Saturday, 18 June 2016

The Trap

Cats bellies are wondrous, magical things. They're so soft and lovely to touch, easily the nicest part of the feline anatomy in terms of how the fur feels... But the animals themselves are often not so keen on having fusses on their tummies, The safe places (or places that cats like  to be stroked) are generally their heads, shoulders and the base of the tail. Back strokes are acceptable and my two quite like having their chests rubbed (often with me teasing them about having a medallion) but anything involving the undercarriage of tummy and legs is... possibly courageous on your part. Of my pair, Dita likes having her tummy strokes, and if she's asleep, she will often roll so that more of her tummy is on display.

In Hobbes, however, well....




It isn't that he's acting out of malice, after ten or so years of having him about I honestly don't believe it's in his nature to be malicious, but he does take it as a call to action, or play pretty much every time you stroke him there, and his favourite game sees him rolling about on the floor trying to catch hands that are attempting to scritch his belly.  Given how sharp his claws are, this may be taken as a bizarre form of masochism on the part of the humans involved (usually me and/or my friend Emma). You can find a video of this on my Facebook page.

In the meantime, I found this cutie on Youtube, demonstrating exactly what I mean by the trap (though the fact that she looks a bit 'hey what are you doing, I'm toasting myself here' does rather undermine the idea that she's a savage beast out to tear hands up).



It should be said that not every cat who dislikes the tummy rub is going to be violent or treat it as a start of playing. My parents' last cat, Catkins, didn't really like having the belly fuss and would gently push any hands away. She would be incredibly patient about it.

And for me, at least, the fact that the cat's belly is so often a trap is actually part of their charm and I'm not above going in for a fuss to just get Hobbes to wriggle about and trying to catch me.