The Closeted Cat

Here’s a funny thing about Lopsided Cat: He’s a closet affection whore. When the other cats are around he hates being touched or picked up; you reach down to pet him when the other cats are around and he literally flattens himself down the floor to avoid being touched. Because being petted around the other cats would be a sign of weakness, apparently. When the other cats are somewhere else, though, he’ll come right up to you and then it’s like pet me pet me pet me yes yes yes there YES. I find this unaccountably amusing. I sort of want to out him — you know, start petting him and then have Krissy carry the other cats into the room just as he’s getting into it — but at the end of the day I think my cat really just has to be comfortable with himself. I’ll let him out himself on his own schedule. And in the meantime I’ll pet him. Because he’s fuzzy and soft. Everybody wins.

8 Comments on “The Closeted Cat”

  1. Over the years, we have had several cats with the same behavior pattern. I have often thought that at least part of the motivation for the supposed aloofness was that they did not want to lower themselves to appear to be competing for attention, rather than carrying on the pretense of deigning to allow you to pet them.

    Ego is a very big thing to many cats. After decades of resistance, my wife finally agreed that the master bedroom would be off-limits to cats. One of her current pride regards this as an irresistable challenge. She is constantly checking to see if someone forgot to close the door completely, and she will move heaven and earth to find a way to slip in when one of us is entering or leaving the room. Once she has succeeded in entering the forbidden zone, she immediately hops up onto the bed and waits to be picked up and evicted, purring the whole time – she has won.

    With best wishes,
    – Tom –

  2. O Great Scalzi, what a superb picture of Mighty Lopsided Cat.

    Despite the criminal absence of pictures of Her Shimmering Radiant Glory (due, evidently, to your failures to attend to Her properly), the Executive Committee has reluctantly decided to award you

    The Official Ghlaghghee Fan Club Seal of Approval Award
    Valid only for the next 4 hours.

    The Official Ghlaghghee Fan Club

  3. Lopsided Cat looks *really* satisfied.

    I’m glad other people have weird cats.

    Our large primary cats normally HATES to be touched and picked up, but every once in awhile he gets in my face and is all PAY ATTENTION TO ME RIGHT NOW OR ELSE!

    Usually when I’m in the middle of something I’ll note.

    Also, he is unaccountably affectionate right after you step out of the shower. So if he’s in the bathroom when I bathe, I have to do a funny dance to keep my wet legs from becoming covered in cat fur.

  4. I’m not sure he would consciously ‘think’ it’s a sign of weakness, since I’m not sure cats ‘think’ in the same way we do. A lot of the time they seem to be running extremely deterministic ‘programs’. (We did have a cat, once, who behaved in an unpredictable, incautious and almost human manner – but he got run over. Poor devil – he was a great pal. Sorely missed.)

    Anyway, this lying down on the floor – battening down the hatches, if you will – sounds more like a programmed defense mechanism. Only when other cats are absent, does he feel safe enough to enjoy the benign human distraction. But when other cats are around, his shields go up. Those other buggers have teeth, claws, and pounce at random. It’s all about survival, not ego.

  5. rayyy, leave the analysis to the experts of the Executive Committee of The Official Ghlaghghee Fan Club.

    Mighty Lopsided Cat doesn’t feel safe enough when Beauteous Ghlaghghee and TempCat Zeus are around? What have you been smoking?

    Mighty Lopsided Cat kills wild pigs for fun and elk when he’s feeling serious. He fears nothing at all. He is a Faithful Minion (evidently, related as well) to Her Shimmering Glorious Radiance.

    The Official Ghlaghghee Fan Club