Lessons My Cat Has Taught Me: Number 4—Attention Must Be Paid

Loki vies for my attention over a book.

Cats are really good at asking for what they want. It’s really hard to ignore a cat that wants your attention.

Your cat will interpose his body between you and whatever it is that you think is more important than he is at that particular moment. And he will dial up his on-demand personal gravitational field to make it especially difficult to shift him, should you persist in believing that what you were trying to do still merits your full focus.

Whenever you and your cat are in proximity to one another, the cat is the pivot around which the universe rotates. And don’t you forget it—lest teeth and claws commence to supplement the furry body in your sightline.

As annoying as this can be on a practical level, cats know something important about relationships. Attention must be paid.

One cannot merely be in the same room all the time. One must listen. One must look and see. One must interact. One must nurture. (And, in case you’re wondering who “one” is in this scenario, it’s YOU.) One must pay attention to the needs of the other and tend to them.

After all, when it comes right down to it, think of all the things your cat does for you. He sits around looking cute/beautiful/handsome. He performs feats of athletic grace for your admiration and enjoyment. His fur is warm and soft to the touch. He purrs. He will cuddle up to you when you feel like crap. He gives meaning to your life by providing daily chores for you that are not excessively onerous. He makes you laugh every day by doing something goofy/delightful/unexpected. He brings you the trophies of his mighty hunting expeditions. He gives you the pleasure of a pure and uncomplicated love.

Even when you think your cat is ignoring you, he is paying attention. (Did you see the ear twitch?) He is merely using his best judgment about whether and how to respond. You would be wise to do the same.

[Update: This cat demonstrates how it is done.]


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One Response to Lessons My Cat Has Taught Me: Number 4—Attention Must Be Paid
  1. Beth
    November 19, 2013 | 6:47 pm

    So totally true!