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  • Writer's pictureKaaren Poole

What to do

If you love your cat more than your cat loves you


Over the years, I’ve had several cats and have deeply loved all of them. I’ve painted portraits of many, and this pastel of dear Red is how I’ve seen each and every one—cuddly and adorable, engaged, trusting, and, above all, loving.



But the loving part? Sometimes I think I’ve been deluding myself all along. What about the times, more frequent than I’d like to admit, when I reach to pet Blue and she pulls away? What about Zeke, who insists on sleeping on top of me all night but runs in terror from me during the day? What about Clyde's well-practiced expression of seeming to look right into my eyes, but on closer inspection I recognize the look is going right through me? And of course, any time the carrier or a pill bottle comes out, the claws come out too, and biting is definitely not ‘off limits’ despite the fact that I'm acting for their own good.


photo credit: Readers' Digest


When I’m being honest with myself, I must admit the very real possibility—probability even—that my cats don’t love me as much as I love them. And that hurts.


So, what to do about it? I have a few ‘go-to’ strategies which help more or less. If you're in this same situation, you may find them more or less helpful as well. (Let me know how they work for you.)


First, ignore the problem. For me, it's easy enough. I'm so used to the interactions within the household that I don't often fret about the cats' standard attitude of indifference towards me. The trick with this one, though, is to catch my concern early on and quickly employ the ignoring strategy. Concern with the possibility of being unloved can get a foothold pretty quickly if I don't deal with it ASAP.


Second, take comfort in the reality that I’m incapable of truly understanding cat communication. What that means is the furry darlings may indeed be showing signs of deep affection, but I’m simply misinterpreting them.


For example, I know (or think I know) when my cat sits on my lap and repeated digs her claws into my knee, it's not an attack. It's at least a sign of contentment, and perhaps it's fair, for the desperate at least, to see it as a sign of love.


Or maybe I'm missing the true meaning of another common behaviors. What about weaving through my legs when I'm inconsiderately trying to walk from one room to another? What if that's his way of saying 'hey, slow down there! You're way too tense, and that's not good for you. Remember - I care about you!'


And what about stomping around on my back in the middle of the night meowling the whole time? Could she be saying 'I love you?' Maybe not. But still...


Third, simply be grateful I have cats in my life. Practicing gratitude is, these days, an often touted approach to combating negative feelings, so I suppose it could help in this case. Why not?


Fourth, recognize the power of love for its own sake. And, going even further, remember the time-honored adage "it’s better to give than to receive.” Cats give us ample opportunity for betterment!


So, what's the bottom line? It's simple. I love my cats, and I love them the way they are. Maybe I should go to the local rescue and adopt another one!

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5 commenti


Ginny Baker
Ginny Baker
13 feb 2023

I'm always so surprised when I read or hear comments from people about how aloof and unaffectionate their cats are. I guess I've been very fortunate that has never been my experience with the five cats I've had in my life over the years, from our family cat in my childhood to my current cat. Our family cat was more like a dog, following us around, wanting to be cuddled, wanting to play with me and my three brothers. He was very sweet and affectionate - a neutered male. I wonder if it makes any difference that I have mostly had neutered male cats, though the one female cat I had was just as sweet. Our current cat, also a…

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dercka7
12 gen 2023

Your cat reminded me of my long gone Maine Coon cat, Tigmo. He was very loving, but only tolerated attention on his schedule. He would share my lap with our corgi every morning while I had my coffee. He greeted me when I returned home from work, weaving around my legs and allowing about two scratches in between his ears. If I laid down on the couch, he would lay on my chest and stare into my eyes and when I'd attempt to get up, he would gently press a paw against my chest. He was a sweetheart and the guardian of our yard. The animals you paint are absolutely gorgeous. They have such touching expressions. Thank you for sharin…

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Judie Churchill
Judie Churchill
12 gen 2023

I love you blog posts and your art! I also have a cat, he is fairly aloof most of the time unless I am feeding him. However I read an article somewhere (???) that cats enjoy a connection if you blink slowly while looking at them, and that is calming to them. So I have been trying it, and it seems to work for us. Buddy is more responsive if I am blinking slowly at him. So try it!

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pennyd14
12 gen 2023

You are so talented! I thought the pastel drawing if your cat was a photograph until I read your story about your cats. Such a beautiful piece of work Karen.

I once owned a cat years ago and surmised from that experience that cats are aloof. I now have a dog and she really does show me so much love. It is so wonderful. Even if I cry she will come to me and rest her head on my lap and look up to me with such sad expression on her face.

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Rose Murray
Rose Murray
12 gen 2023

What a gorgeous painting of your cat. Your story speaks to me. I had a cat that even cat lovers were afraid of , she was that mean. I figured she didn’t really care about me all that much until the time I had to be away for a week. She still got fed by a friend brave enough to enter the house. When I got home she wouldn’t leave my side for 3 days I then accepted that she may not show her love but I was important to her all the same. .

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