The Bizarre Behavior of Cats

Have you ever noticed that almost every time you look at your cat it?s either preparing for a nap or doing its ?just waking up? stretches?  You are quite the observant cat owner because that?s exactly what kitty has been up to over the course of its day.  Cats sleep approximately 16 hours a day, and even more as they age.  In fact, the only mammals that sleep more than a cat are opossums and bats.  Unlike our human children who get yelled at for being lazy when napping during a warm afternoon, our cat kids are given a pet and a pillow fluff for maximum comfort.  Lazy is not in a cat?s vocabulary.  Instead, they look at their napping habits as a time to sooth the soul and clear the mind.  

Dreaming is another thing that cats have in common with us?cats have dreams.  While they may not dream of owning a Ferrari or living in beach-front property, cats do dream all the same.  I suspect cats dream of an entire field of plump little mice ready to give chase at the site of ferocious feline.  This dream behavior has been observed by researchers using electroencephalographs to record brain waves and pulses during deep sleep.  Scientists can also attest to physical signs of dreaming cats, such as flexing paws, twitching whiskers, and chattering mouths, movements typically associated with predatory waking behaviors.

Cats can sleep in any position at any time or place, and camera enthusiasts have made thousands of dollars catching sleeping cats doing what they do best?sleep.  It?s often difficult to determine if your kitty is truly asleep or just catching a brief moment of shut-eye.  Almost 70 percent of the time cats look as though they are sleeping, they are still somewhat alert to slight movements, soft sounds, and external stimulants.  Some cats sleep sitting up, keeping their muscles rigid so they don?t fall over and embarrass themselves.  The sit sleep gives a cat the advantage of a quick sprint when threatened by a nosey dog or tempted by a juicy meal of lizard tails or cricket legs.  After a satisfying nap, there?s nothing like a thorough grooming to get rid of bedhead.  Restoring the fur to its original shine can require hours of careful licking and pawing, which then necessitates another hour or two of napping.

However, fully rested and alert, the cat has been known to accomplish the strange and seemingly impossible.  IF YOU?RE A CAT YOU CAN?perform heroic feats

Far braver than their size or abilities would indicate, cats have been known to risk their own lives in order to save others from fires, attacks, medical emergencies, and even emotional breakdowns.  One such cat is Tara.  If you?re a fan of You Tube, you?ve probably seen Tara battling a fierce dog as he attacks Tara?s favorite little boy playmate.  Jeremy was playing in the front yard on his tricycle, vigorously riding it up and down the driveway when out of nowhere came the neighborhood dog.  Jeremy didn?t have a chance and began screaming as the dog pulled him off his ride and began its vicious attack.  Hearing her loved ones in serious trouble, Tara the cat went into action.  Rounding the parked car at a full fun, Tara jumped with all fours at the dog?s side, knocking them both over.  She then pulled herself up and went for round two, howling and scratching with all her might.  It was the dog?s turn to be caught off guard, not knowing how to get away from Tara?s enraged counterattack.  Deciding retreat was the best defense, the dog took off with Tara in wild pursuit, just to assure herself the family would be safe.  A hospital visit and ten stitches later, Jeremy was reunited with Tara, and the two have been inseparable ever since.

Then we see the compassion of Koshka.  Staff Sgt. Jesse Knott rescued Koshka while he was stationed in Afghanistan.  Koshka kept showing up at the barracks displaying obvious signs of abuse.  From paint put on her fur to a gaping wound on Koshka?s side, the soldier knew if he didn?t step in the cat?s future looked dim.  Even though he lived in a ?no animals allowed? zone, Jesse was determined to stand by Koshka and see to it that she had a fighting chance.  Then it was Koshka?s turn to be the hero.  Jesse had seen so much blood, so many soldiers lose limbs, lives, or their minds that his days were darker than he could ever imagine.  He slumped into a deep depression from which he felt the only way out was suicide.  Just about the time Jesse thought he had nothing to live for, Koshka proved him wrong.  She jumped up in his lap emitting a low rumbling kind of purr, the likes of which Jesse had not heard from her before that night.  He began to pet her and was soon reminded that there was a reason for him to live?his reason was Koshka.  Jesse made arrangement to bring Koshka back to the United States, promising her she would never suffer abuse again.

My own personal tale about a heroic cat happened when Chaz saved my son from what could have been a lifetime of disfigurement.  I rescued Chaz from the Arizona Humane Society as a spunky kitten.  My son and I had decided we would just go for a look, but you know how that goes.  Who can go to the shelter and just look?  So, we came home with a fluffy black and white male we called Chaz.  Chaz was a charmer from the word go.  As we cruised the shelter isles, we saw this tiny little paw dangling outside the door of the kennel.  Brett and I walked over to see who belonged to the paw, and there was Chaz.  It took us both about one millisecond to decide we just had to own this cute little fur beast, and so we filled out the paperwork and headed for home.  Chaz and Brett were instant buddies.  Where one was the other would be trailing close behind.  Chaz was one of the most patient cats I?ve ever had, always happy to be included in the boys wrestling matches.  If Brett was playing video games, Chaz would be hiding behind the screen in hopes that he could pounce on whatever was bouncing or blowing up on the monitor.

From a wee one, Brett had to play indoors a good bit of the time because of his severe asthma.  It took him a long time to convince me to even let him have a cat.  I feared it might cause an allergic reaction which would sure as shootin? trigger an asthma attack that would more often than not put him in the hospital.  Obviously, Brett won the cat fight, and Chaz had a new home.