When you leave your cats at home after feeding them, refilling their water bowl with fresh water and a clean litterbox, ever wonder what they think about you or say behind your back?
Research says that it is possible that your cat thinks that you’re another cat – a big ugly hairless inefficient cat who cannot hunt, but a cat nonetheless. It has been observed that dogs behave differently around humans than they do around other dogs. But cats? Nah. They scratch you, rub against you, sleep on your chest, nibble on your fingers, same as they do with other cats.
That would explain why your cat keeps bringing you dead mice, or even dead pigeons and snakes in some extreme cases because it thinks that you suck at hunting and should take some notes. All that shouting from outside the bathroom, while you take a shower, is because it is trying to protect you from getting wet. Running water is no good for you, you see unless you’re drinking straight from the tap. Kittens also tend to knead on blankets, sometimes on their humans, a habit that can continue to adulthood. This often happens when kittens aren’t properly weaned and may have some residual urges for breastmilk. Yes, your cat may think of you as a mother figure, regardless of your gender.
Another theory explains why your cat may think you’re another cat, a mama cat specifically. Cats are solitary creatures and the friendly interaction that takes place between two cats are mostly between mother cats and kittens. A kitten knows that a mother cat is a safe animal as opposed to other animals or cats one may find out in the wilderness. Similarly, an adopted kitten identifies its human as a safe animal early on. Therefore their conclusion being: it’s a mama!
Your cat also thinks that he should be the center of your world. Quite literally. Try having a family get together in the living room. He will make sure that he is at the heart of it. If he’s ignored, he will find a way to grab your attention and become the topic of discussion. Like really, how dare you lesser mortals not involve him?
You’re reading about climate change and you think your cat doesn’t wanna discuss it? You were wrong. And now he will punish you by sitting right in the middle of the editorial page of your newspaper. Cats are always very interested in paper, be it a newspaper or toilet roll.
You were planning to watch the match with your buddies and forgot to invite your cat? Well, he didn’t forget. He will sit atop the TV, and wave his tail right on the screen for the rest of the match. As a cat person, you better get used to watching TV like this.
If you bring work home, your cat will take ownership of your office laptop. Because he owns you and everything that belongs to you belongs to him. Also, how dare you bring work home and not play with your kitty? That’s blasphemous!
Cats also take a keen interest in everything you do. They may think you’re weird and don’t know your way around the house. But they will be there, keeping you company through the daily chores. They will play with the mop when you clean the floor because a mop is clearly a toy and you don’t know how to use it. They will sit next to you when you work, or try to work on your computer and they will accompany you when you work in the kitchen. They appreciate your dedication towards them, slaving away to bring food and treats.
One wonders if cats want us to behave like them, considering they do everything cat with us. When they groom themselves, they also lick their humans, they play with us like they play with other cats, knead on us, nibble on us. We don’t know how cats would react to humans licking them back or purring, but they surely think that we love sniffing their butts as other cats do. If you wake up in the morning with your cat’s butt in your face, it’s because he wanted to express his affection for you for your amazing butler duties.
Cats also think that humans are infinitely stupid. Yes. Cats are generally silent when they are among other cats. Especially, adult cats rarely verbalize their thoughts. Cats communicate with each other mostly through non-verbal cues, body scent, gestures, tail movements, physically touching or grooming each other etc. The 'meow' is for humans who cannot read cat signs. Cats see us trying to talk to them in a baby voice while all they want is treats or to play, so they make an effort to talk and let us know how they feel.
All this while you’ve been thinking about how to train your cat when it’s your cat training you. You've learnt what all his ‘meows' mean. There is a ‘feed me now' meow, a ‘pet me' meow, leave me alone' meow and we have learnt to understand these vocalisations as we spent more time with our feline friends. Therefore, while cats think we’re stupid, they also know that we're trainable.
There is no doubt that the cat is a superior being whose thoughts are probably far more complex and go beyond eating and sleeping. We are yet to understand these majestic animals fully, and that’s a part of their allure, the mystery. However, now we know that cats aren’t apathetic towards us. They do think fondly about us and make an effort to communicate and spend time with us.