the woman catches Tooty grooming and playing little animal games with Leafty. Fruity wants to play too but cannot read him as well and he ends up running from her.
social skills are a learnt skill and that applies to us animals too. i am much too old to start being all accomodating and affectionate but the three younglings are learning and seem to be taking cues from the more astute Tooty. i am slowly learning too the rules of social engagement with the man and woman, and the other animals in the family.
but still i don't see myself as belonging to anyone, not even the man and woman. that is the way a cat is. i am slowly but surely being tamed but as to whether i am a pet? yes, in the sense that someone is responsible for my health and wellbeing. no, in the sense that no one dictates what i can or cannot do, where i can or cannot go, except me.
so i tend to agree with my detractors. it is not in my nature to be an indoor pet. then again, i won't call a dog an indoor pet either. they need their share of fresh air and wide open spaces. difference is, they want human companionship more and is far more willing to sacrifice to get it.
yet cats like most anyone respond to kindness. we form attachments and we don't take them lightly. i love my walks, but i know where i want to call home. when the man or woman calls, i traipse back. when i wake up perturbed sometimes, i go back to sleep only when i hear or see them around me. we are tamed by attachment, not ownership.
and we feel intense loss when that attachment is broken.
a lot of the rules that humans hold pet owners to have to do with boundaries. cats, dogs, rabbits, do not understand boundaries like humans do. territories yes, but these we know are ever changing. it's hard to respect something we don't understand. a good pet seems to be one that is easily confined and supervised. that rules out almost everyone i know, cats, dogs, rabbits, hamsters and some fish. so there really aren't any good pets, just caged or leashed ones.
i can only dream of a place where people and animals abide in the same space outside of the artificial rules of ownership. where a curious invigorated life is not a life at risk.
responsibility does not equate constraint. although sadly, to many pet owners who do not want to run foul of human conventions, it is much easier to think it is so.