Cats and Cubbies

IMG_5621-002I don’t post very often about my cat, Adler, because he’s kind of boring. Let’s face it, cats sleep a lot. And when Adler’s not sleeping, he ignores me, unless he wants food or to be petted or to be let out/in. You don’t absolutely need something goofy to happen to warrant a post but it helps. Adler is rarely goofy.  He walks around in a state of dignified aloofness. He acts like he wishes he lived alone and, even more than that, he often pretends he does live alone. So his antics are not as funny as those of my dog or my chickens and his dramas are not as stressful as my chickens or my bees – so why break out the camera? And I kind of have a rule, no photo, no post.

Then I got out a couple of boxes to put stuff in (as you do) and Adler jumped up on the table to see what these great new cubby houses were all about. He hopped into the smaller one (that I hadn’t put stuff in) and tumbled with it to the floor. I figured that would be the end of that but nooooo, Adler crawled in and stared at the dog in one of his, “I’m invincible and I’ll scratch your nose if you don’t believe me – please don’t believe me,” stares.

Rusty did believe him and left him alone and eventually Adler wandered away giving me the chance to put the box back up on the table – on its side this time just in case. Turns out that was a good call on my part because Adler just couldn’t stay away.


Today’s cubby, we’ll see about tomorrow

For a nanosecond I considered leaving the box indefinitely on the table so he would have a permanent cubby but then I remembered that Adler’s infatuation with boxes (or any cubby) is short lived. Two, three days max of crawling in and staring out and he’s over it.

Basket for sleeping in - so 2013

Basket for sleeping in – so 2013

That happened with the lovely basket he slept in for the first few months after we adopted him. Then, suddenly, he wasn’t interested. I thought maybe he was getting too fat to fit but I threw my shirt in there before bed one night only to wake up to find him sleeping on it. Very funny, Adler.

If I ignore her will she go away?

If I ignore her will she go away?

What cracks me up is how he tries not to look at me when I’m looking at him, even if I make silly noises that he really wants to stare at. Especially if I stalk him with the camera. It’s not that he’s camera shy, he’s just so bored with me thinking he’s beautiful – he knows he’s beautiful 🙂

He was fascinated with this paper box in the little corner beside the fireplace. He was pretty much out of sight, especially if he turned his back. Ah, a cat’s logic.

I don't see you - you can't see me

I don’t see you – you can’t see me

Adler’s penchant for finding a cubby to crawl into started before we adopted him and moved to the farm. We had mulched around the base of a cumquat tree and the chickens kept scratching the mulch and spreading it around the lawn so we put a low chicken wire fence around the tree. Heaps of times I spotted Adler napping in that little outdoor basket.

Poor Adler, back then all of his cubbies were outdoors because he was a stray and no one loved him enough to let him in their house. He had to make due with whatever was at hand, including our neighbour’s flower pots.

No roof, no walls but it will have to do.

No roof, no walls but it will have to do.





About Laura Rittenhouse

I'm an American-Australian author, gardener and traveller. Go to my writing website: for more. If you're trying to find my gardening blog, it's here.
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16 Responses to Cats and Cubbies

  1. Glenn Rittenhouse says:

    I love cats but they are certainly independent. When we had our cat from Karen after Sande and I were married we didn’t realize how much she stayed around us until we saw our wedding pictures and she was in most of them. In the background of course.

    • How funny. Frank notices Adler following us around and says, “look, he wants to hang out with his pride”. It must be hard being a cat, wanting to be in on things and wanting to be left alone at the same time.

  2. Emily Scott says:

    Very amusing. I wish my cat Bob would go in boxes but he shows no interest in them. He does like going under things though and once spent some time hiding under the floorboards when he found a hole behind the washing machine. He’s unusually affectionate (by cat standards) and will jump on the bed and call at me until I give him a cuddle when I come home from work.

    • Oh dear, I’m not sure hiding under floor boards is a trick I want my cat to learn. He can stick with tipping boxes off the table.

      Adler is very affectionate and meows a lot outside until I come and pet him. He’s even taken to jumping on the bed and sitting on my chest while I read before bed. But woe unto me if I pet him too much or approach him without being called – he springs up like I’ve electrocuted him and runs away. To return when the time is right – by his clock, not mine. Funny old thing!

      • Emily Scott says:

        Sitting on your chest – very sweet! I like it when Bob sleeps on top of my feet in winter, h makes a great hot water bottle.

        • Do you have a secret training technique? My approach is to least expect it, that’s when my cat shows up. If I’m hoping for a visit, like on cold winter nights when I have cold feet – he’s a no show. Bob (unique cat name 🙂 sounds like a sweetie.

  3. Glenn Sidney says:

    My cats are very much the same way! Pig Pig wants to sit on/in anything “new”. An old item with a shirt tossed on it counts as “new”. If there’s a shirt on the bed and she’s on it and I want it, I toss my current shirt on the bed, she’ll get up and switch to that one, and I can grab the shirt I want. It’s a fair trade.

    Also with the cuddling, yeah, most cats want it in their own time. They are certainly not dogs. I notice, however, if I’m still for a while, I’ll almost always get a cat to appear. My wife on the other hand is rarely still and rarely gets a cat to appear. On the one hand, the more affection you give to cats, the more they’ll expect it and friendlier they’ll be. On the other hand, ignoring them is often more effective at enticing them than calling or trying to coax them over. Complicated creatures!

    Another fun thing: Pig Pig loves cardboard, and Tiara loves plastic bags. They’ll chomp them to pieces. One of the biggest treats is when we order Chinese food and it comes in a paper bag inside a plastic bag and smells like food. They’re wild about it for a couple of hours. We have a constant rotation on the floor of plastic bags and cardboard boxes. Out with the old and in with the new and there’s always something they’re entertained by.

    • Pig Pig is such a funny cat. Imagine, she’s managed to manipulate you into bartering for clothing 🙂

      You’re right about the cuddling, it’s a fine line between “treat ’em mean to keep ’em keen” and showering them with affection.

      As for chomping plastic bags and cardboard to pieces, that sounds fine as long as sweep up after themselves. Don’t tell me your darlings leave a mess!

      Cats are wonderful animals – just not pack animals. Maybe that makes the affection they show so much more precious.

  4. Aren’t cats funny!! our Tia likes to sleep in the wash basket full of clean washing. She wouldn’t dream of climbing in if it was the dirty washing!!

    • I’d be happy for Adler to sleep on the clean washing if I could only train him how to iron pleats 🙂

      As for dirty washing, well, only humans would stoop so low as to put on a dirty shirt 🙂

  5. Love cats. Love your cat story.

    • I love cats to. I’m just a tiny bit bothered by the fact that it’s obvious that I love them more than they love me. I’m not a believer in unrequited love yet here I am doting on Adler who might or might not treat me nicely on any given day. He’s a real heartbreaker.

  6. Lovely Adler. Cats can be so very funny. When I was growing up we had two black and white, unrelated, cats. Kitty and Tommy (both female) and my sister, mum and me used to think it hilarious when every once in a while they would have a mad moment and tear around the house, upstairs and downstairs. Before we realised it was the cats, we thought it was a herd of elephants somehow gotten into our house.

    • Yeah, what’s up with that? Sometimes Adler is in the room before you know it. He “walks on cat’s feet”. So quiet as if he’s weightless. Then sometimes I’m sure it’s the dog – or an elephant. Can cat’s increase their weight? Really, I just don’t get the physics of it all.

  7. shirehouse says:

    What a cutie, one of our cats usually gets in the box and fends off all the rest. 🙂

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