‘Is the heating going to be on?’ Belle asked me as we were on our way home yesterday evening.
‘Yes,’ I said, ‘I put it on earlier for the cats. In case they got cold.’
She looked at me.
‘The cats who spend the whole night outside and are covered in fur?’ she asked, eyebrows raised.
‘Yes,’ I said, feeling a bit silly, ‘I didn’t want them to be sad.’
AND THERE WE ARE.
Welcome to my new life, in which I spend an unreasonable amount of time every day worrying about whether or not my cats are happy. Because how exactly do you know if a cat is happy? What if they are bored? What if they get lonely and miss me but don’t know how to tell me? What if they wish I’d leave the radio on, or would like a different blanket?
Every time I leave the house I wonder if they’ll be sad, not knowing when I’m coming back, (I do tell them but I never see them write it down), or if when I DO come back they will have forgotten me. It can be hard with cats because they often don’t give a lot away. A dog will make it very clear how happy he is, but cats play it much cooler. Someone on Twitter said to me recently that cats can actually understand and speak English, they just CHOOSE not to. I feel like this could be true.
I know I’m doing all the basics – they’re microchipped, vaccinated, treated for fleas and worms regularly and have a balanced diet, (WHISKAS® ‘creamy soups’ are their favourites, and I find it adorable that they are called ‘creamy soups’), but how about their emotional wellbeing? Are my cats happy?
When you look at it rationally, they do seem pretty content.
They mainly lie around on top of me on the bed like this: