As I write this post, my cat is pawing at the door to get in – again. She expects me to let her in because I let her in yesterday – the first time in several months.
As winter comes around my conscience nags me more about enforcing my rule on Moto to never come into the house again. This rule was made based on about 15 incidents where Moto pooped in my house rather than let me know when she needed to go outside to go. (Yes I could have put a litter box in the house for her but I don’t really consider my home her hotel or smell like a litter box.)
For several weeks we had a very good working relationship. I would feed her outside, she would eat, poop, and paw to come in. I would let her in and she would hang out all day in the sun and snuggle with me in bed. If she needed to go, she would let me know and I would let her out and back in. A perfect relationship.
This ended when she just decided, even on beautiful days, that she really didn’t want to ever have to leave the house. She would hide herself when it was time to go out and eat. I would leave the food outside, thinking that eventually hunger would prompt her to go out.
I was surprised at her response. Instead of asking to go out, she would just poop on the rug in our basement – usually in the same general area. She would go out to eat and I would leave her out as retaliation for her indiscretion. She would then stalk the doors of the house, knowing about when I would leave the house and where and would proceed to sneak in. Once in, she would bolt for the safety of a couch or go downstairs where she had many hiding places. She would of course never come when called and I would proceed to leave her inside, only to find more poop and eventually she would leave to eat and then sneak in again.
Eventually I raised my preparedness when exiting and simply would never let her in. Since then she has been an outside cat most of the summer. Now that fall is coming, she wants back in and proceeds to wake me up at night several times in an attempt to get me to let her in – as if nothing had happened. Sometimes she will even scratch the doors or weather stripping to get me to let her in. Our deck railing is so scratched up you can see it from a hundred feet away – needless to say, I don’t appreciate my deck being her scratching post.
I love cats, when they cooperate with me. I love to pet them and have them cuddle with me in bed or in a chair. But they seem to have a different mode of operation from that of a dog. Most cat lovers will have a scratching post and litter box in their house – is shows who is master I think.
A dog will generally do just about anything to please you and can often be trained to even become useful to you. Cats on the other hand just don’t fit that role. You can feed your cat caviar or cheap dry food. You can house them in a mansion or a cat house. You can give them attention or not. But it seems, no matter what you do, you generally don’t see a cat be thankful, helpful or obedient.
I have seen Moto thankful on very rare occasions, and I love it when I see that. But most of the time, when I feed her something special, or pet her, or let her stay inside on a cold night, she acts the same as if I had done nothing. It is as if she owns the house and I am her butler. Though she is entirely dependent on my feeding and housing her, she seems to care less and assumes an heir of control and supremacy.
I know if I let her in now, she will be scratching again tomorrow evening, the precedent being set, she will expect to be let in and will scratch even longer than tonight because past experience dictates to her that I will eventually give in. The only way I can stop her scratching is to reduce her expectations by NOT letting her in. Sad. I would like to have the option of being nice to her without the expectation that I will be so tomorrow – or suffer the consequences.
She is a queen, entitled to whatever she wants, when she wants it, regardless of past offences, your mood or resources.
I think as far as cats go, Moto is generally pretty good – which explains why she is still around – though I don’t think I could ever get myself to kill or even abandon a pet.
So I contemplate what to do this winter with Moto.