The way cats bond with people is strange. The cynical may say that cats only love the hand that feeds them. Fortunately, every true cat-lover knows there is more to it than that.
It’s often a love-at-first-sight which a cat feels the instant they meet you. I don’t mean that thing about cats coming to people who don’t look at them. What I had in mind was it more as though they see a special aura in you which they find irresistible.
That seemed to be how it was when Hattie chose me. Twice I visited her home. Each time 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 this tiny ball of fur — the runt of the litter — decided I was chosen in some way known only to herself.
Sometimes human and cat are thrown together with no alternative. It may be you find a poor starved creature at the side of the road and adopt it out of compassion. Maybe someone gives you the cat for some reason. People may even describe how their cat just walked into their home and adopted them. It more often seems like fate than an accident though.
I remember being given a cat that had been returned to a breeder because, when still a kitten, she had an unfortunate accident on her first owner’s bed. When Sally came home with me she instantly knew she was in her new home surrounded by people who loved her unconditionally.
She would not stop trilling loudly and ran up-and-down the stairs sitting on one lap after another. I discovered she had an infection that had caused the previous accident and this was quickly treated with a course of antibiotics. I will never, however, forget how she sensed so strongly that she had found her true forever home.
There are a few cats that are not dependent on people, but simply coexist with their human carers. The great thing about cats is that they make that choice themselves. They may always be rather distant, or you may may earn love over weeks or months, or it may be love at first sight. When and why they choose to love you they do freely and instinctively. This makes them quite different from dogs for instance.
I’m not saying that when we visit the rescue or cattery we should not make a thoughtful decision. Some cats live better with children or old people or someone who can give them a lot of attention. Then there are indoor cats, outdoor cats and those that are less likely to cause an allergy. We should remember these when we make a decision to adopt, as it’s only fair to the cat.
However, cats do have amazing intuition. Maybe where this comes from will always be a mystery.
Did you choose your cat or did they choose you? Please tell your own story…