I have been told repeatedly by my husband that my animals are a bit strange… personally I don’t see it, but then I guess that is just me – so dear reader, I am asking your opinion on this matter!
The thing that first triggered this statement was when Izzy, feeling a bit cold when it came to bed time, did her usual trick of jumping up on the bed beside me, walking up to stand on my pillow, miaowed softly and started patting at the edge of the duvet. Now, this is a well recognised signal, one I have been trained by many cats to acknowledge by rolling onto my back, bending my knees and lifting the edge of the duvet so they can slip in to curl up under my raised knees in the “tent” that is formed there.
This is an ideal position for a small, somewhat chilly, cat – as it is somewhere dark, warm, and smells of “Mummy” and therefore safety (so long as I don’t fall asleep, forgetting they are under there, and drop my leg on them). I have had several cats that have trained me to do this, or something similar – Tinker (the calico female cat I had with my ex husband) used to climb under the covers, put her head on the pillow, her paw around my neck and purr till we both fell asleep curled up together.
I see nothing strange in this, I just see it as part of the special bond between my cats and I – ok, granted, not everyone would be as willing to share their bed that way with an animal, but I have never had a problem with a cuddly kitty.
Okay, so I have had sock-knappers (raiding the laundry bin at 3am for dirty socks – god alone knows why), chocolate thieves (again, an attack of the midnight munchies), and cats trained seemingly by the SAS who have managed to get to places I have stashed the catnip or treats when I have no idea how, or disappeared so thoroughly in a locked house that I swear they have vapourised – but this isn’t really strange behaviour, just quirky behaviour and we all have quirks, right?
However, it isn’t just my cats that I have had this accusation leveled at – my rodents have had similar comments made about them, ranging from when Sergei and Alek are asleep in their tunnel, upside down, or one of the rats climbs up the cage, suddenly realises that girlie rats aren’t really built to reverse and so just let go to get down, or when hamsters past have decided that chips with curry sauce and an evening watching star trek or x-files is simply all that a hamster should do. (I would just like to mention that the chips with curry sauce was a VERY occasional treat, not a regular diet (much to her annoyance)).
When the rats took down their hammock and decided it was a far better sleeping bag (if you chew the edging of the hammock up so you have an opening between the two layers of fleece, it really is quite snugly you know) – it just seemed to me that this was another of the quirks, it didn’t make them odd, or strange in any way in my eyes, but then I suppose I could be a little biased ;)
I have come to the conclusion that one mans strange, is another woman’s quirky – and no matter the outcome, I wouldn’t change any of them for the world, their quirks are what makes them unique, and what makes them who they are – life without a few quirks would be very dull indeed.