Cats are Independent Animals

Pete Wedderburn
6th April 2020 - 3 min read

I have always shared my life with cats, and as time goes on, I learn more and more about them. Cats do as they please.

If a cat chooses to spend time in your house, you should feel honoured, because it is a clear sign that the cat enjoys your company. Cats do not suffer situations that do not suit them. They will move on smoothly and quietly if they so choose.

Studies have shown that only two out of three cats are chosen by their owners as kittens – the other one out of three just “lands” in on a house.

KC & Baby’s Relationship

The cat appears from somewhere unknown, simply arriving in a household and deciding “yes, this will do me nicely, thank you.”

Some years ago, one of my own cats, KC, decided to move to live with a neighbour. KC had arrived as a kitten into a house where there were already two adult cats: a big black Burmese cross-bred, known as Gladstone, and a large docile tabby cat called Baby.

These two older animals welcomed KC and the three cats hung around together: KC and Baby were particularly close. We had a special fleece-lined cat bed that was designed to hang from a radiator, to give a cat a warm place to sleep.

This was only designed for one animal. KC and Baby somehow discovered that if they curled up together at the same time, they could both fit into it. They would then be snugger than ever, enjoying the softness of the fleece beneath them, and the warm cosiness of each other’s bodies around them.

The two cats’ bodies formed a perfect circle, like the ying-yang sign of Chinese medicine.

Animals Grief

In the end, it was an unavoidable old enemy that disrupted the comradeship of the three cats: death.

Poor Baby was the first to go. At the age of ten, he suddenly collapsed and died from heart failure. Animals do not show grief in the same way as humans.

Gladstone and KC did not mope, or wail, or do anything unusual at all. They continued to sit in their favourite seats, and eat their meals in the same places at the same time.

On the surface, they both seemed unaffected by Baby’s death, but who knows what was going on in their minds?

A year later, Gladstone died of bone cancer. This time KC did seem to be visibly affected. He started to spend more time away from home. We were not sure where he was going, but we just noticed that he used to stay away overnight from time to time.

Final Straw For KC

We took in two new kittens. These soon grew into lively black and white cats who pounced on KC’s tail as he passed by.

Then we adopted a bouncy unpredictable Black Labrador. This must have been the final straw for KC, who, at twelve years of age, had become an elder statesman of the cat world.

He started to spend several nights away at a time, and soon, he was only coming back once a week to have a chat and a bite to eat.

I followed him on his wanderings one day, and I discovered that he has found another peaceful, loving home. Where there are no noisy dogs or harassing cats or lively children.

KC continued to come back to see us from time to time until he eventually passed away from old age some years later.

He was an intelligent, friendly animal, and I always enjoyed time in his company. But one thing was for sure, KC would not do what I wanted. Instead, like all cats, he did exactly as he pleased.

Tips

  • Cats are independent creatures who do what they want to do
  • It’s common for cats to leave their homes, finding a new one on their own
  • Microchipping of cats helps to ensure that such cats are returned to their original owners when possible