When Caution is Their Middle Name

All my cats have something wrong with them. RJ was extremely deprived, though he's getting over it. Puffy is, well, logic challenged. And Mr. Bond, even for a cat, is really, really, cautious.

Mr. Bond, poised to fleeAs we can see, Mr. Bond is not happy having his picture taken with my new picture phone. I sprang for the picture phone since it was, in theory, something handy that I could use to get candid shots before they get away. This theory has some support; I got Mr. Bond before he got away.

I don't even have to click the shutter; the mere nearness of this strange object is enough for Mr. Bond to flee. Mr. Bond has always been overly cautious; I got him as a kitten because no one could cuddle him, it took him a year to figure out a way to use the Litter Robot, and it took him four years to become a buddy to Dear Husband. That's just his way, and I can't change him.

But... know what? Everyone is a package deal.

Yes, there's something wrong with my cats, or I wouldn't have gotten them. I've been a "last chance" adopter for years now, and the challenges are great. So are the rewards.

Cautious cats come in many flavors. Mr. Bond will come out and greet visitors; as long as they don't try to pet him. He shrugs off new furniture and changes in routine; as long as he is told beforehand. He will explore any new object; as long as it doesn't move or make noises. Once committed, he's not cautious anymore. I have his total devotion. I have the responsibility to make sure he knows he is loved, every day. Or he will feel bereft and abandoned.

I feel this is the core of Mr. Bond's caution; he has the intelligence and imagination to worry about terrible things happening, and he acts on that knowledge. Other cautious cats might have different motivations; trauma or timidity might be the reason a cat is slow to warm up and quick to hide behind the sofa. If we pay attention, we can discover what might have made our cat cautious. If we make overtures, we can find the best way to their heart.

Because there's a heart-lifting, lovely thing about a cautious cat.

The times they are not.

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