Cats and Joie de Vivre

Can anyone doubt that cats, and other animals, have a capacity for joy? Maybe there’s a special trick to it. Maybe if we humans tried rolling around on the floor, or worming upside-down along the living room rug, we would make some discoveries that would do us good. Launching oneself off the wall seems to work pretty well, too.

About leeduigon

I have lived in Metuchen, NJ, all my life. I have been married to my wife Patricia since 1977. I am a former newspaper editor and reporter. I was also the owner-operator of my own small business for several years. I wrote various novels and short stories published during 1980s and 1990s. I am a long-time student of judo and Japanese swordsmanship (kenjutsu). I also play chess, basketball, and military and sports simulations.

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10 responses to “Cats and Joie de Vivre

  • UnKnowable

    More than any other species of animal that I’ve ever encountered, cats seem to have a gift for turning the most mundane situation into a playful adventure. Do they imagine themselves in some exciting situation or activity? I have no way of knowing, but I know that I’ve seen cats that seemed to be having imaginary adventures.

    In any event, they are a lot of fun to watch.

  • Linda Sorci

    It’s wonderful and inspiring that cats seem able to burst into joyful play for no apparent reason – although I suspect at least a couple of these cuties were inspired with some catnip 🙂

    I once was talking to a young woman in a pet store who was trying to decide on which cat toys she would bring home to her little treasures. And with great displeasure she announced that she would never give her cats catnip because she thought it was like marijuana. I was able to convince her that it really is in the mint family and completely harmless. She bought some catnip toys 🙂

    • UnKnowable

      I’ve heard people think of catnip as being a harmful drug, but I think it’s more likely that the scent is stimulating to them. I’ve never seen a cat appear to have any lingering effects from catnip and they don’t seem to crave it. They do seem to like it, however.

      From what I can tell, cats seem prone to over-stimulation and I think that explains catnip. I’ve seen cats go a bit crazy from being petted, as well.

      • leeduigon

        My father declared he didn’t like cats, but that never fooled any of my cats. He was also sternly against catnip: this man who didn’t like cats did not want me giving Henry the cat any of that bad catnip. He didn’t sit on many people’s laps, but he sat on Dad’s. And got petted over and over by the man who didn’t like cats.

        • Linda Sorci

          People who don’t like cats usually unwittingly make the mistake that draws the cat to them. In ‘cat talk’ when they slowly close and reopen their eyes and slightly turn their heads, they’re saying ‘I’m a friend’. So when people who think they’re ignoring the cat do that very thing, it signals friendship and safety to the cat, causing precisely what the person tried to avoid – cat contact! lol

          • UnKnowable

            I have a that declares his distaste for cats. The last time he visited, he fawned over my cat to more than I do, and that’s saying something.

          • Linda Sorci

            Sometimes people who haven’t really known a cat have preconceived notions, but once they actually interact, they’re hooked 🙂

          • UnKnowable

            I’ve found that a lot of people have the same old cliches about cats, that they are cold, aloof, etc. My experience it just the opposite. I see cats as emotional and very affectionate. I’ll readily agree that they are hardly like dogs when it comes to affection, but cats are not communal animals so they tend to be more reserved in their greetings.

      • Linda Sorci

        Some cats are quite cavalier about catnip, while others go bonkers! And it really is harmless and it really is in the mint family.

        You’re so right, Unknowable. Cats have a tendency to go from zero to overdrive in an instant. Some days I could use a little of that myself 🙂

  • UnKnowable

    That should read I have a relative that declares his distaste for cats.

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