Monday, January 25, 2010

The Dilemma of Persistence


It's morning and my cat Chloe is frantically scratching at the bedroom door, pitifully meowing, to get me to let her in as she has EVERY DAY for the year and 2 months we have lived here. The door is closed because we live with family and want privacy. She is on the other side of the door because she is too nocturnal and wants to go in and out so many times during the night that it's better for our health to keep her out. We expect her to get used to living without us in her sight every minute. She says, sure, but now it's morning and enough is enough!

I feel determined NOT to reward her behavior by giving in. The last thing I want is a cat who is training us to let her have her way by persisting long enough at annoying behavior. Unfortunately, we have not been able to win at this because -- eventually -- we do want to leave the room ourselves and there she is! See! she says. I KNEW if I persisted long enough that door would open!

I have seen her persist -- and eventually win -- many times. I once lived with a housemate who had a cat of her own. That cat hated all other cats and Chloe wouldn't accept it. EVERY DAY Chloe would walk into the other cat's room and EVERY DAY she would get chased out. She would look confused. This is unacceptable. Why won't that other cat let me say hello? What's her problem?

So she persisted at this every day for more than a year and little by little the other cat gave up. She'd open her eyes, see Chloe in her room looking at her, and literally sigh. Chloe won. She got to hang out with the other cat in the house. They didn't play or do anything together but be in the same room but that was all Chloe wanted.

And it's all she wants now. And she knows she will win! The door WILL open and we WILL be in the same place together and, ta-da, the persistence of being a Chloe WILL triumph once again.

6 comments:

Linda said...

The only way to herd cats is to lead them to the kitchen for cat food.

Linda B

Sheryl Karas said...

:-)

Alys Milner said...

Chloe, you are a persistent kitty. You sound so much like my Fluffy. And I am weak I tell you, weak, when it comes to felines.

And what a gorgeous little nose!

Teri said...

How wonderful to be so loved and adored by such a special little being.

Anne Vis said...

Purrfect story! What a character!:-)

Celtic Cat said...

Sounds like Chloe is a good trainer!