Sanna Kramsi - Blog A peek into my life

Unintentionally teaching cats some funny habits

September 10, 2019 | Cats

I've managed to teach my cats some behaviours that were not my intention or they didn't learn what I thought they'd learn.

Lumia loves both minced meat and treats (they love freeze-dried chicken bits). But sometimes she doesn't want to bother going to the kitchen for them. Which often ends up with Osiris first running to her because she's not coming even though her name is constantly being called. Then either of us humans usually carries her to the kitchen, and she then eats happily. So one of the funny habits we've ended up teaching her is getting a ride to the kitchen if she's too lazy to walk there herself.

Lumia also requires minced meat to be warm enough. So basically when we prepare minced meat, instead of giving it to them straight away, the meat is preheated for her. It isn't enough that the meat isn't cold; it has to be a nice temperature. Osiris really doesn't care, he would eat it no matter the temperature.

Osiris pretty much loses his mind every time a plastic container is opened in the kitchen. He is used to getting minced meat and sometimes chicken and now he expects that every container has food for him. It can sometimes get annoying when he screams and jumps and climbs all over the kitchen but usually, it's just funny.

We switched to electric armchairs in our living room. Almost daily the cats come and lay between our legs. And if I have a cat, I don't want to get up because I will feel bad for shooing the cat. We solved this by whenever one of us needed to get up, the other would first give treats to the cats. So the cats would get up themselves and we wouldn't have to move them. This has led to a situation where Lumia always runs to the kitchen table if one of us gets up from the chairs. It doesn't matter if she wasn't even on the chair. She has learned that when someone gets up from the chair; she gets treats. And it's been so hilarious that we've kept giving her the treats. She eats so little food that it can be a good thing that she eats her daily chicken bits. What's also funny is that Osiris hasn't picked this habit up, he will join Lumia in the kitchen if he thinks something will happen, but he won't be the first to run there.

We humans have this habit of scoffing at something that is funny or disappointing (don't know if scoffing is the word for this but it's the best I could come up with). Lumia has picked this habit up, and she always scoffs if we ignore her or if something disappoints her. The best thing about this is the fact that she does this in situations where humans would. I don't know how and when she picked this habit up, but we've done everything we can to make her keep expressing herself with scoffings.

Osiris, like many other Abyssinians, can open doors. My fiancé kept saying Lumia was stupid because she can't open doors. I believe that she just doesn't bother. Because when, for example, the toilet door is closed, and she wants to get in, she goes behind the door and starts scratching the door. If no human will open the door, usually Osiris comes from wherever he was sleeping, jumps on the door handle, opens the door for her, and leaves. Why on earth would she try jumping with her long fur and try to hang from the handle when she can always just be a damsel in distress.

I think Lumia has also picked up that if she wants something from my fiancé and he is not responding to her, she can annoy me and I will make things happen. This can be witnessed by how she behaves when we sit on our computers. We have three tables next to each other, there's my fiancé's table, then there is our table for remote working and then last but not least there's my table. Lumia hops on my fiancé's table and eventually, he picks her up and sets her on the floor if and when she gets annoying. But no worries, she doesn't give up! She runs next to me and hops on my keyboard and/or mouse and then runs to my fiancé. He then again picks her up and sets her on the floor. And then this just continues until either he gives in or I get annoyed and tell them to stop. After that, my fiancé usually gives in to her wishes. Sometimes I will just go give her whatever she wants after she starts trying to boss him around. This is behaviour most often is related to food. She either is hungry and there isn't food in their cups or she just doesn't like what's in the cups. When the situation is the latter, we try not to give in to her straight away because the food is fine. She's just super picky and can just some days decide that her favourite food is now bad and will not touch it.

