I’m convinced our feline has split personalities. Finn, our cat, has two, maybe three, rolling around inside his skull.
At times, he’s adorable. At others, he’s deplorable. And then there is the Finn version that absolutely fails when trying to look cool while moving about the house.
I’ve categorized his different personalities below.
Finn, the cat:
- Cuddles up in your lap and purrs himself to sleep.
- Sleeps peacefully in the chair beside you as you nap nearby.
- Plays with his various toys for hours on end.
- Looks peacefully out the window.
- Enjoys a nice scratching behind his ears.
- Goes to sleep in the living room when everyone goes to bed.
- Settles down for the night when everyone in the house does.
- Looks at your glass of water and tries to get a drink.
- Actually slept in one of the bathroom sinks once.
- Runs underneath the outer shower curtain and acts like we can’t see his paws and tail hanging out.
- Says “good morning” or “good evening” by rubbing his whiskers on your whiskers. Of course, when he tries it on Mary or Brenna, it doesn’t have the same effect. He tends to look at them with a bit of disappointment in his eyes.
- If you make the mistake of letting him into your room at bed time or while taking a nap, he’ll take up most of your pillow, and will purr incessantly, causing your head to vibrate and you to not get any rest. (OK, this is cute in my eyes because it happened to Mary and I saw it.)
Satan, the cat:
- Cuddles up in your lap, looks up sweetly and then attacks your forearm, or launches himself off of you because he suddenly has to be in another room for absolutely no reason, scratching your leg as he takes off.
- Wakes up from his nap before you do and decides the best way to wake you up is by nibbling on your nose, upper lip or earlobe.
- Plays with toys and then decides body parts, such as your toes, are more interesting. Has a knack for getting his teeth under the toenail on your big toe if you don’t shoo him away immediately.
- Looks out the window, then looks up, spying at fish fly on the outer window. Tries to climb the blinds to get at the fly.
- Tries to bite the hand that pets him.
- Bounces off the bedroom doors when you go to bed. Meows loudly and pathetically. Grabs a noisy toy and plays right outside the door.
- Couldn’t care less if the humans are settling for the night; he’d rather attack the painting above the couch.
- Looks at your glass of water and knocks it over with the swipe of a paw. Getting you and everything near you wet, but he leaps away without a drop landing on him.
- All food in the house is his or should be his. If you take a plate into the living room while reading or watching TV, be prepared to constantly push him away and put him on the floor. Relentless in his pursuit of chow.
- Toilet paper rolls, if left with a bit of the paper hanging down that is blown by the air from the nearby air vent, is subject to immediate unrolling.
- Unhappy over not getting to attack a bag of mini-croissants, he proceeds to climb up the front of a music speaker.
- Not content with nearby toys, every item on the coffee table must be pushed onto the floor, including TV removes, video game controllers, you name it.
- Leaps up and grabs your heels when your feet hang over the end of a recliner’s footrest. He quickly wraps his front paws around your foot, no claw, and nibbles on your heel to the point it tickles. Surprises the crap out of you, especially if you are “watching” a baseball game with your eyes closed.
Finn the klutz:
- Tries to jump on window ledge/ottoman/couch, hits the wall or side of the furniture as he misjudges the distance. Immediately pops up and looks at the nearby humans as if to say, “I meant to do that.”
- Looks at tail while sitting on the couch. Forgets his tail is attached and pursues it to the point of falling off said couch.
- Runs into the living room, spins around and turns on the Xbox with his butt.
- Is very curious about plastic shopping bags, to the point he gets his head stuck in the hand-hole of one. Runs around the basement with a bag of pretzels as a result.
- Thinks he’s the fastest land animal, especially when going up and down stairs. Misses a step and runs face first into the next one while heading up, or tumbles down a couple while heading down.
What is it about cats? You can eventually teach dogs tricks and how to behave, what to do and what not to do (for the most part). Cats just look at you, make up their own mind, and go about their business.
I’ve tried speaking sternly to Finn, telling him “No!” He may look at me briefly, but generally returns to his previous bit of vandalism.
Or if I accompany my stern words with a raised index finger, he generally thinks I’m offering up a chew toy, not an attached digit.
It’s reached the point where I “threaten” him with a fist, telling him such incomprehensible things as “I’ll knock you into next week if you don’t behave,” or “other cats have died for less.” Someone passing by outside might think I’m trying to get a fist bump from my cat. Anyone who hears the conversation might believe I’m going to nuke the little fur ball.
As for Finn, he takes it all in stride. The clenched fist usually ends up with him trying to gnaw on a knuckle. That’s why he gets the fist bump fist, with the top of the hand facing skyward. It’s harder for him to go after a knuckle that way.
The best form of discipline for Finn in our house is carried out by our daughter. If he’s misbehaving with her, she has no problem putting him in his room – yes, he has a room – and giving him a time out.
Mary and I will push him away, put him on the ground, or scold him. Sometimes each is effective, and other times, nothing is.
Finn the cat remains a work in progress.