Needy cat or needy human? Lockdown psychology

4 drawings of cat and human, cat getting bigger and closer.

Needy cat or needy human?

Here’s an example of lockdown psychology: my cat Ursula started to astonish me and then smother me with her closeness. But why? Surely nothing much has changed for her in lockdown.

Here’s where the creative process enlightened me. I was drawing my (sort of) self, increasingly alarmed by Ursula’s encroachment into my personal space.

Then all by itself my right hand drew my avatar reluctantly embracing this giant cat, showing a smidgen of compassion.

Then my brain got it—eureka! This wasn’t a needy cat. It was a needy human. Ursula picked up my sensory starvation and was doing her very best to help a human too dumb to acknowledge her need for cuddles.

Thank you, Ursula, for your empathy and compassion. These qualities do pop up in the strangest places. I never expected this normally snooty, standoffish, feline princess to take on the role of therapist. (Of course she has a vested interest in my mental health.)

Am I alone in experiencing this form of lockdown psychology? I wonder if you have also been shocked by warm behaviour from your pets, enemies or other annoying people in this time of lockdown.


17 thoughts on “Needy cat or needy human? Lockdown psychology

  1. Su Leslie says:

    A very, very ex boyfriend 🤨

    1. Oh dear!

  2. Sadje says:

    Your drawings say it so well.

  3. anne leueen says:

    The know. They do not need words to read us!

  4. I miss my cat Ophelia so much during this time. I could use some cat cuddles or even smothering. Tell Ursula to beam some my way!

  5. Rachel McAlpine says:

    Will do. Kia kaha!

  6. joliesattic says:

    They do know. My sisters kitty lived with us temporarily. As mother’s health declined, we sensed these would be her last days because Thomas, suddenly started lying by her side and would not leave her. He was always within petting distance and she would periodically reach and stroke him. As soon as she passed, he got up and walked away.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      It’s extraordinary, this sensitivity.

      1. joliesattic says:

        It is.

  7. Ooohhh I’m such a cat lover but the tragedy is that I’m allergic to animals. *sighs sadly* I’d really like if you’d follow my really young blog….

  8. srbottch says:

    Well, as a husband, I might fall into the ‘annoying’ category but I think she starting to warm up to me… more honestly (and seriously) since my wife is recovering from a broken wrist and the ensuing surgery prior to and during this ‘shutdown’, our dog has been jumping onto her temporary ‘bed’ (recliner chair) and getting extra comfy with her. I’m sure the dog senses her discomfort and is giving her a bit more attention than…oh, Hell, I’ll say it…than I was giving. Pets are wonderful in this regard. By the way, your sketches are wonderful. Stay well and have a great day.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      You made me laugh. Just what I need to carry on.

      1. srbottch says:

        It (laughter) really is the best medicine, isn’t it?

  9. I miss Tiger who gave the BEST foot massages and had a motor that wouldn’t quit. Though her name implies sabre-toothed, she was far from it. Irreplaceable little creature.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Sigh. Just before lockdown there was a huge rush to adopt carts and dogs; mostly good decisions, I hope.

  10. Elizabeth says:

    Our dog has definitely been way more attentive since we are both home. I would like to think she is comforting us, but I suspect it has more to do with the increased opportunity to benefit from our comfort eating.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      We will never know.

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