I don’t want to disappoint you humans too much, but do you know that sometimes your cat is less than truthful with you? Shocking, I know! But if you’ve lived with cats for any length of time, you probably know we have an opportunistic streak. And occasionally, we need to cover for that. Plus sometimes the meanings behind feline-human communication get lost in the translation. You may recognize some of the following white lies kitties tell — and some may surprise you!
- “Of course you can rub my tummy!” This isn’t really a white lie so much as it’s a human’s misreading what a cat wants. And with some cats, the lie may not seem so innocuous when instead of a hand, you are bringing back a bloody stump from a failed tummy rubbing session. Bottom line: unless you know the cat very well, don’t try it. Learn your own cat’s behavior when he’s agitated (rippling skin, flipping tail, being too aggressively cute, etc.), and tread very carefully the first few times you do try.
- “You forgot to feed me!” Why do cats ask for a meal when they’ve already been fed? Judging from Binga, it’s because we can get away with it! Especially in a multi-human household. Just convince one human that the other one shirked on cat feeding chores and you are now starving, and you’re golden.
- “I’m a fierce hunter and I could totally catch those birdies taunting me through the window!” In reality, most indoor housecats are pretty lousy hunters. They just don’t want you to know that. Birds are actually pretty difficult to catch. Ground prey like mice and lizards are much easier. Of course, there’s always the one cat with skills, like Harlot, the cat before Sparkle. But Harlot came from the streets and was semi-feral, so she had an advantage over more docile rescue cats, and definitely over we pedigreed ones.
- “No, I did not break into the bag of treats. I’ve never even seen it before.” You humans tell the truth — if you were in the same position, wouldn’t you fib about this also?
- “I’m independent and I don’t need your company.” This is the biggest lie of all. Kitties need to be a bit standoffish to keep humans from being overly aggressive with their displays of attention. But the truth is, we like being around our humans, and go out of our way to spend time with you guys. Often, it’s not close enough for you to put your hands all over us… except when we do want that. Those cats who don’t appear particularly friendly would probably warm up more if you let them call the shots. Or if you tempted them with treats or toys, whichever they prefer. Cats are much more social than we are given credit for (I’m proof!). Usually we just prefer it on our own terms.
Which of these little white lies do you kitties tell? Or do you tell one I haven’t listed here?