How To Befriend A Cat: Chronicle of A Noob Cat Volunteer

SO LEGIT. No I didn’t get to choose which cat photo but I’m glad I have this one.

(A “noob” is a derivation from the gamer elite/l33t speak term “N00b” which means newbie with a negative connotation. To find out why and how I started volunteering, please read entry “My Happiness Project: Cats.”)

Not to sound cocky or anything, but I really thought I knew how to get any domesticated cat to warm up to me before attending the “Intro Into Cat Socializing” training session at the SF SPCA. So wrong!

I was privy to being able to enter two cats’ chambers this weekend. One immediately came to nudge me and we had some quality petting, playing, and being adorable time, so I thought “’Aight- I got this. No prob.” It was completely the opposite with the next cat.

The interactions I had with this certain orange feline dude can be best described as the most awkward and pathetic blind first date ever. I went in while he was chilling on his sofa bed in a lounging pose that looked effortless, yet somehow was showing off all his assets.  He gave me a nonchalant look then directed his gaze elsewhere. I followed the instructions that I was just taught, sat down and started talking to him gently: “Um hey, how’s it going?” No answer, no movement. “Looks like you’re kind of tired, eh?” Slight turn of head then nothing. I even tried my secret weapon of meowing, hoping that it will solicit some sort of response. Nope. This silent cold treatment went on for 10 minutes, after which I ran out of monologue material and said “Well, guess I’ll see you later” in a fake cheerful tone and slipped out.

Like human beings, individual cats have different personalities. Some are shy, some are friendly, while some are hardened and jaded. Here are some tips about befriending them: Continue reading