One recent evening, my wife, Vivian, said something that has been obvious for a long time. She was sitting in her recliner with our cat, Skittles, on the chair arm.
“Our cats have chosen me as their human,” she said. “They are my buddies.”
What she said is true. Both Skittles and Ozrow are her cats. They might use me to wait on them when they want food or need someone to open the door, but otherwise I don’t exist for them. Any attention they give out is reserved strictly for Vivian. They never get up on my chair arm for petting or anything else. Unless they want something and Vivian is not available, I am no more noticeable to them than the refrigerator.
It wasn’t always that way, at least not with Skittles. When she was a kitten she spent most of her time with me. It was my lap she wanted to be on and me she wanted petting her. For some reason, and I have no idea why, she switched and made Vivian her main person. Maybe she didn’t like the way I smelled or something.
There was a time when some of our adult cats chose me. Two big white and black cats, Spanky and Ophelia, ignored Vivian and spent their time with me. As soon as I sat down in the evening when I got home, Ophelia would be on my lap. Spanky was not quite as affectionate, but when he was feeling like handing out kitty attention it was for me.
It’s interesting that Spanky and Ophelia were both comfortable with strangers. If someone came to the house, they would soon be trying to get up on the visitor’s lap, or at least would be rubbing against a leg.
By comparison, Ozrow and Skittles both run and hide when anyone comes. If necessary, they will hide out for days, only coming out to get something to eat in the middle of the night. They don’t want much of anything to do with me, but they don’t hide from me, which I guess means something.
Also, Ophelia and Spanky came to our house as adults, while Skittles and Ozrow were tiny kittens. Again, I don’t know if that has anything to do with who they chose or not.
I don’t know if those different attitudes toward strangers has anything to do with why they chose one of us over the other, or if it’s just coincidence.
We’ve had other cats that were equal opportunity, giving attention to either Vivian or me depending on who was handy. They showed no favoritism at all, or very little.
Our old Bruiser cat was that way. He claimed both of us equally and spent equal time with each of us.
He was another that came to us as a kitten, so how they are when they arrive doesn’t appear to be a factor.
It wasn’t in Bruiser’s case, although I suppose one cat is not enough of a sample to base any sure comments on.
I still enjoy living with Skittles and Ozrow and I have come to accept they will always prefer Vivian. If nothing else, I get to observe her interactions with them.