Needy Cat

Katie and Kiyoshi in 2006
That’s an old pho­to of Katie and Kiyoshi. I’m not the fam­i­ly pho­tog­ra­ph­er. She is, fol­lowed by Sam. But there’s a pho­to, and this post real­ly needs one.

I’ve enjoyed hav­ing the house to myself for the last few days, but there’s been an unex­pect­ed com­pli­ca­tion: the cat is freak­ing out.

You have to under­stand that while Kiyoshi walked up and adopt­ed us dur­ing a week when Katie was vaca­tion­ing with my par­ents, there has­n’t ever been any doubt that Katie is his spe­cial per­son. As soon as he got inside the house, he went into hid­ing. We thought it was because of the ter­ri­fy­ing old­er cat, but no—he was wait­ing for Katie to get home. When she did, he came out of hid­ing. When she was­n’t at home, he went back into places we nev­er could find (and still can’t, some­times).

Last year, we all went to Dragon*Con, and Kiyoshi was board­ed with our mar­velous vet. He has­n’t ever stayed any­where but at home before. When we picked him up, he was absolute­ly piti­ful. I fear he did­n’t think we were com­ing back for him, poor lit­tle fel­low.

He isn’t han­dling Katie’s absence now well, though. Sam — well, as long as he has plen­ty of food, he does­n’t real­ly care whether Sam or I are present. But Katie is his per­son! And she has­n’t been home since Thurs­day morn­ing! Not at all!

At first, he was okay. By Thurs­day evening, though, he was at the front win­dows con­stant­ly, watch­ing for her arrival. Then came the vig­il at the front door.

At some point he switched to patrolling the house, look­ing for her. And call­ing. Any­one who tru­ly knows cats knows the dis­tress call, the “Oh Bast you’re lost and I can’t find you and you must have fall­en in the toi­let or some­thing and I told you to avoid all that water and WHERE ARE YOU????!!!!”

Kiyoshi is nor­mal­ly a silent cat. Tru­ly. He so sel­dom makes any noise at all that the slight­est squeak from him is remark­able. The dis­tress cry is absolute­ly new. I did not think that he knew how to make it at all.

Now there is the clingi­ness. He needs me. He needs to be sure that I don’t dis­ap­pear, too. He’s on my wrists as I type this. For the last twelve hours or so, his pas­sion for being with me con­stant­ly has extend­ed to hud­dling on my feet if I stand still for more than a cou­ple of min­utes.

The cat is not nor­mal­ly per­mit­ted in our bed­room at all, because I don’t sleep well in the first place and don’t need any added dis­trac­tions. I don’t know that I can bear to shut him out, though. And if he makes that sound again, all bets are off.

I am SO glad the con is over tomor­row!

2 Replies to “Needy Cat”

  1. When cats are dis­tressed they can be an absolute­ly night­mare with the noise they make. We’ve just moved along with our 4 cats and although they don’t seem too both­ered with the move over­all, one of them con­stant­ly vocalis­es in the high­est pitch imag­in­able.

    It’s real­ly putting our nerves on edge, but I guess he’ll qui­eten down even­tu­al­ly. We’ve tried using Feli­way, which has worked pre­vi­ous­ly, but does­n’t seem to have had an effect at all. Maybe it would work with Kiyoshi though.

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