Cats are endlessly fascinating as they are both curious and selfish…even rude, but never seeming mean about it. (except for when they are killing things for fun…that can’t be excused) Whereas we humans, far too often tend to be uncurious, selfish and mean, and we kill things for money, which is very rude. I see many parallels, yet many differences between our species and that interplay or dialogue fascinates me. Many people will say that cats only tolerate humans because we give them food and water…but that’s not true, my eldest cat Sheba follows me to the store at night to assure I make it back, even risking her own safety with traffic, cars and predators. When my youngest Sol is lost, she follows me around the neighborhood to find her, and even corals her into the house. Sol was the first cat I ever owned who would come to me when I called her by name. She also has this vocalization that is so unique. When I call her name she says: “Hmmmmm?” Sol came to me at about 4 months old at the start of the pandemic in December 2019. She was a New York Death Row Cat rescue (as NYC is now overrun with strays) At first she was shy as she was from an abandoned building where construction workers would stomp at her, her mom and siblings. It took her a long time to overcome her fear of feet. She has progressed so much, now I can actually play with her in my socks on and she has no more fear. When she came to me she was terrified of people but over the first year she became so sweet and affectionate, but now she’s a teen and doesn’t have time for her Dad. On the other hand there is Sheba, my 12 year-old who has always treated me like her very own. I bottle-fed her since she was the size of our palm, not an ideal situation as they should stay with their mums, but we had to adopt her as an emergency measure. I love my cats and have no doubt they love me too, but it’s a different kind of love…very old and primal sort of a relationship or kinship. She really does look after me, in her own cat way. But she’s 12 now, and she’s going through behavioral changes. She was recently ill and I had to nurse her back to health. And during that time wouldn’t leave my side, or rather, my chest as I typed on my computer, so I set her up with a heating pad on my desk. In recent days Sheba’s gotten better, but I’ve observed some sudden changes in her behavior that strike me as curious. For example, she only drinks water from the kitchen sink. So yeah, that’s a problem…She really is too big for that. Then there’s her Old Bay addiction which came out of nowhere, now my she never leaves me to eat in peace if she smells it. (don’t give spices to your cat without the blessing of your vet) And she’s suddenly fascinated by running water and watches me washing dishes in awe. Nobody ever told me cats change in their behavior so much and I find it interesting that a cat that is 12 would have such a big personality change. It’s not a bad thing, I just think it adds an extra dimension to their personalities. Not all of the changes in my cats behaviors is entirely good, since Sol, my youngest, entered her teenage years it seems they both would rather live upstairs where it’s colder than deal with me. They used to come when I called their names, but now they couldn’t care less I could literally croak at the bottom of the stairs and they wouldn’t even bother to lick my face. Suddenly my love goes unrequited. I call and call their names to no avail but if I crack open a can of cat food, here they come running down the stairs like bison. Maybe it’s time to add a dog into the mix.