If you’ve owned a cat for any length of time, you’ve probably seen how they seem to understand us. Do they really know what we’re feeling, or is it just our perception of their actions?
I’ve had several cats over the years, and over time you really start to think that they know what you’re feeling, and sometimes what you’re thinking. They act and react in ways that seem to be just what you need, just when you need it. Do they really connect to their owners over time, or are cat’s loving actions just our wishful thinking?
I really don’t know if there’s any scientific data one way or the other on whether or not cats actually bond to their owners on a deep enough level to actually respond to the owner’s moods. However, I think that the way cats act is a lot more than just an owner’s personal perspective. They do too many things on too regular a basis for it to just be coincidence.
One of the things that cats seem to do after they’ve been with an owner for a while is that they attend to their owner when that person is ill. Have you ever been sick, and the cat comes up and curls up on you, purrs and rubs on you, as if they’re trying to make you feel better? How about cats that will lay on or against a part of your body that’s hurting, as if they know where the pain is and they’re trying to warm it away. You really have to wonder how they seem to know.
Cats also have a great way of doing something totally adorable when you’re depressed or angry. They’ll start to play with a toy or with you, or flop down in some adorable pose. Sometimes they’ll even go out of their way to get your attention first. It’s as if they’re saying “Don’t be upset. Look how cute I am!” And you have to be really cold-hearted or in a really bad state to not be drawn into the cuteness of kitty and start feeling better.
It’s also been the subject of a number of news stories how cats, not just dogs, will travel across neighborhoods, counties and even multiple states to find their way back to their owners. They will travel back to owners after being stolen or lost, and I’ve even heard a couple of stories where cats tracked down owners that moved and left them behind. If they didn’t see us as more than just a food source, would they really risk their lives to get back to us?
Overall, it’s hard to not believe that cats really do become connected to us over time. Much the way two people who spend a lot of time together can eventually sense things within each other without the use of words, I think cats can sense things in their owners as years go by. It’s heartwarming to feel like your pet really loves you and in it’s own little way, strives to keep you healthy and happy.