My cat is nesting.
On our return home, she no longer makes a line straight for the door. She doesn’t even take toward her food dish with backward glances to ensure we are close at her heels. No, these days, she takes one look at us and promptly stretches out in front of the fire-place and stares at us until we flick the switch to ignite the natural gas flame.
This cat is a shelter cat of unknown origin but we have to assume she spent a fair amount of time outside before coming to the shelter pregnant. We adopted her after her kittens were ready for their own adoption and she had recovered from her spaying surgery. She is, now an indoor cat with the exception of the two times she snuck outside past us. We were slow and unaware. We got her back. With lots of chicken and coaxing. But now we are on the alert and all she desires is fake fire.
She knows what she wants. She knows she’ll get it. It’s winter – curling up in front of the fire at the end of the day is, really, the one logical thing to do regardless of whether you’ve been slogging through sheets of rain to get home or have been sitting on a cushion inside that home all day. It’s cold. It’s dark. It’s time to settle in and settle down for the season. There are few birds outside and the other cats know better than to spend their time under streetlights and downpours.
But here’s the catch: this isn’t a rut she’s got herself into. She still watches outside every day. She’ll know when the weather turns and the birds start coming back. She’ll see the other cats sunning on the sidewalk.
When it’s time, she’ll make her move for the door.