Wednesday, December 10, 2014

On cats and boundaries

I've jinxed my cat. I should have known this was coming, after my superbly insightful metaphoric post on cats and people and trust. This morning, one of our fatter clingier pet cats whom we keep out in the yard during the day broke into our house. Literally. There's now a cat-shaped hole in my bedroom door. He burrowed through wood to get to me. I'm not sure if I should be flattered. Even as I write this, he's contentedly sitting on my laptop, tending to his bruised paws, forcing me to type around him.

I'd love not to draw people-parallels from this incident, but it feels wrong somehow to keep the other post up without this warning revelation. Cats are clingy. They are oh-so-capable of love, yes, but sometimes you might end up drowning in it. No sooner have you dealt with all the trust issues, than you'll be bombarded with boundary issues.

Cats who burrow into your house. Cats who meow incessantly at the window, begging to be let in. Cats who refuse to leave your lap, who make your bed their own, who follow you to the bathroom and scratch at the door to find a way in. Cats who call you at all hours of the day - now might be a good time to abandon the analogy - friends who want to meet up all the time, friends who expect you to share every detail of your life, friends who are always bursting with unasked-for advice. And you could be that person too, a compulsive pester-er or an everywhere nose-poker.

You might unwittingly burrow into someone's personal space and hurt yourself doing it. You might come face to face with a closed door every once in a while, just as you may find yourself cutting short a long phone call because your favourite sitcom is on, and you've been talking for three hours already. The key is not taking it to heart. I don't claim to be an expert on how to stay friends with people, but I have managed to wholeheartedly annoy but not alienate a few people over the years and being the silent-sufferer type, I've tolerated quite a lot of badgering too. Cats, in their stubbornly demanding way, tell me that they do deserve my attention.

So the next time you realize you are invading someone's space, being a tad bit too pushy, do back off. But don't let this be reason enough to run away. Sometimes, what you can do is tend to your bruises and perch yourself contentedly in a constant little corner of their life. If it's the right person, they'll make space.


  1. Hmm, Cats could bug pretty much at times...

    There is one of my up stair neighbuors’!

    Who has learned to climb down from balcony; he does it at least a dozen times in a day, and well that’s not enough for the smart ass. He opens my window’s sliding door, gets in, sleep on my bed, poke his tiny-wet- pink nose everywhere (I would have loved this as I do not at all mind cat hair on my bed / being a Cat person / Die hard animal Lover :) if you remember me , we met in a rally by BWC camp 10 Dec :D )

    Alas! He pees on my clothes or bed sheet or pillow or sofa chair wherever he pleases to :( and in every visit of his… :’(

    Though I do not hate him, consoling myself of “he is an animal - he has tiny brain- It’s a cat/ telling my neighbour won’t solve my problem - you can’t tie down a cat - don’t you love cats?

    “But how many times can you afford to throw a pillow, vacuuming bed, washing clothes and sheets and do it all over again?

    Well I reached tipping point! Now I know, I can’t hurt him nor help it … I have locked myself in. very vigilantly I shut the doors even if I am out for cooking, may be for 10 mins for Tea... and my husband happily scares it away when we sleep and the cat tries to break in…

    I love cats , and have had plenty since my childhood , practically grew up with the species , but yes I have faced some , who had absolutely no sense of respecting the privacy and Boundaries. I don’t blame them at all… They are CATS after all, I understand!

    But the more people I know , just rightly pointed out by you , Who are supposedly have brain , are being called humans , are my “Friends ” and yet possess the same quality of making my life miserable , by being pushy , invading privacy and very selfishly getting away with it! I am searching a solution for it, do you have any?

    Keep up the good work Dear !

    1. Hey! I do remember you from the rally. :)

      I know what you mean about locking all the doors to keep the cats out, that's what I was doing that morning and the cat broke through the door! But in the end, when he's sleeping on my lap and purring, I know he doesn't understand all the havoc he's created. That's all I meant. It can be a real pain taking care of them sometimes, but it's sort of worth it, We're taking him to the vet tomorrow, he seems to have hurt himself scratching through the wood, poor guy!

      As for people who are too pushy, as long as they're doing it unintentionally, I'd say they just love you too much! If they seem to want to make your life miserable, who needs them. I am no expert, really, but that's what I'd do.

      Your neighbour's cat sounds like a little monster. :D