Beyond the basics; the importance of cuddling.
I suppose most people, even those who have never lived, and never would wish to live, with a cat or cats, have a vague impression that cats like to sit on people’s laps and cuddle, and that this makes them purr.
Only if you’ve lived with many cats over your lifetime do you realise that cats do this very individually, as they do everything.
Mystic’s day starts with a cuddle. As soon as I don my hearing aids (!) I can hear a delicate ‘Maow’ outside the bedroom door. When I let him in, he snuggles, kisses and hugs as affectionately as if it were not just to do with the approach of breakfast time. In the course of the day, should he require a lap-cuddle, he has only to shlump across the sofa from his doughnut and pin down the lap. He likes lots of tickles and stroking during the cuddle, and it’s OK to gently squeeze his paws.
Fluff thinks he should be entitled to The Lap all day, and flings himself rapturously upon me whenever it’s vacant, stretching himself between my chin and my lap and anchoring himself firmly with his front claws. He’s very tiny and light, and his purrs vibrate hugely. It’s seen as a betrayal if I use cuddle time to brush and comb his long hair, but he endures it stoically. He’ll sometimes find a way to assume this posture even if one of the others is already on my lap, thus making it extremely hard to see the TV or read my book – I need my arms to support him above the other cat. My tea gets cold!
Felix pops in from his room (it used to be the dining room) from time to time to see if there’s a vacancy. He begins by sitting upright facing me, in full Egyptian pose, and glaring greenly at me. It takes a fair bit of stroking and soothing words before he settles down in a classic neat coil – he tends to do everything by the book just to show that HE knows how cats should behave, thank you! It is NOT OK to fondle his paws!
I’ve never yet had to deal with cuddling three at once, and I suspect it would all end in tears. But the cuddles are what make the plumbing problems worthwhile.