“Now that I finally have a cat, after all the years without one, I see how so many people get sucked into taking them on. When I’m stroking Moonshine, he’s warm and soft, and getting him to purr contentedly gets me out of my head and into a nice, relaxed space. I get to sleep faster at night for the same reason. When he’s a warm presence snuggling in a crook of my body I settle down, though there’s a tradeoff on the other side when Moonshine decides it’s time for me to get up and feed him.
“There’s a balancing act that goes on that fascinates me. Sometimes Moonshine demands my attention. He’ll crawl in my lap and look upward, roll over on his back and present his belly for scratching, or he’ll just sort of nonchalantly start poking at a pen on a table or a trash barrel or something else he knows he’s not supposed to be playing with, to get my attention. Then sometimes he wants nothing at all to do with me. When I reach out for him, he just slinks off, barely acknowledging my presence. I never have any idea which will occur.
“Of course, the fickleness of a cat is a cliché, but watching it in action is mesmerizing. If a human acted like that, I’d get offended, assuming I was being purposefully dissed. With Moonshine, I know that it’s not a conscious decision, just the cat being a cat. The fact that he isn’t always accommodating makes it that much better when he does play along.
“I’m pretty sure there’s a useful lesson to be learned about accepting capricious behavior. Practice would be better if the lessons always came in cuddly packages.”