DEAR JOHANNA: I am a single woman working from home during the pandemic. In April, after complaining to a friend about Zoom making me feel lonely and isolated, she suggested adopting a cat.
As a kid we had cats and dogs, but I never had my own cat and I was nervous about how things would go next. After looking at cats online I adopted one and after a few days we became best friends. I never thought I could love a cat so much. She’s just the perfect little buddy.
However, I have a few questions about some of the things she does. Before going to bed, she becomes full of energy and runs around the house. She attacked me once or twice, which scared me. It wasn’t a big deal, but she lunged on my leg and those claws are sharp.
Is that normal or is she saying that she doesn’t want to go to bed?
The other thing she does is hit me with her head and rub her head against me. I don’t mind at all, but I don’t know why she does it. I have a feeling she might be trying to push me away.
Can you tell me more about it Do I have to do something about it?
Alesha K., San Jose
LOVE ALESHA: Congratulations on finding the perfect cat – the one who loves you and the one you love. Although I now have a dog who hates cats, I’ve always loved cats, and don’t tell my dog I sometimes miss those special interactions and conversations that you can only have with a cat.
The behaviors you see are nothing to worry about. It’s just a cat that is a cat.
Cats sleep away most of the day, but at night their inner wildcat tells them it is time to hunt. They are prone to a burst of energy at this time and since they have no real prey they often hunt us down. I had a cat that jumped on the washer dryer I passed on the way to bed and took a big blow on me as I passed. It was our little nightly ritual.
The headbutt isn’t trying to push you away, it’s a kind of hug.
While dogs tend to send their humans as “not dogs,” cats consider us part of the powder, just another cat, even though it looks strange.
Cats wear many scent markings on their faces, and in a movement called bunting, they poke and rub against other cats – and objects – to mark them with their scent and claim them as their own.
Your cat says you are her own and that is a great honor in the feline world.
DEAR JOHANNA: I saw the article on the hemorrhagic adenovirus disease outbreak in deer. How about goats and sheep? They are close enough to deer that it can be a problem.
Alma Merriman, Bay Area
DEAR ALMA: Although goats and sheep often have the same diseases, researchers are pretty sure they cannot become infected with this particular virus. No cases of spread to farm animals have been reported in previous outbreaks.
While sheep and goats belong to the same Bovidae family, deer belong to the Cervidae family, and that should be enough to protect them.
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