i’m not sure why babycat thought we expected him to go sit in the square. but he did. jen had told us about this experiment….put blue tape on the floor and see what your cat does. laughing, we tried it. and b-cat cooperated. it wasn’t minutes after the tape was on the floor that he entered the kitchen, looked at it and went directly to it. he sat his sweet hulking body down inside that tape-box and eventually he laid down inside it (although he was definitely coloring outside the lines, so to speak.) it was astounding to watch. this is a cat, after all. and yes, he has really loved the dogbed in the sunroom and the crest box in the sitting room, but a box made of painter’s tape? we just didn’t expect him to conform so readily.
most of the time, b-cat lives his life outside the box. he acts more like a dog than a cat; i had never had a cat before him so i taught him all sorts of dog-tricks. babycat doesn’t really know the difference, although were he to look it all up, he would see ‘follows the sun around the house’ was in the rule book for cats, not dogs. but this one evening, with no prompt from us, he decided to stay inside the box. he sat, he laid down, he purred in his sleep. he was content. inside the box wasn’t too bad, i guess. later on, though, when the tape was off the floor, he didn’t seem to notice it was gone. he never looked for it. he didn’t seem to pine for its presence in his life. he just went about his not-normal-cat behavior. outside the box.
i guess there is something to be said both about living in the box and living outside the box. both have merit. one encourages you to be the cat you are defined to be. the other allows you to be the dog no one expects you to be.