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Because everyone knows cats are way better than people.
I hope you found my answers interesting! If you have any more, feel free to ask them in the comments.
Here is even more about me: