Monday, February 27, 2012

Low Self-Esteem is Complicated

I've been watching a lot of My Cat From Hell lately.  I can't get enough of this stuff.  Jackson Galaxy, (ten bucks that name is REAL) who is a cat behaviorist, says that cats who hiss have low self-esteem, because they're not confident enough of themselves and their surroundings, so when they get nervous, they lash out and hiss to protect themselves but to also comfort themselves and make them seem cooler.  Or something.

Anyway, I was telling all this to my mom today, and I was telling her that I'm worried because I think Hairy has low self-esteem, because she hisses at everybody (but me) even when she has no reason to, and Mom, this stuff is SERIOUS and I want Hairy to love herself and how should I boost her confidence and what do you think about that?

And my mom said,
"Your cat does not have low self-esteem.  She's just stupid.  And hey, you're not going to post this on your blog, are you?"
Me:  "Actually, yeah, I was going to.  Why?"
Mom: "Because then people will think you're weird."

Thanks for the chat, Mom!  ;D


Erin said...

Hairy never hissed at me as I recall! :) But she was very, very shy.

Laur said...

HA HA. LOVE IT. both the original post and your mom's reaction! AND the picture!

Heather Lindquist said...

Love this post! Hairy has such a good mama to be so concerned. Give that big furry beast a hug from me!

Cammy said...

My brother's cat was possibly an example of this. They adopted him when he was <5 weeks old, way too little to be away from his momcat (someone had dumped the litter of kittens a shelter with no mother), and as he grew up he was the most evil, vile, violent creature I've ever been under a roof with. If you even looked at him he started growling, and he was known for sneak-attach assaults on people and dogs. After almost two years, they got another kitten, that was possibly the sweetest, most lovable cat ever. Honestly I'm not a cat person, and I was totally in love with him. The interesting part of this long story is the new kitten totally attached himself to the older cat, and would cuddle him and love him no matter how mean he was....and after a few months the older, mean cat became a totally different pet. He would finally let himself be touched, initiate affection, stopped randomly mauling people, etc. It was amazing from an animal behavior standpoint. And probably does chalk up to some combination of confidence and just learning from a conspecific about how to interact with other organisms.

Anyway that is my loosely relevant cat story. Hairy is beautiful. Is there anything that lives in your house that *isn't* good-looking? ;)

Arielle Lee Bair said...

My cat Juice hisses and she has the most confidence of any lady I know. I have never heard Tumbler hiss a day in his life, but then again, he is a special kitty. Interestingly enough though, I read (I forget where) that when your cat is being a pain in the ass and you want to show it who's boss, you should hiss at it (or hiss BACK at it). My cat, Juice, has chin acne (yes, chin acne, freakin' teenager), and I have to clean her chin for her. She's not the biggest fan of this and while I hold her she purrs, but as soon as I begin to clean the chin, she hisses like she's saying GET THE HELL AWAY FROM ME. I AM IN CHARGE HERE. So I have taken to hissing back at her like Big Bad Momma Cat. And since I am in fact, her Momma Cat, she is suddenly like..."oh mmmkay momma, you mean business, sorry I hold still k are you done? no? k take your time"

So... hissing works wonders. And yes, she still totally loves me even though I use the occasional hissing. It's all just part of being Momma Cat. You should try it. :)

Amy said...

LOL! This just made my whole day!