Chris loves Floki like a son and Floki seeks out Chris’s attention which no other cat has ever done, although Puck did tolerate Chris pretty well.
One night, shortly after Puck died, Chris was lying on my chest and rubbing his face against mine. My wife saw this and said, “I don’t know what you will do when Chris is gone.” She then said that she thought Chris would be the next to go. I assume she said that because of all the weight Chris has gained recently but he still remains pretty healthy as far as I can see.
What got me thinking was the possibility that love could be quantified. Could a person love two individuals but love one of those individuals more than the other? Or is love an absolute like pregnancy? Can a parent love one child more than the other? As a parent of only one child, I can’t answer that but the truth is, I will miss Chris more than Puck.
I feel bad saying that and it makes me seem like a horrible person but I can’t deny it. In my defense, I will say that missing someone is possibly not directly related to loving them. What we miss in a person, or animal, are the good feelings that they gave us when they were around.
With Chris, I would miss the funny ways he would figure out how to open a cabinet or drawer before climbing inside. I would also miss the amazement of him getting on top of things that seem impossible for a cat to reach. These are things I miss already since his weight gain has slowed him down. I think what I would miss most is Chris’s affection. Chris is the most affectionate being I have ever met. This affection, I think, is Chris’s way of showing us that he loves us back very much and I think this has a way of reaching down and touching the soul.
His affection is what drew me to him in the first place. The first time I saw him he jumped on my shoulders and licked and bit my ear and nose while I was trying to clean the cages at Petsmart. The next time he was on my shoulders again at the shelter. I sent the following bad photo to my wife asking if we could keep him.
When Rose met him he showed her equal affection.
It wasn’t an act to get out of the shelter. Once he arrived at our home the affection didn’t stop.
Chris loves everyone and is not afraid to show it. He will go from lying on my lap to lying on my wife’s lap and then to lying up against one of our other cats. I have seen and heard about him jumping on the shoulders of complete strangers. I still laugh when I hear the story of a plumber under our sink who had to deal with a cat on top of him while he was trying to work.
Historically, none of our cats have been very affectionate with other cats. The exception to that would be Tigger. He sometimes would be seen cuddling with Abbey or her brother Alex.
After Chris came on the scene, he became an annoying third wheel.
While Tigger sometimes cuddled, it is almost mandatory with Chris. I do occasionally see Chris sleeping alone but he usually seeks out someone to lie with. He is like the glue that holds our family of cats together, going from one cat to the other as if trying to create a universal scent.
Of course, nobody is perfect and Chris will get into fights just like every other cat. Chris can also be jealous. Whenever Frankie is on my lap, Chris has to be on my lap. I’m not sure if Chris is jealous of me paying attention to Frankie or Frankie paying attention to me.
Yes, we do miss Puck very much and yes, we will probably miss Chris even more when the time comes but whether that has to do with the amount of love we have for each of them is unknown to me. What do you think? Are there any parents out there who can admit to loving one child more than another? Liking a child more is not the same. My wife will sometimes tell me she loves me but doesn’t like me very much right now.
Chris and Frankie used to fight like cats and . . . well, cats, but now they only fight occasionally. Today, we are much more likely to see them as loving brothers than as fighters.
These pictures were taken last week but, coincidentally, as I was writing this post, Chris and Frankie were lying together on the same rug.
When I started this blog I couldn’t decide what to name it. I had several names in mind, none of which I can remember now. I only remember that all of them were taken. I eventually settled on Crazy Cat Chris and registered it at WordPress.com.
Almost immediately I realized that I made a mistake. Chris was not a crazy cat. I think I just liked it because all the words started with C. I then choose Bad Cat Chris but the truth is, Chris is no more bad then he is crazy. The “bad” in Bad Cat Chris only refers to his behavior, not to Chris himself, and it really only refers to the human interpretation of the word “bad.” What is bad to a human is not necessarily bad to a cat. Like Shakespeare said, “there is no good or bad but thinking makes it so.”
The first several months after we adopted Chris, he kept us from getting a good night’s sleep by attacking our feet, biting our noses, treading on our bare skin and lying across our necks. BAD CAT! Indeed, the people who adopted him before us thought he was a bad cat and returned him to the shelter after one day.
He no longer attacks feet and he has learned not to bite Rose’s nose but everything else is the same. Jumping on counters is another “bad” behavior that we were never able to correct. Nor were we able to stop him from opening cabinets and closets and getting inside. At eight years old he still tries to get out the door every chance he gets and he still scratches the furniture, but only when he knows someone is looking.
