I find it kind of ironic, that I find myself kind of wanting to have a pet cat… because I’ve been watching an Animal Planet show called My Cat From Hell.
Well, I did do a few years of growing up with my stepmom’s two cats, and the calico female would chill with me in the basement while I was doing my schoolwork. The affection outweighed the allergies. My dad is not an animal person (other than fish – I get the crazy fish lady bit from him) so he thinks I’m crazy for wanting a cat even though I’m allergic to furry critters! But I’m going to remain catless, because my current house has a lot of pet-damage in corners from the previous owner, and I will NOT expect another animal to not spray over those scents. That would be totally unfair to the animal. Especially since a lot of problems on MCFH are due to territorial issues. (I didn’t know cats were so territorial! Practically like furry African cichlids. Except not kept in groups like cichlids are.)
Also, the #1 solution for cat behavioral problems seems to be “play with the cat” with an appropriate toy. (This usually involves teaching the “cat guardians” to stop handling the cat inappropriately!) Number 2 solution tends to be altering the layout of the house to be more cat-friendly. (Something I’ll keep in mind when decorating our hypothetical next place.) Distant 3rd solution: medical issues, like pain, blindness, not being fixed, or once an actual crazy-cat who needed some medication to calm down.
It’s a little amusing, though I think perfectly normal, that the cat problems usually involve relationship problems between the people. There’s a lot of couples who argue over the “crazy” cat. I’m not too impressed with the women (it’s mostly women) who are putting their cat over their relationships with other human beings, though. Thus are lonely cat ladies and hoarders born! But at least the people on the show are actually 100% justified in fearing that if they gave the problem animal up, it would be put down. And instead, they’re usually trying to fix both the relationship with the animal and the relationship with the other person!
Makes me think places like PetSmart (or wherever) that do dog obedience training, should look into cat-handling classes, too. I mean, I lived with a couple of (older) cats for my entire teenagerhood, and I’m learning a lot about the “rules” of cat-handling from the show that were just faint guesses at our cats’ preferences. I’m thinking the male cat that we had probably would have benefited from things like leashed cat-walks around the neighborhood!