Familiar Spirits were believed to help witches with their magic. It was believed that they were demons who took either animal or human form, notably that of a cat, rat or toad. In folklore if the familiar spirit belonged to a witch or sorcerer then the entity was generally seen as malevolent and labelled a demon and if the spirit was attached to one of the “cunning folk” then it was largely seen as benevolent and more fairylike.
Now I’d like to say that this is all complete fantasy, and it is true that I haven’t ever met a frog prince, never mind a mystical toad, but cats, well, we all know that cats are magical. Teabag is agile and swift as lightning… but he’s no dainty fairy and though he can at times be diabolical, he’s not evil. He does come and go silent as the grave… unless he wants some gravy… so I’d have to say at best, he’s benign.
I expect it’s all part of the mysterious cat magic, that makes me feed him and brush him. In his enchanted world I’m the familiar spirit who aids him with his magical comings and goings and doings, and who’s to argue with that? He believes in 5 impossible things before breakfast and then goes out and does them, while I pour coffee on my cereal and leave the hairdryer in the fridge. As usual I suspect we humans have the whole state of affairs backwards.
For some reason Peoples do all their sleeping at once, I think so they can do more work, which is their favourite thing. Cats know this is foolish. Because they’re not supposed to and it makes them mess up all the work they’re trying to do.
Peoples should sleep at least twice a day, of course cats can do more, but we’re experts. People’s are just beginners so they can only do two sleeps. After studying Dasha, who does try to be an excellent People, but fails most of the time, I discovered that Peoples have four different types of sleep. which isn’t anywhere near the amount that we cats have, but if it’s all you can manage, then it’ll just have to do.
Ha, Teabag has pink-eye and he keeps walking into things it wouldn’t be so funny except every time he knocks something over he gives me this I-meant-to-do-that-look. He’s priceless. At some point we’ll tip into it’s-all-your-fault-anyway territory, but I’m used to that and besides I’m a horrible owner and some of the thing he’s bumping into… are actually my fault.
On a serious note though, while you’re wiping paws and brushing fur and doing the many everyday people-slave tasks for your cat, you might as well add a quick eye check onto the list. A quirk in your cats evolution has somehow not given them the ability to get dirt and foreign objects out of their eyes and so in this area, if nothing else, you cat does grudgingly need your help.
So first check your cats eyes, eyelashes and eyelids, look for discharge, watering and crusty gunk and if necessary give them a quick, gentle wipe with a damp cloth to remove any dirt that might be hanging around. Then check your cats eye’s themselves, they should be clear, bright and the pupils should be the same size, any eye-goo, cloudiness, redness or the third eyelid being visible are all bad signs that you need to get your vet to investigate.
You can also monitor your cat’s vision when playing and just by watching your cat as it goes about its day. moving an object slowly in front of your cat is a good way to check their vision, if they watch it, or decide to play then you have nothing to worry about, if they show no interest at all then there may be something wrong. You can also check if their eyesight is still 100% by putting objects in pathways that your cat uses to walk around your house that are usually clear. If your cat avoids them, then everything is fine, if your cat bumps into them and then tries and fails to give you evils because they have pink-eye, laugh while you can because there will be reprisals. So worth it though.
For more on eye health WebMD have some really good advice.
Teabag has a new game… I have to admit it’s very skillful and funny… until it’s your head he pounces on. How does he manage to balance on the top of the door, no wait, how did he get up there in the first place??? Freaking Ninja Cat.
Nocturnal, Diurnal and Crepuscular Cats
Almost all domesticated cats naturally fall into the following categories; nocturnal, crepuscular and diurnal and so understanding which describes your cat is useful in understanding your pet and knowing what is possible in terms of behaviour modification.
Diurnal animals are those who are mostly active during daytime hours. Nocturnal animals are those most active at night and crepuscular animals are those who are somewhere in between.
The normal state for a house cat is crepuscular, but some will be very obviously nocturnal and some will go for full on diurnal-ism. Some cats will adjust into a new routine and, if they like their owners company, will shift into being awake during the day and sleeping at night. I suppose me and Teabag are lucky as he’s very nocturnal and only bothers during the day when he’s annoying the dog, and I too, am pretty nocturnal in my habits, so it works out pretty well and we get to hang around a lot. If you are reading this then I suppose you have a nocturnal cat that you would very much like to become crepuscular, or a crepuscular cat that would make life a lot more peachy if it was a tad more diurnal. So, if your cats nocturnal habits are keeping you awake when you really need to sleep then you can adapt their play times and schedule to make sure they are more likely to be sleepy at night and awake during the day. Most of this you will do naturally, for example giving attention and treats during the day (because that’s when you are awake) and ignoring them at night (because you are asleep), but adjusting feeding and playtimes can go a long way to helping adjust your cats sleeping pattern. Playing in the evening, for example, is a fun way to reward your cat for being awake when you are and can tire out your cat so it’s less likely to be getting up to any shenanigans in the middle of the night. Make sure you adjust things gradually, persevere and give lots of positive reinforcement of the desired behaviours because It will take some time for the new routine to become the norm for your cat.
One last thing, if your attempts to persuade your cat to change their sleeping habits fail, it might be time to have a think about whether your cat actually likes you or not, it could be that your cat is nocturnal because it doesn’t like you and doesn’t want to be around you and it makes a lot of noise to wake you up in the middle of the night because deep down in its black little heart… it enjoys torturing you. 🙂