For reasons only he knows, our cat, Ozrow, came in from outside the other day and flopped down under the coffee table. He was soon well into a nap, looking snug and smug on the rug.
We can’t recall he has ever done that before. Well, he naps, sure; he does that every day. I mean the location under the coffee table. He usually sleeps on a bed either downstairs or upstairs. In years past he has had periods of sleeping on the couch. Never, however, on the floor under the coffee table.
Since that first time, he’s been back in that same spot several other times. Maybe he is waiting to a mouse to stroll by. Or he might be seeking extra shelter from the rain, thinking the house roof is not enough.
This whole thing has us a bit puzzled, but then many things cats do leave us wondering what they are thinking. One thing you can always predict about at cat is they will always be unpredictable. Just when you think they are locked into certain habits, they change without warning and for no obvious reason. Every cat we’ve had has been that way, which leads me to believe every cat ever born has been that way.
In the wild, cats may have altered sleeping spots and everything else as a simple matter of survival. To avoid falling prey to predators, they instinctively knew it wasn’t smart to set a pattern of always being in the same spot at the same time each day. While Ozrow is not in much danger at our house, the instinct is still there and kicks in at times.
A lot of what cats do is probably because of a carry-over from the times when they had to survive in the wild. It’s hard to tell what all this might be, though. I can’t imagine what purring had to do with anything before cats took up with humans. And it seems odd their natural curiosity had anything to do with survival, unless it somehow helped them find food.
Ozrow doesn’t have to worry about finding food. He knows where his bowl is and it’s always got something in it. We don’t feed him on a regular schedule the way some people do with their cats. We just fill the bowl and let him set his own schedule. That usually consists of him eating often but not a lot at any one time. It’s easier for all of us that way.
Cats like being on high places. Ozrow often sits at the top of the stairs so he can look down on us. Outside he likes to sit on the deck rail, which is a few feet off the ground. I think that is part of the survival instinct, too. A cat in a tree or on some high object like a big rock would have been out of reach of most critters that would get them. It probably made it easier to spot food in the form of small animals, too.
Cats are drawn to things that move a lot. Everyone with a cat has probably dangled a string in front of one and watched it swat at the string. Cats don’t have good eyesight beyond a few feet, so being attracted to movement would have helped them notice things they could eat.
There is usually a good reason they do what they do. We just don’t always know what the reason is.