People of a controlling nature (“control freaks”) are not ideally suited to cat caretaking,
My thanks to Marc for making me think about this. The better cat caretakers, owners or guardians, call them what you want, are more relaxed about their environment and their lifestyle. In general they are less ambitious and tend to let go a bit. They are intelligent too and are more concerned about real things rather than image. They are in stark contrast to controlling people who have to manage all aspects of their lives in order to achieve financial success and success in the eyes of others. Success for these people means financial success and accompanying trappings. They are conventional people.
The control freak types have to behave as they do in order to succeed in the conventional sense because life can be a bit chaotic. There are lots of things that can throw an ambitious person off-track. Being a control freak you have to have authority, which gives the person the ability to control others and situations to their likeness. The idea is to eliminate natural chaos and have things the way you want it. To clear the path to “success”.
So, where does that leave us in relation to the domestic cat? Well, the best cat caretaker is probably not ambitious but smart. They have more time to give to their cats because they are not chasing financial success. They let their cats behave as they wish. They have a laissez-faire, live and let live attitude together with a concern to satisfy the behavioral needs of a cat. The emphasis of these people is repositioned away from looking successful to quality of life.
Consequently, the best cat caretakers are not worried about a bit of cat destruction (sofa scratches). They tend to accept this. Often (but not always) older people are more likely to better cat caretakers because:
- they are retired and have time to spend with their cat and;
- their lives are stable;
- they have loosened up psychologically. They don’t care or mind so much anymore.
It tends to be the ambitious, younger person who is preoccupied with “success”. A part of conventional success is the perfect home and fancy car. These people are the least likely to be a good cat caretaker because the domestic cat can slightly damage a person’s property. This sort of person might want a cat as decoration but not as a true companion. They are definitely more inclined to declaw their cat so that their home remains perfect. Everything for the control freak has to be perfect all the time. Cats don’t fit into that environment.
In many ways, the independent minded domestic cat is a control freak’s nightmare. You cannot tell a cat what to do. Control freaks like to tell people what to do.
A cat has to be accepted on their terms. In order to respect the cat you have to understand and accept their nature and behavior. That includes scratching because that is part of scent marking and claw management. This could be agony for a control freak who will accept a cat because their partner wants one, but only on condition she gets rid of those bloody claws…please dear.