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Feline Friday: Ask Amy–Sit On THIS!

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1-B-Seren&books 1-21-08

I am at THRILLERFEST, and surrounded by best selling authors, aspiring writers, book editors, agents and all-things-literary. I am in book-heaven! I’ve already loaded up my tote with fresh hot-of-the-press autographed books to schlep home.

At my house we already have a wealth of reading material. The stacks of books waiting to be read and reviewed, tear sheets of articles to file, printouts from the Internet and “virtual” Ebooks give new meaning to “up to my eyeballs.” So it should come as no surprise that the fur-kids in the family also have a litter-ary bent.

The Magical-Dawg believes his life’s mission includes picking up and carrying stray bits of paper—anywhere—just out of reach of human hands (or waste receptacles). Since moving said waste baskets to second-story territory onto counters, he indulges in less “fishing” for these treats. Hey, don’t judge me…it’s a decorating choice!

The cat is a bit more genteel in her recreational reading. I suspect your kitties also indulge in planting furry nether regions atop any bit of reading material they find. Mostly, Seren targets the newspaper spread across the breakfast table and has an incredible ability to position herself EXACTLY atop the article of most interest. She has great taste.

Blackie Reading Petiquette

"So THAT'S what d*gs (spit!) think!"

Or, she’ll attempt to sit on my book. That’s fine until I reach the end of a page and need to turn to the next, whereupon feline mutterings turn the air blue with Seren’s disgust. Because after all, SHE wasn’t finished reading that page!

Why are cats drawn to human reading material? The Ask Amy video, below, addresses this question, but here are a few more thoughts.

Sitting on a single piece of paper left on an otherwise bare table top doesn’t elevate them much, but has a psychological effect. After all, cats are nothing if not psycho—I mean, psychic. Wait, let me start over.
seren in file basket
Sitting on top of something that hasn’t yet been “scented” by the cat invites her to claim and control that piece of paper/book/whatnot and the surrounding. It’s sort of like leaving a toddler alone in a room with pristine white walls—and a new box of Crayolas. Irresistible! Something’s going to get marked.

kitten on bookcase

"Such big words...where am da pictures?"

Also, when you’ve been reading a particular book, your scent on the cover draws kitty to investigate. If I don’t set it down but hold the book up to read, Seren cheek-rubs the corners of the book cover over and over. It’s a cat’s way of paw-tographing something. When she does that to my Kindle, she “turns the pages” for me.

Adam Stritar's cat Holstein

"I'm the top cat, yep, I am I am!"

Finally, I suspect one of the main reasons cats (and some dogs) insist on inserting themselves into our reading is for the attention. Humans sit and stare for hours at that book/page/paper. The pet can only imagine we’re brain-dead. Magic gets between us and our view of the TV because he knows (of course!) we’d rather look at him than stare into space.

So when a pet gets between you and the words or TV screen, consider it furry intervention to get human attention focused properly where it should be focused.

On them.

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions–and to stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with pet book give-aways!

About amyshojai

Amy Shojai, CABC is a certified animal behavior consultant (dogs/cats), award winning author of 30+ pet care titles and thrillers, and spokesperson to the pet industry.

2 responses »

  1. Pingback: Feline Friday: Ask Amy–Sit On THIS! « Undercover Kitty

  2. My cat loves my bookshelf – and any newspaper or book you leave laying around.

    I’m so jealous that you are at Thrillerfest! I can’t wait to hear all about it..


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