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Why Do Cats Do What Cats Do?

Bob Alexander

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Waking up my cat Spike, especially in the evening when he's been asleep in his box in the garage, is not a very wise thing to do if it's my bedtime. After having slept most of the day, he's full of energy and wants to play. I just want to go to sleep!

Each night I tip-toe past the door leading into the garage so I won't disturb him. If he hears voices or footsteps he'll start meowing, wanting something to eat. After I give him a handful of Meow Mix, he eats a few bites and then tries to slip past me into the house. Because he's faster than me, most of the time he's successful. Immediately upon entering the foyer he'll start lying on his back and then rolling over, something I think is weird but it seems to make him happy.

My neighbor who has a lot of cats say that when one on his back he's being friendly. Friendly is good when it's much earlier in the evening, not when it's time for me to go to bed. I've learned not to pet him too much. If I do he thinks I'm going to let him stay in the house. No way!

If I relent and let him go to his bed in the corner of my office, he'll sleep awhile and just when I'm finally getting asleep, he'll come to my bedroom and start meowing for me to let him back out. Almost every night it's the same routine.

No matter how many times a day he's been allowed in the house, Spike has to rub himself up against every door jamb and piece of furniture he passes. Cats supposedly do this to mark their territory so that other cats will know who rules their kingdom. I find it hard to believe that they have to mark the same place four or five times a day, especially if there are no other cats around. I think my cat does that just to annoy me!

Spike, being and indoor/outdoor cat occasional brings us a gift of a dead mouse or bird. Cat experts say this is because he has this inherent urge to hunt their own food. Instinctively he is using the same stealth and patience they would use in the wild to hunt for food.

From time to time I've noticed Spike walking across our front yard at a leisurely pace, when all of a sudden he will jump and start running around the house like he's been stung by a bee. After that short burst of speed he stops and continues his unhurried stroll.

My thoughts have been that he was just batty and that there was very little I could do for him. Again, my cat loving neighbor has an explanation. Cats are simply pretending that they are in the jungle somewhere running down food, such as an antelope or springbok. Seriously, some cat psychologist must have figured that one out. I still think Spike is nuts!

The most serious question of all about why cats do anything is the one about drinking out of the toilet. After asking that question of several “experts", I have yet to get a definitive answer. It seems that everyone have a different view of cat behavior.

Some say that cats just want to be close to where we have been, thus making toilet drinking a thing of love. Others say that cats like cold water that's fresher and cleaner than what is in their water dish. This makes more sense to me than a cat having a romantic interlude with my toilet seat.

Let's face it! No one really knows why a cat does anything. Spike let's us believe that we're in charge of his life, but when I command that he rolls over or fetch a stick, he simply stares at me and then lies down on the floor and start grooming himself. I guess I had better think of new tricks for him!

Bob Alexander is well experienced in outdoor cooking, fishing and leisure living. Bob is also the author and owner of this article. Visit his sites at: &


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