Archive for February, 2013

Personalities of…

Personalities are fascinating to me. People can’t be put in a box, but it definitely helps to evaluate and delve into the intricacies of what makes a person tick. On one of our vacations we took the descriptions of the four personality types from the Myers-Briggs test and tried to figure each other out. It was insightful in many ways.  But I have learned that cats have distinctive personalities as well. Ah, you thought I was going to talk about the interesting personalities of my family.  I’ll leave that for another day. Lately, the cats have been on my mind, so I will give space to them.

First, we hapippenve Pippen. He came to us about ten years ago. He is middle age right now. We named him after the hobbit in The Lord of the Rings—the one who had a propensity for getting into trouble. We have often said that he is all beauty and no brains. He is as sweet as pie, though, and doesn’t have a mean hair on his body.

He starts bathing, soon tires and goes to sleep. Pippen is so laid back that when a toddler picked him up by his head one time, he endured it as a trial he must bear. He loves to sleep at the corner of the carport or the housetop. I think he likes to pretend that he has a contentious wife that he must flee from.

He is a cat of few words and so I think he would definitely be an Introvert. His most infamous act was mistaking my in-laws’ suitcase for a litter box. I don’t believe he will ever live that down.

jamimaSecond, we have Jamima as in Jamima Pussy Cat, a take off of Jemima Puddle Duck, a Beatrix Potter creation. I know her name is spelled wrong, but that is how I spelled it for the vet and you know, once it’s on the record that is what it is. Jamima is intense and fussy. Once she begins bathing  herself, you cannot deter her from that most important duty. She likes things to be just so. Jamima is a serious cat who doesn’t like a lot of noise. Boots are most loathsome to her. She believes they indicate her demise is at hand. Jamima jumps at the slightest disturbance  – one time jumping two feet straight up in the air when she was touched slightly on her back. She flees from the smallest bug as well.

She also believes that she should be submissive to the elder and larger cat, Pippen. She always lets him eat first, lets him come inside first, and lets him win every battle. I’ve told her that females have rights and that she doesn’t have to play second fiddle to Pippen, but she strongly believes  it is her place to make way for him.She is also an Introvert. She will stand at an empty bowl for hours on end without saying a word when she is hungry.  Jamima’s most infamous act was having a littler of kittens in my closet.

Third, Cosette – the little rocket that has rocked Pippen and Jamima’s world. She is wide open. She hasn’t reached adulthood, but there areIMG_4518 indications that she is not like the first two cats AT ALL.  She submits to no cat, disregards size and age and gender, she’s the boss. She will insert herself in between the two older cats when food is  dished out, pushing her head between theirs.

She doesn’t wait for food either. She will let you know that her bowl is empty every two hours of so. Thus, she is no introvert. She also climbs in laps uninvited just to get petted or to make a nice place to sleep. If there is a book or computer in the lap, that’s okay, she will just plop herself on top.

She loves to play with the very serious Jamima which irritates the elder cat to no end, causing her to spit, hiss, and growl. This noise only makes Cosette enjoy the game more.  She follows Pippen around with a bit more respect, but will pounce on his tail at any given time.  Her most infamous act hasn’t occurred yet, I don’t believe. The taunting of the elder cats is enough drama for right now.

If there were a Myers-Briggs test for cats, I would give it to my cats and to see if I have analyzed them well enough. I’m sure they would surprise me in some way and I would say, “I didn’t know that. You never told me you felt that way.” Cats are mysterious and do keep things hidden like that. Just when you think you know them,  you find they don’t really like their bellies rubbed or their fur brushed backwards, and you wonder what else is there that you haven’t learned or been perceptible enough to know.

Actually, can you call it a personality of a cat since a cat isn’t a person. Maybe we should call it felinality.


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