Despite his behavior, I wouldn’t want him to change because that is who Chris is. He has always been very entertaining and he makes us laugh. His bad behavior is not really bad, it’s more like naughty, and even that’s not right. He is just a non-human who is very good at not following human rules.
There is something special about Chris, more special than any other dog or cat I have ever had, and I have had some good ones. Chris is pure love. He loves me, he loves Rose he loves everyone who steps foot in our house and he is not afraid to show it. He bleeds affection. Everybody who knows Chris loves him back.
He is even affectionate to all the other cats, although he will fight with them too.
Rose worries that when we lose Chris I will be devastated and she may be right. I think about that more now that Chris will be turning eight. The last three of our cats that passed away, Abbey, Alex and Tigger, all died at eight years old. But, of course, now is not the time to be thinking such thoughts. We have a birthday coming up.
I might be a bad pet parent for saying this, or even thinking it, but I love one of our cats more than the others. I know that sounds terrible. It’s like saying you love one child more than another.
I’m talking about Chris, of course, but I’m not sure love is the right word. It is harder to define than that. It is like I have formed an emotional bond with him and I know when our time together comes to an end, breaking that bond will be the hardest thing to do since my dad passed away. To be fair, I do love all our cats but Chris is a bit different.
The reasons I have formed such an attachment are many. The badness that I talk about on this blog is just a behavior. There are many other sides to Chris. There is funny Chris, cute Chris, Talkative Chris, Smart Chris and affectionate Chris. Deep down, Chris is the most loving and affectionate creature on four legs that I have ever encountered and you can’t help but love him back.
From the beginning I noticed that everyone just loves Chris and I’m sure that is because Chris loves everyone. “Give and you shall receive” is true for cats as well as people.
Below is an example of Chris’s affectionate behavior.
There is a drawback to all that affection. My wife is away on a business trip so I thought I would let the cats sleep on the bed. I should have known that would never work. Chris always keeps me up half the night doing what you see on the video. I don’t know why I always think this night will be different.
I recently commented about how Chris is sleeping more now that he is older and he sleeps almost as much as a real cat, but after last night I take it back.
What do you think? Any other “bad” pet parents out there?
Yesterday was “National Love Your Pet Day.” When I heard about it, I couldn’t help but think that it is pointless to reserve a day for loving your pets. If you have pets, you should love them every day or you shouldn’t have them. How long do you think you would have a wife or husband if you reserved one day a year to love them. I know that sometimes I tend to over-analyze things. What do you think about this?
Everyone who is owned by a cat knows what happens when you bring a new box into the house. It is like Kitty Christmas. The first thing they have to do is get inside like a child with a new playhouse. But why are cats so fascinated by a simple empty box? I suppose there are a number of things at “play” here.
I think the main reason is that cats love to play. The reason that they have an instinct for play is probably because it helps them practice for survival. Attacking their housemates, assuming it is not for reasons of dominance or territory, is practice for the hunt. Playing in a box is just an extension of that.
A box offers something a wild cat is looking for: stealth. Nevermind that they are not wild cats, they don’t know that. From inside a box a cat can see but not be seen. It is a great place to lie in wait until their prey is close and then pounce. It also offers a bit of protection from other “wild” household pets that might want to attack them.
Finally, cats are great nappers. Curling up inside a box could feel very cozy for that afternoon nap and offer protection as well.
If anyone can shed more light on why cats love boxes, or if you just want to comment, I’d love to hear from you.
Chris has always had a way of endearing himself to people. Perhaps this is because those people do not live with him. It is like the grandparents who are happy to play with the grandkids and equally happy to give them back to the parents just before they get tired and cranky. Equally like grandparents, when we say they can take Chris home, they always refuse. I think if we want to give him away we have to stop telling people about his bad side.
Of course, we would never give him away because he has endeared himself to us just like he does to everyone else. We also know that nobody but us could handle him for more than a few days.
Chris is not a shy cat and will always introduce himself to new people. Sometimes he will follow them around like a puppy dog. This is especially true when someone comes in when we are not home. A guard cat he is not!
Shortly after we adopted Chris we had a leaky faucet that needed to be repaired. Since Rose was the manager there, she sent one of her maintenance techs to fix it. He later reported that Chris was with him the entire time. He even climbed on top of him when he was under the sink trying to work.
You would think people would be annoyed at that kind of behavior but I think it is so unusual that people can’t help but be amused.