My Cat’s Not-So-Sweet Side

Think kitty's sweet? Try living with her for a week.

Because she has such an open, guileless face, people assume that Summer is the picture of perfect innocence. They should try living with her for a week. A few days ago, I needed some last minute, close to professional quality photos of her – and she did not want to cooperate. I set up a backdrop and lights, pulled out her grooming set … and she decided that was the perfect time to play “Catch Me If You Can!” She ran down the stairs as I followed her, dodged me and ran back upstairs, only to dodge me again – about five or six times! She finally calmed down and became her usual, compliant self, but not before I’d had a serious workout.

Cats only do what you want when it suits them, and it is up to us humans to figure out how to work around their whims. Attempts to control them are futile. I think every feline-populated household has been faced with the kitchen counter dilemma: the cats want up there, and you want to keep them off. Your best efforts to have things your way are usually only partly successful: the cat learns not to jump on the kitchen counter, when you are not there. The rest of the time, that counter is open game. If you’ve banned your cat from being on the counter and think he’s behaving, I’d be willing to bet that if you installed a cat cam, you’d see the truth. Summer doesn’t even wait for my fiancé to leave the kitchen. He just needs to turn his back on her, and with a silent stealth that has earned her the title of “ninja,” she hops right up.

Even the smallest details aren’t missed by Summer’s devilish side. The last time we came back from a cat show, I must have dropped some treats in the pocket of her carrier, because she spent the rest of the week hovering over it and digging into that pocket, pulling out everything she could get her paws on. Usually, I leave the carrier out but I finally had to put it somewhere she couldn’t reach, just to get some peace and quiet.

Most of the time Summer is the most well behaved kitty, but when I least expect it, she turns around and does something naughty or mischievous to prove that she’s not the flawless little critter she appears to be. It reminds me that, like any cat, she’s willful, stubborn and has her own agenda. And even then, she can be adorable. After my frustrating attempts to photograph her, I took a break to get some work done at the computer. I was there for quite a long while when I heard a noise. It was Summer, dragging over one of her cat show toys to remind me it had been a while since we had a play session. Yes, she found the toy in the pocket of her carrier. And of course I played with her. Which just shows that being less than perfect sometimes pays off.

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