What do you think your pet thinks about you?
I like to think that Misha likes me, if not for anything else than at least for being a fairly consistent part of the room that he most likes to sleep in, so like a part of his comforting daily routine or something. I think that, if he associates my Mum with food, which seems to be the case because she is his main food provider and he wants food every time he sees her, as if he thought that she’s some sort of food-producing machine who can make meat fall out of her hands randomly at will, then he must associate me with sleep. Very often when Misha and I are downstairs and then I go up to my room, he runs after me and wants to be there with me and sleep. I always tell him that it’s his room as well, because he doesn’t have his own separate room. He has a lot of places to sleep in in my room, but usually sleeps on his favourite blanket on my bed, and when it’s colder I also put his grey-coloured lamb skin over it. But before he actually falls asleep, there’s a whole ceremony to go through. He has to have his sleepy treat, and then I have to lay down on the bed and he goes on top of me and lays on my chest, sniffs my face and wants a deep head and face massage. This is actually very unlike Misha because he’s generally very afraid of touch, closeness and things like that, but this lying on Bibiel has become a part of his daily routine and he seems to like it very much. Mum once saw us like that and she said she’d never seen Misha more relaxed and blissfully glassy-eyed. 😀 Sometimes he ends up falling asleep on me, or we both do. And then when he’ll always wake up with a start and get off me, go on his blanket and move as far away from me as possible, ashamed of his extreme weakness and desperately trying to pretend that nothing happened and pick up the leftover pieces of his usual dignity. He’ll rarely sleep there when I’m not around or can’t lay down with him at least for a while or assist with his sleeping routine. Then he usually climbs up on the wardrobe or sleeps in my armchair and Sofi laughs that he looks like some mini businessman who fell asleep in the middle of his work day in the office or has nowhere to go at night so sleeps at work, because this armchair is huge in comparison with him.
I think Misha also associates me or at least my room with calm, because he’ll also always come here whenever he’s stressed or overwhelmed, like when something scary for him is going on or there are a lot of people downstairs or he’s had a difficult day or isn’t feeling well. I’ll always try my best to comfort him then and, if he feels like it and is in his clingy mood, which sometimes is the case when he’s sad despite he is usually not clingy at all, I’ll try my best to give him my full attention and cuddle him and make him feel safe and happy as much as possible ‘cause I hate to see him sad or stressed out or ill or something.
I’m also sure that Misha knows I like him most of all the people here. Whether he actually cares about it/appreciates it/it makes any difference for him, I don’t know, and I don’t think it matters really, but I’m sure he knows how much I like him and how important he is to me and sometimes he likes to take an advantage of it. Like, sometimes when he goes somewhere high up or gets stuck somewhere and can’t easily get out/is afraid to jump off it, he’ll cry very pitifully when he knows that I’m near him, ‘cause he knows I’m going to be worried about him and that he won’t be able to make it on his own out of wherever he is, and I’ll want to help him right away. But when it’s anyone else other than me and he’s stuck in the same place, he will jump off or extricate himself totally independently, with no crying or anything, even if it takes him a long time to figure out how to do it or how to jump off safely. Or he makes a lot more fuss of his sleep than when he sleeps with Sofi, who has no time for dwelling whether the reason for Misha’s not wanting to sleep is the fact that he doesn’t like her new blanket, or perhaps he wants to eat, or maybe he’s cold or whatever. If he doesn’t want to sleep in her room and cries, she’ll just kick him out, not wondering what might be the reason for him crying. So he’s learned that if he wants to be at Sofi’s he has to be happy with what he’s got and not complain. Meanwhile with Bibiel he can usually be the one who sets conditions and refuses to fall asleep if the bed isn’t made the way he likes, or Bibiel tosses and turns too much or he didn’t get his sleepy treat or not enough and Bibiel is a huge Misha-pleaser. Bibiel can go as far as to randomly come over to Misha while he’s sleeping and check if his extremities are not cold, no one else bothers. I also think that, while it’s Mum who has best eye contact with Misha and understands his different expressions and stuff, it’s Bibiel who is better at interpreting his sounds. Other people here don’t seem to have much of an idea what is the difference between a happy “hhrrru?” Or a sad “hhrrru?” Or that there is a special sound that says “Uh oh, I’m going to vomit soon”, or a special moaning sound for when he wants to the loo but the door is closed or something, or even a very rude, impatient sound that says something like: “Will you finally move your flippin’ ass and give me my food? I’m dying of starvation, you stupid peep! I want to eat, now!!! Can’t you see?”. My Dad doesn’t even think he does that deliberately, he says Misha’s sounds are just random depending how they happen to come out of him. But I’m absolutely sure that he knows what he wants to say and I think he knows that I know, because as much as he knows that he can get a lot out of me, he never meows rudely like that at me anymore, ‘cause when he used to do, I’d yell back at him and wouldn’t give him his food til he said something nicer. Meanwhile he talks like that to Mum regularly, and she just gets mad at him, because that’s how this sound makes you instantly feel, except she doesn’t seem to understand that it’s because of how he said it and thinks she’s mad just because he keeps asking for food, so she doesn’t address that properly.
I think he must also think that I’m weird, ‘cause I talk to him a lot more than anybody else here does and often about totally random things that have nothing to do with him. Or I sing to him. Or I talk to myself when he’s around.
