Last year, I spontaneously adopted a male kitten from a local pet shop. I’d always walked by this pet shop, but was never actively interested in getting a kitten. Having grown up with cats, they weren’t anything new to me – but this particular kitten was different. His fur was blond… I had never seen a cat that color before – the ones I grew up with had been much darker. I was used to black, gray, brown, and mixes based upon those colors. So ultimately, I bought the kitten – and soon realized he was very different from other cats.
First off, he isn’t afraid of water – at all. In fact, he has a weird attraction to it. Whenever I turn on a faucet, he runs right over, and when he can’t see what I’m doing, or can’t maneuver to get a better view, he just looks up at me and meows. The reaction is almost like what you would expect when you open up a can of cat food, except it’s for water. He does have a bowl of water accessible at all times, and the water is changed once a day; yet, it seems he actually prefers water from the sink. After realizing this, I started partially filling up the sink with water before I leave for work – I know for a fact he much prefers drinking from there. My theory is that he thinks it is fresher than the water he gets from his bowl, and that is usually correct. It also turns out that he doesn’t mind being almost completely submerged in water. I found this out when I had to give him a bath – he just stays still and looks a little confused. After the bath is over, he looks slightly irritated, though… but I can’t blame him.
The next thing I found unusual was his reaction to being transported around. See, on the weekends, my parents usually drop by and bring him over to their place. I realized early on that this was a good idea, seeing as it gives him contact with other cats – and it also helps make up for the fact that he’s an indoor cat. My parents have five cats – three females and two males. To move him around, I had to come up with some unique transportation methods. The default cardboard box idea never worked well – he would just freak out on the drive over. If we let him loose in the car, he’d be very calm, but would explore way too much – too dangerous when we are driving.
The next idea I had was to put him in my jacket,with his head popping out – this worked exceptionally well. He was pinned between my jacket and me, but he could still see what was going on. A new trend began – transporting the cat was as simple as putting him in a jacket, and supporting his weight with one arm.
This approach worked well for a long time; however, he eventually grew larger, and I had to come up with a better way to move him around. I thought about using a bag – but my backpack was pretty expensive, so I didn’t want to use that. Also, if I wore the backpack as it was intended – the cat would be out of my reach. Since he’s an indoor cat, I can’t risk him escaping in-transit. Instead of a backpack, I grabbed a re-usable grocery bag, and tried putting him inside. He didn’t seem to mind. I could walk around, and he’d make like a bag of potatoes – rarely moving – rarely even taking a peek from the opening. After a few field tests, it was proven that the bag idea worked just as well as the jacket. You can even tie the bag shut, and he’d just stay calm.
Another interesting thing about my cat is that he also stays pretty calm when I put him on my shoulder. I’ve actually had a cat before that would stay on my shoulder for many minutes – at times, up to an hour. So, naturally, I began training my cat in the same manner. With that in mind, whenever a delivery person arrives at my door, I always place my cat on my shoulder while I interact with the person. My cat just lays there and watches curiously as I give the guy my credit card and we finish off the payment. As a bonus, it usually amuses the delivery people.