The way cats bond with people is a strange and delightful thing. Of course the cynical say that a cat only loves their owner because they feed them. Fortunately, every true cat-lover knows a cat’s love is far more than a simple meal ticket however it comes about.
This love is often a love at first sight and the cat knows immediately on meeting you. This is nothing to do with the way that, in a crowded room, a cat jumps up into the lap of someone simply because they are the only one not looking in their direction: normally that’s the person with least interest in cats. What I had in mind was it more like they see a special aura in a person and somehow find them irresistible.
That seemed to be how it was when Hattie chose me. Twice I visited her home. Each time little Hattie decided to sit on my lap shortly after I arrived and refused to leave. There were many cats in the room and several people, but that tiny ball of fur — the runt of the litter, decided I was the chosen one by some mysterious process known only to herself.
On the other hand often human and cat cat are thrown together with no chance of selecting one another. It may be a person finds a poor starved creature at the side of the road and adopts it out of compassion. Maybe a friend simply gives you the cat. People may even describe how their beloved cat first walked into their home from an unknown past and adopted them. These things often work out so well it seems to be fate rather than accident.
I remember acquiring a cat that had been returned to a breeder because while still a kitten she had had an unfortunate accident on her first owner’s bed. The odd thing was when we got home Sally instantly understood she was in her new home surrounded by people who loved her.
She would not stop trilling loudly and ran up-and-down the stairs sitting on one lap after another. It turned out that she had an infection that had caused the previous accident that was quickly treated with a course of antibiotics. I will never, however, forget how she sensed so strongly that she had truly come home to where she was always intended to be.
Naturally there are some cats that are not so dependent on people, simply coexisting beside their human carers. That’s fine too. The great thing about cats is that they make that choice themselves. You may earn it over weeks or months or it may be like love at first sight. When and why they choose to love you they do so freely and instinctively. That’s quite different from a dog or gerbil or any other animal.
I’m not saying that when we visit the rescue or cattery we should not engage human logic in making a choice. Some cats live better with children or old people or someone that can give them lots of attention. There are indoor cats, and outdoor cats and ones that are more or less likely to cause an allergy. Those things count when we make our decision.
At the end of the day however cats do have amazing intuition. It may be that the black cat that is drawn to you magnetically knows something about how the two of you could become great companions you never, ever guessed.
Did you choose your cat or did they choose you? How did it happen? Please let us know…