When a cat guardian’s lifestyle is meshed with the lifestyle of their domestic cat companion you create routines which are merged and bound together. This is one of the Holy Grails of cat “ownership”. It is a way of allowing your cat to experience Total Cat Mojo in the inimitable words of Jackson Galaxy. For complete clarity, the phrase “Cat Mojo” means that an individual cat experiences life to its maximum as best as can be achieved within the human environment.
Above: my cat who has learned to predict my moves.
Two examples of my cat predicting my next move
Because I’m retired and have been for many years, and because I live in a house, I think I am in the fortunate position of being allowed to integrate my life with the life of my cat. It can be much harder when, for example, you are working full time and perhaps long hours.
My cat likes to sit on my lap. He does this while I read the newspaper, and while I watch television. He is able to predict the moment when I want to get up and do something else. He therefore jumps off my lap before I get up. Normally you would expect your cat to jump off because you are leaving the chair in which you are sitting. But in this instance he can predict my next move. How does he do this? He does it through routines and understanding these routines. He knows the approximate duration of time that I will be sitting in the chair. He knows that when I put the newspaper down that it is a signal that I will be leaving the chair in about three minutes. He has learned this through observation and because his life is meshed with mine.
It’s a bit like a dance. When two well rehersed ballroom dancers are dancing together it is a well oiled machine. If a person’s life is full of routines as mine is (and therefore structured) domestic cats pick up on this and fit in with it. The important point, though, is that humans should also fit in with their domestic cat’s routine. This allows them an equality of rights within the relationship.
Above: he loves to immerse himself in my bath towel. It is about smells.
Another example of my cat’s predictions is when I buy the newspaper in the morning from the corner shop. These days my cat is an indoor/outdoor cat because he escaped his cat enclosure and I’ve given up on trying to confine him. Before I go and buy the paper he climbs up the enclosure fence, through a hole, and goes out to the road (and I stress that it is a very, very quiet road with respect to traffic), walks down the pavement and waits for my return. He actually wants to walk to the shop with me but I won’t allow it for obvious reasons. When I come back he greets me on the pavement (sidewalk in America). Once again this is an example of a meshed relationship.
Above: my cat on top of the cat confinement fence around the garden!
Total Cat Mojo
I would like to take this opportunity to discuss once again Jackson Galaxy’s concept of Total Cat Mojo. He says that to reach what he calls the Emerald City of Total Cat Mojo you should build an infrastructure of life with your cat which contains the 3R’s: Routines, Rituals and Rhythm.
Every home has its natural rhythms and routines. These are human aspects of life. Cats fit in with this as they have to but, importantly, cat caregivers need to adjust their lives to allow their domestic cat companions to join in with those routines and create new routines which incorporates their lifestyle. This allows them to follow activities which are natural to them: hunt, catch, kill, eat, groom and sleep.
Clearly indoor cats can’t hunt in the classic way but a substitute activity can be in place. This is the added pressure on cat guardians who keep their cats indoors all the time for good reason; to find ways to make their cat’s lives as natural as possible.