My cat, Sugar became my roommate when she was found in the country, emaciated, flea-bitten, and recently injured after being hit by a car. There were scars around her neck from a collar that she had outgrown and scratched off her throat to survive. I believe as a reaction to these events in her early life, Sugar is not particularly fond of most humans.
Most of the time, her attitude towards me is one of tolerance. She knows that I provide her food, shelter and an occasional stroke of her fur. I am her human, not her mom or her owner. I frequently compare my position in her life to that of a member of her staff. I have had to frequently remind her that we do not live in ancient Egypt and no one in our house worships a cat.
There are exceptions to her dislike of other humans: she tolerates those who come to feed her when I am gone and she does not protest too loudly when my grandchildren try to coax some affection out of her. There are a few people who come visit more often who she has learned to allow to pet her. Otherwise, she is almost always guaranteed to run and hide whenever anyone comes to my door.
One of the primary reasons I decided to get a cat as a roommate is because of my absurd fear of rodents. My belief was that if I got a cat, they would eliminate any mice that decided to sublet my home. Unfortunately, Sugar did not understand that part of the contract. I had a mouse last fall and neither the cat nor the mouse seemed at all concerned about their relationship. They got along just fine. I had to resort to other methods to discourage the rodent co-habitant.
Despite her lack of interest in mice, I have noticed that there are times when my little 11-pound cat feels the need to protect me from other perceived dangers.
I have a reclaimed park bench in the corner of my backyard. It is often my habit in the evenings to sit on this bench by myself in the dark, usually sipping a cocktail. There is something peaceful about sitting in the stillness of the night and watching the stars that sings to my soul.
As peaceful as it is for me, Sugar seems to believe there is something dangerous for me out there. It never fails that just as I am sitting down on my bench Sugar will coming running across the yard like her tail is on fire. She jumps up on the bench and sits down as close to me as she can, facing toward the yard, obviously on alert. When I get up to go back to the house she races in front of me until I reach the safety of the front porch. At that point, the danger appears to disappear and I am allowed to enter the house without my small bodyguard.
One night last week, there was a sudden “thump” on my door and the outside wind chime sounded a single chime. The cat and I both jumped, and then looked at each other in surprise. After a few moments I determined no one was going to come rushing in and I got up, locked the door, and set the alarm. After a few minutes we both settled down. I decided it would be a good idea to turn out the lights and head to bed. Sugar, who normally sleeps outside, followed me to bed, slept on my shoulder and refused to leave my side the rest of the night. I am sure that my little cat had decided she needed to protect her human from any uninvited visitors that night.
It is comforting to know that while she seems to welcome rodents, the cat is on the job if anyone tries to break into my home. Human intruders are going to have to deal with Sugar before they can get to me. Even though I am a 61-year-old woman and I am perfectly capable of taking care of my own ass, I am damn grateful that little cat has my back.