Savannah's Paw Tracks

Autobiography of a Former Shelter Cat

A Cat is a Cat…And That is That!

Hiya everyone…I’ve been hesitant to talk about this subject but it is related to my recovery process…I have steps to work through and one of them is talking about my disappointment in how peeps project their peeps’ issues onto us shelter cats. There, I’ve said it.

So here’s what happened…I read something on Mom’s computer screen….oh, uumm no…she didn’t know I was behind her…

What??!! Oh, oh, I see…YOU didn’t even know I could read, huh?/!! Welllll…oh yee of little faith in the intelligence of us cats!!

Anyways…I read some stuff about what people had said about me when I was a shelter cat and it kind’a hurt my feelings.

Here is why. We are cats, not people. So it isn’t helpful when people see a cat being stand off’ish, hiding lots, growling, hissing…or whatever…and call that animal things like “grouchy, mean, nasty, unfriendly, etc.”.  We don’t feel those emotions, people do…but if we are behaving anything less than approachable…it is for these reasons primarily…

1. We are terrified, scared, afraid

2. We are hurt, sick, uncomfortable physically

3. We are so stressed from too many changes in our circumstances we have become depressed and withdrawn

4. People taught us not to trust them

That’s it.  We don’t get mad…we get scared and THEN become aggressive to protect ourselves from what we fear may harm us.

Just ‘cuz I had my ears kind’a flat…folks thought I was “mad”…are you  kidding…I put my ears like that when I am waiting for Mom and Dad to pet me OR when I am thinkin’ if I want to be touched…but I am not “MAD”

I hid at the shelters  ‘cuz I was scared and I was hurting lots of the time ‘cuz I had a bladder infection no one knew about…when I was finally with Mom and Dad, and an only cat, they discovered the truth about my health…and took care of it. But I was never “grumpy or mean”…I just hurt.

So I am just asking people to not assume that we cats feel their type of complex emotions. We are concerned with food, shelter, safety, health, no pain, trust.  If you see a cat at a shelter who is standoffish,  or even growling or hissing–don’t assume that cat is “unfriendly, mean, angry” (those are people emotions)

…it is probably terrified, hurt, sick.  Or, it might be depressed at not having had a kind touch in a long time.  Those of us who are not feral have known the kind touch of someone at sometime in our lives. And we are domesticated and so we miss being touched with love and kindness.

A Cat is a Cat…and we all hope for a “forever home” of our own…just sayin’…ya might wanna check out the Nine Deadly Sins my blog pal Otis, Cult of Otis,  talks about on his blog. Especially when he talks about being able to experience the True Spirit of a cat.

Hope I didn’t hurt anyone’s feelings ‘cuz I was just trying to move through my recovery steps…thanks for the read.  Paw Pats, Savannah

This was my intake photo at the county shelter…and no…I wasn’t “mad or ticked off”…I was terrififed…

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11 thoughts on “A Cat is a Cat…And That is That!

  1. Boots and Fluffy on said:

    You hit the nail right on the head! I could go on forever but I won’t MOL. Being a rescue kitty myself (Fluffy) I understand all these emotions that my brofur Boots who Dad adopted as a kitten never had to go through. I’m so glad there’s humanz like yours that realize how we feel and give us time to adjust! Pawesome article Savannah! 🙂

  2. Hi Savannah – understanding fear in cats is fundamental. You explain it so well, thank you. As for Mr Otis – what a wonderful blog – a great role model! Have you tried training your Peeps on the clicker technique? 😉

  3. Very true! Thanks for giving us the cat’s perspective.

  4. catfromhell on said:

    What a great post! Me is nasty when me don’t feels good! Me lashes and scratches and howels and yeowels! Me loves your new Badge!
    Welcome to the FBI!
    Kisses
    Nellie

  5. Susan Mullen on said:

    Savannah, thank you so much for talking to us about cats’ feelings. I checked out Otis’ blog. I loved the True Spirit of the cat. I really appreciate, Savannah, that you and your Mom and Dad are allowing for the time *you* need. In my own recovery, I have been told to “get over it”. Anyone who says that is just like the person who said you were mean because they saw you with your ears back. That person was not showing respect for *your* needs. I am so glad you and your Mom and Dad found each other.

  6. dandgtoys on said:

    Very well said! That needed to be put out there. Alot of people jump to conclusions about a cat’s body language when they shouldn’t. Have a great afternoon and evening Savannah!

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