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Anyone who has ever owned a dog knows a dog is much more than a four-legged animal kept as a “pet”.  Dogs become members of a family.  That is easily proven when one considers the millions, if not billions, of dollars spent on health care alone for dogs.  When a dog leaves this life for the “Rainbow Bridge”, the loss is devastating.

The same is true for cats.  Anyone who says cats are independent and not as affectionate as dogs just doesn’t understand cats at all.  A cat lover knows a cat can be as much a part of a family as a dog.  I have had both dogs and cats, and can attest to that first hand.

The first thing a cat owner must realize is that a cat is not a dog.  Although cats have four legs and a tail, they are much different than dogs.  Expecting a cat to act like a dog is like expecting an elephant to act like a ferret.  They are two completely different animals.

Presently, I own three cats: Jonesy, Pookie, and Missy.  Jonesy is a really big orange cat; Pookie is a small tiger tabby, and Missy is a small black-and-white cat.  They each have their own personality, just as dogs.

Jonesy is mellow and loves to be in my lap.  He pretty much doesn’t do much except sleep and play occasionally; but mostly he loves being in my lap–when he wants to be there.

Pookie is the sweetest, best-natured cat I’ve ever had.  She is just a sweetheart, through and through.  She loves to sleep at my chest when I go to bed, and occasionally she snuggles up in my lap, too.  When she does, it’s usually time to groom.

Missy is also a sweet cat, but she is the impish one.  She is the youngest and loves to get herself in trouble. Not too much trouble, though.  She is not a lap cat.  I can pick her up and hug her for a bit, but it’s not long before she wants down.

They all get along, too.  Pookie and Missy chase each other around, sometimes, while Jonesy is a little older and much bigger, so he doesn’t join in the chase.  He does like to chase a plastic ball with a bell in it, though.

All three of them talk to me.  Missy is the big talker.  What I enjoy most is listening to them purr.  Each has their own purring sound.  Pookie has the prettiest purr of them all.

Sometimes when I am ready to go to bed, I find all three of them got there first, and I have to move one or two of them out of the way so I can get into my bed.

I spoil my cats.  They are just like my children.  I treat them as if they were my kids.   I don’t have any human children, so my three cats are the closest thing I have to children.  I love them so much that I would do just as much to protect them as any parent would for their children.  For instance, when I go grocery shopping, I always get their food and litter before I buy anything for myself.  I make sure they have everything they will need until the next time I go shopping.  They depend 100% on me for everything.  You see, they are 100% indoor cats.  I don’t let them go out, so nothing bad will happen to them.  Jonesy has never been outside, and the other two I found as strays when they were no more than 3 or 4 months old.  So, none of them would know how to survive outside.

From my experience with cats, even strays outside, cats love to be scratched on their backs just in front of their tails; at the top of their pelvis.  They also like having the tops of their heads scratched.

If a cat raises its tail straight up as it approaches you, it is a sign it likes/trusts you.  If a cat trusts you, it will often roll on its back and let you rub its chest.  You will often see a cat rub its head/cheeks against objects and even against you.  This is said to be when it “marks” something with its scent.  I think that’s true, but also when it “marks” its scent on you, it is also a sign that it likes you–and is a way of saying, “I own you.”

The absolute worst time I have ever had with cats is when a female goes into heat,and I have two females.  As I am writing this, both Pookie and Missy went into heat on the same day: May 9th, and today is May 13th.  This lasts for about ten days, so I have another six days to go.  They are driving me absolutely insane with their howling.  Oh, God, they are driving me really, really crazy.  As soon as they get through this, I am going to get both of them fixed, not only for my peace, but also for their’s.

[Note: After this post, I had my girls spayed. They feel better, and I don’t go out of my mind listening to their moans every three weeks.]

It is a myth that a cat should have a litter before being fixed.  It’s an old wives’ tale.  I don’t have to tell you there are enough cats just in your county alone, so the world surely doesn’t need six or eight more.  I waited too long to get them fixed.  Pookie is three years old and Missy about one year old.  Jonesy was neutered at six months old.

You should spay or neuter cats before they turn one year old.  Seriously, it is the best thing for them, health-wise, besides getting them their shots.  They will feel much better and you won’t be driven out of your mind.

I just wanted to say a little something about my babies, and hopefully pass on a tip or two to new cat owners.  You are always welcome to post comments about your cats or any advice/tips you wish to share.

Have a great life!  And give your babies a hug for me.  🙂