He also seems mind-boggled by some things that we peeps do. Like, just the other day I was praying, and Misha wanted a snack, but, well, I was praying, so I wasn’t up to giving him his snack just then. He was very patient and just stood next to me and waited, and I could feel him staring at me. I assume he must have wondered what the freak I was doing while being practically still for so long. Perhaps he thought I was sleeping in a kneeling position if he didn’t even ask for his food, only when I finished. Or several of us have noticed that Misha’ seems very much interested in human toilet habits, like my Dad says that Misha regularly stares at him when they happen to be using their respective loos at the same time. He must also think that our food – like veggies, or chips, or eggs, which are some of the things he showed some interest in – must be disgusting. And I guess he’s also a bit afraid of all of us, because like I said he’s afraid of closeness and we want to stroke him all the time and Sofi and I want to pick him up and cuddle and kiss him all day because he’s almost like he exists solely to be cuddled and stroked and kissed and hugged and squeezed and carried around everywhere. So unlucky for him that he looks the way he does with the sort of personality he has.
When Misha first came to us, he had to learn quickly that being sprawled across the floor or getting in the way of people might not be the best idea, as I managed to step on him on his second night with us while going to the loo, and then trapped his tail in the loo door on my way out of it, which low-key traumatised both of us, I think. Now Misha never gets anyone in the way but Mum says he seems to be particularly careful with Bibiel. I’m not sure though if he actually gets the fact that I can’t see him. People tell me that he often looks at me very persistently, in particular when he wants food or attention, or alternates his gaze in a very telling, reproachful way between me and his bowl, seeming equally baffled every single time that there is no reaction and that the food doesn’t magically appear in the bowl. 😀 But on the other hand he’s a lot more patient and forgiving with me than the other peeps. When he was very little and just arrived at our house, initially I would often unintentionally put my fingers in his eyes, and even though he’s normally so anxious and can’t stand when Mum gives him his eye drops which he needs regularly, he’d never run away or be angry or anything. Or when he wants to say hi, in the morning or when I’ve come back from somewhere, he’ll come close to me for a very short while and rub his head against me, whereas with other peeps he just looks at them in an acknowledging way, unless he’s really missed us or something then he’ll say “Hhrrru?” And will “faint” on the floor at someone’s feet out of happiness.
He also seems to think that we peeps have some weird superpower that allows us to locate him whenever he says something, because when someone accidentally shuts him somewhere like Mum often does in the wardrobe ‘cause he keeps going in there while she picks out her clothes, he’ll then “Hhrrru?” That he wants out, but as soon as someone realises that he’s closed somewhere and tries to locate him more precisely, he won’t respond anymore because he thinks if people know that he’s closed they must know where he is closed and will rescue him soon. You can call out for him till you die, and he won’t make a sound. He only will when you’ll stop actively looking for him. That can be a problem sometimes, like once we looked for him for two hours when he got stuck inside a sofa or other place that you wouldn’t necessarily think about. Once he got stuck somewhere in the bathroom soon after we got a new bathtub installed, but we couldn’t figure out where in the bathroom he was so Mum freaked out that the bathtub guys must have walled him up in the bathtub not realising that he was there and everything would have to be taken down and redone to set him free, if he wouldn’t starve in the meantime. But he only turned out to be in a cupboard.
Oh, and people are very good vehicles in his opinion. Just today in the morning my Dad came into my room with Misha on his back. It was totally absurd because my Dad claims he doesn’t really like Misha, because he doesn’t like cats in general and because, yeah, we have to say that, apart from his angelic looks, objectively speaking, Misha isn’t a very likeable creature, because apparently his gaze is rather unpleasant and his personality isn’t the most outgoing in the world. Yet, he’s managed to wrap even my Dad around his cute little toe bean. He kept sitting on my Dad and riding around the whole house for like fifteen minutes, and my Dad (even though he’s having a cold, which always makes him grumpy) was all smiles and kept cooing at him, and then when Misha jumped off him, he laid down on the floor, and my Dad was down on his knees next to him immediately, stroking his spine. That was so hilarious, but I didn’t dare laugh until afterwards, as I didn’t want to risk putting an abrupt end to this serene scene and snapping my Dad back into the reality. I’m inclined to believe that conspiracy theory that cats have some sort of substance that brainwashes people and tricks them into loving the cat even if it’s against the personal interest of the affected human victim, and then the peep in question goes crazy or even demented over time, hence so many cat owners are crazy. I myself am a very severe case, as not only am I happy to serve as a vehicle for Misha as well, but I often do it voluntarily, so that he doesn’t have to walk too much, and walk around with him on my shoulder. With so much food, sleep and so many vehicles, lifts and other such available, it’s kind of a miracle that he still looks as scrawny as he does and isn’t a more literal fur ball yet.
So yeah, that’s what I can say about what I think Misha thinks about me and us.
I’m not sure how about Jocky but I suppose he must really love me because he’s always so happy when I show him any attention as if I was some sort of Bibiel deity, it’s weird because it’s Sofi who’s his mummy but he doesn’t get so crazy when Sofi plays with him, but with me he goes nuts and humiliates himself licking my feet all the time. Not to mention what happens when I give him food. And my Dad’s fishies are probably in awe whenever they see any of us, if fish have as short memory span as I’ve heard. They probably only care about Dad anyway because he feeds them. And perhaps sometimes Misha who likes to play fisherman when he’s bored and probably terrifies them, if they have enough kilobytes of memory to actually remember something for long enough to feel terrified.
How about your pets? 🙂