If she wants things from you while you're on your computer, she comes and sits wherever you're trying to look. She knows that we want to see something on our screens. I've tested this by moving whatever I was trying to watch next to her and when she notices what's happened, she will move. While she sits, she stares at you intensely. I often take advantage of these situations because when she wants things, she lets me love her more than usual and she rubs against me. Usually, when she sits down, she scoffs. And sometimes if sitting isn't enough, she will come stand over your keyboard making sure she's not stepping on any keys, because stepping on keys gets you back on the floor. While she stands, she stares just as intensively and can sometimes scoff. She rarely meows at me but is she's doing this to my fiancé, she will often meow at him. And at that point, she usually breaks him because he ends up laughing, and then she knows she has won. I've tried to actively teach her the habit of coming to ask for things she wants instead of meowing in another room so basically this habit of hers is completely my fault. I didn't expect her to abuse this power so much!

If Lumia comes to sit next to you while you're on your computer, she usually sits rather nicely next to the keyboard. Which is why I let her sit there and might even pet her. This usually happens minutes after I've shooed Osiris away from my keyboard. Because he just cannot sit without pressing the spacebar or something equally annoying. And then he looks accusingly at me from the floor when I pet Lumia. But seriously, why does he have to constantly sit on my spacebar? He does this especially if I'm reading something.

Lumia likes to lie down between your keyboard and your screen. Which wouldn't be a problem if she didn't start leaning on the keyboard. My fiancé printed a protector for his top-level keys but I haven't yet gotten mine. So she presses buttons. Mostly F10 to F12. Which makes my browser will start behaving rather wild. I originally thought she didn't do this on purpose but once or twice I have given her more space and she couldn't lean on the keys anymore. And then I heard a scoff. So this lady is doing this on purpose after all!

Habits that they've taught each other or they've picked up on their own

Lumia has always liked to bite toilet brushes. I suppose she uses them to brush her teeth. She doesn't eat dry food at all so she doesn't have many tools at her disposal. She does also like to press her teeth through some packing materials that seem to feel nice against her teeth. But back to the toilet brushes. Disgusting habit, right? We've always had to have the brush that we used locked up in a closet because I wouldn't want her biting into whatever nasty things the toilet brush collects. I once noticed that Stockmann was selling a toilet brush with a rather tall porcelain container. We went to pick it up, and after we told the saleswoman Lumia's story the saleswoman suggested that we could give Lumia her own toilet brush. We ended up giving Lumia the previously purchased unused toilet brush, and she's still occasionally biting it. We thought the previous purchase we had made had had a container big enough to prevent her from taking the brush and we even put obstacles in her way. Apparently, she thought of them as a challenge and she had fetched that brush in a matter of hours. So nowadays there is a random toilet brush on the floor. We wash her brush from time to time to make sure it doesn't get too dusty or otherwise dirty. But that toilet brush with the porcelain container has been a success, she cannot get to the brush even if she tries to.

Lumia sometimes is seen lying on her back with her front paws cutely on her chest. She seems to want something when she does this. But what's funny about this habit is that she says nothing so we don't know when she does this. We just, at some point, notice that there she is again. This habit is something that Osiris has learned from Lumia, though he doesn't go fully on his back, more on his side. He usually does this when he wants some pets. Both are super cute when they do this.

Osiris has learned that it's smart to not start eating straight away. He always checks if Lumia will start eating. He seems to believe that if Lumia won't eat, they will get something better. Yeah, they eventually will, but it will take hours because we don't enjoy wasting food. Their eating habits are also different. Lumia most often takes a few bites and comes back later to take a few more bites. Osiris eats as much as he will eat in one sitting, he starts eating from his cup and after Lumia first leaves, he will switch to her cup to eat all the jellies or sauces. So he basically sucks the meat pieces and puts them back. Osiris also rarely wants to touch the old food after an hour or two maximum, he switches to his dry food at that point. Luckily Lumia will eat the food even if it has been in the cups a bit longer. And she doesn't touch any dry foods, she hates them. This makes overnight trips a rarity for us. We have pet feeders that keep the food better and open after a specified time, but I don't think the cats realize when they open so we rarely use them. But who would want to go anywhere when you can just watch what the cats come up with next.