The Look

When planning a trip, part of my ritual is to pull the suitcase from the closet several days in advance. This is Scout’s cue that I will be departing soon. He seems to do better when he is warned than when I just pack up and leave.

I recently did this in anticipation of an impending adventure. He studied the bag several times a day, sniffing and watching me for signs that I was leaving.

Sadly, the day of my departure was a different story. He knew without my saying a word that it was travel day. I don’t know how he figured it out because the day didn’t start out any differently than all the others.

Whatever his trick, he knew and he followed me around all morning. He wanted picked up and cuddled. A couple of times he clung to my shoulder like a little kid begging to not be left behind. Once, he bit my hand in protest. He is apt to violence in these situations because he clearly can’t vocalize his displeasure.

And I felt like a heel for abandoning him. The above picture illustrates the concerned look he carried around all day long.

I just call it The Look. Poor baby.

As pet owners or perhaps more accurately stated, as people who are adopted by pets , we play a pivotal role in their lives. Scout’s life is quite big, roaming the house as he pleases and monitoring all things that go on in and around the house. He looks after the birds, squirrels, bugs and all the other little creatures. He is well cared for and a bit spoiled.

Yet, his world is quite small too. Confined to our house, I’m his only companion and my leaving is hard on him. Luckily, he forgives and forgets within a few hours and all is right with the world.

Smile For The Camera

Scout hates cameras and honestly, cameras don’t like him either. His rich, shiny black coat practically absorbs light and he tends to be blurry in most pictures. My best chance at good photos involves catching him sitting still in natural light.

This week I broke down and upgraded the iPhone I hated to one that seems pretty nice so far. The true test of the camera is whether it can capture Scout.

Miraculously, I got a couple of good images on the first try. Much to his chagrin, of course! The above picture is what happened when I told him to smile. The juxtaposition between Scout’s frown and the smiley snowman cracks me up.

Don’t worry. I’ll keep trying!

That Look

This is the look I get when Scout catches me writing something with a pen. He hates the sound of a pen to paper.

This is actually the warning look just before he starts tugging on my clothes, arms, hands – anything he can get his paws on. See the murder mittens? He knows how to use them!

I don’t understand his aversion to pens . Yes, it makes a scratching noise but he never seemed to care when he was small. Maybe it developed when I began working remotely during Covid? Too much time together? I don’t know but he will rouse himself from a deep slumber in another room to stop the madness if I write for too long.

He’s a peculiar little guy and quite set in his ways. All I know is that life is never dull around here!

Pets When We Travel

Poor little Scout doesn’t cope well when I travel or am gone for long stretches of time. When I rescued him as a kitten, I envisioned traveling together some. It quickly became clear that he is not an adventure cat.

So he stays home while I adventure and my parents come visit twice a day to feed and play with him. He mostly does well for them but he’s happier with me in the house.

When I came home Monday night, he purred as he let me pack him around the house like a sack of flour. He eventually wanted down so he could follow me around. He never let me out of his sight and spent most of the evening flexing his claws. Look closely at the above picture and you’ll see my little house panther baring his very sharp claws.

A few days later and he’s still clingy. I have left home for work twice this week and both days he has followed me around with worried eyes while I got ready to go. I feel sorry for the poor guy but life goes on and I sometimes have to leave.

It’s hard for us to remember that while our pets are a part of our world, we are their entire world. I am grateful to have this funny, opinionated, smart little soul to come home to after an adventure.

Just This Spot

Scout usually gets treats whenever I leave home for several hours. But he has developed this odd quirk- he wants to eat them like this.

Just like this.

They have to be on this level and this corner of the climbing tree and he has to stand on the window sill to enjoy them. You can’t put them on the floor and he doesn’t appreciate having them left on any other place on the tree.

Just this spot. Please and thank you.

That’s the thing about cats. They are creatures of habit and they are persuasive in teaching their humans how to perform to suit them.

Anxiety

He’s had a rough couple of weeks. I have been gone more than normal lately and his separation anxiety has been bad. Most cats aren’t quite so clingy toward their humans but Scout seems to think my job is to always be available to him. The simple act of going to the mailbox leaves him terrified and usually results in him following me closely for a few hours.

We forget that, while they are a part of our lives, we often are the entire world for our pets.