Life in a Cat house

Stan Johnson - Life in a Cat House




A few days ago, our cat Ozrow discovered television. All the years he has lived at our house, he’s ignored the TV, so it was a surprise when he finally noticed it.

We were kicked back in our recliners when he jumped up on the arm of Vivian’s chair. Suddenly his gaze locked in on the television. He sat leaning forward, enthralled with what he was seeing.

He gets on that chair arm every day and the television is nearly always on. How he failed to see it before is a complete mystery to us. Why it suddenly captured his attention is also a mystery.

I have heard of cats becoming entranced by images of goldfish swimming or cute little birds flitting about, but we were watching the local newscast. There wasn’t even a commercial for cat food on the screen; just people talking with the usual rundown of wrecks, shootings and general mayhem.

He watched for about 20 minutes, which was about 18 and a half minutes longer than most things that hold his very limited attention span. Vivian got up a couple of times, but the cat didn’t budge. He watched intently, not missing a moment. Eventually, he got bored and jumped down to wander off. He hasn’t paid a bit of attention to the television since. Apparently, like many people, he decided it really was not worth watching.

I can’t recall that we’ve ever had a cat that paid any attention to the TV. There isn’t much to be seen on one that would interest cats, but I’d think they would be a bit curious. They just take it as another piece of furniture, except it’s a noisy one. Naturally, they can hear it from above them, but they must equate it to regular sounds from on high, such as a helicopter flying over the house.

I always supposed the lack of interest was due to the screen being too high to be seen from cat level. They don’t spend all their time on the floor, though.

Both Ozrow and our other cat, Skittles, get up into chairs or sleep on the backs of chairs. The chair perch pretty much puts them at eye level for the TV.

After Ozrow finally gave up on the television and wandered off, he did a few cat things and then flopped on the floor for a nap.

“Ozrow is sleeping with a smile on his face,” Vivian commented. “I think he is a happy cat.”

I wondered if some of that happiness was associated with the discovery of television, but apparently it wasn’t. So far he has not paid a bit of attention to what’s on TV, although he has been back on the chair arm several times.

It’s odd how cats suddenly notice things that have been there all the time.

Usually they instantly see and check out anything new, while they may ignore the old for years until it grabs their attention for some reason only they know.

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