Offa: My two-way learning process

Offa: My two-way learning process

Yes, that is Offa in one of his extremely playful moments.

Offa has been with me for a week. And in this past week — 8 days, to be exact — I’ve learned a great deal about cats and taking care of them, to the point where I think I actually prefer cats to dogs now. From observing Offa and all the little things he does, I can see why it’s so easy for people to have cats as pets, despite the mythical perception that cats are ungrateful and arrogant.

The thing that people have to realize about cats is that they are remarkably fast learners. I found this out when I shut Offa in the maid’s room with his bedding and food and water on his first two nights here. I was worried about him being scared and not knowing what to do all by himself in the room. Afham assured me that he would be all right, and he would figure it out for himself where his litter box and food were. Sure enough, by his third night, we could already leave him out in the living room to sleep where he pleased, and he never soiled any other part of the house.

Another thing Offa has also learned — and now exploits to his great advantage — is that he is loved to death. So he has learned that I have a habit of hugging and petting him first thing in the morning, and now, if I’m preoccupied with making breakfast when I come downstairs in the morning, he’ll remind me that I’m supposed to pet him first by purring and mewing incessantly and putting his forelegs around my ankles.

One thing that I haven’t been able to teach him, however, is not to poke about my food. He likes to lie on the dining table because the granite is cool, and he insists on getting up on the table even during mealtimes, which results in him sniffing about my food and me trying to swat him away. He also hasn’t learned that my mug is off-limits, so at times I catch him with his head in my mug and drinking happily away from it.

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