Saturday 22 August 2009

transitional object

Millie is no longer Lottie's cossetted little kitten-sister, and often gets snapped or hissed at when she comes bouncing up to her in her bumptious over-enthusiastic way. Lottie spends much of her life having a Little Lie Down, and resents a fat pushy youngster trampling all over her for a cuddle

So Millie has taken to coming to me, or to visitors (L, above), for a cuddle, which is very sweet, and rewarding for us - shame she took so long to discover the joys of snuggling in with a devoted human. And she drools a little too, just to make her point. But there's no mistaking how disappointed and bewildered she is when Lottie rejects her, and my heart goes out to her, even though I can see how she asks for it sometimes.

But she is strangely and intensely attached to her downstairs scratching post. The upstairs one gets used too, simply for scratching and stretching, but it's the downstairs one that has to be laid on its side, scratched, fought with, played with, and often snuggled up against for a little sleep. I think it's the most bizarre object for a little cat to get so attached to, but it's a permanent fixture in the sitting room, and invariably the first thing she goes to when she comes in.

Watching her, I was reminded sharply of very little children and their comfort blankets or other objects that they couldn't be parted from. Now, without anthropomorphising too much and making you want to throw up, I wondered if a young cat could also have a need for such a transitional object? Winnicott doesn't mention cats....

At any rate, I look forward to the next stage in her emotional development. It's an interesting life with our Millie; the scratching post and I will do all we can to keep her happy and secure.


Susan said...

Oliver just hopped up onto the teak topped desk with a chirp and to say he is thrilled with this latest post would be a grand understatement.

ahhh he whispers in my ear. There she is. Millie with the black nose, my truest love.

What a lovely post. Cat's are amazing and fascinating creatures. We don't have a scratching post here at Black Street and perhaps I should get one. She is a doll that Millie, just beautiful. Oh and we see "the dog" perched on her orange pillow.

Happy weekend to all. Oliver & Susan

Linda said...

These are impregnated with catnip, aren't they? Perhaps it is stronger in this one.
Rupert had one, but only used it to climb up and sit on the top, as in "I'm the king of the castle". (He was tiny!) He showed no interest in toys or games, or in human laps!
There is one 'object' he enjoys though. Every Christmas Day we make him a scrunchy cushion out of discarded wrapping paper. We put this in his bed in the kitchen, and he pads away for ages, loving the noises, and sleeps on it no matter how much it bunches up, until it eventually falls apart - around the time the decorations come down, and we all get on with normal life!

rachel said...

No, nothing to do with catnip; she treats it as she used to treat Lottie - runs over to it as though pleased to see it again, and greets it. Very odd! And amusing.

Pam said...

My transitional objects are the cats. If I survive my last child leaving home (and I may not) then it will be because I spend my time cuddling cats instead.

I'm exceedingly impressed with anyone who not only has white sofas but also has white carpets. Wow. What a very clean person that must be.

judy in ky said...

Millie is irresistible! Her personality shows through in your photos.

Maithri said...

Millie is absolutely beautiful!

Cats will always remind me of being a little boy ;) And those are good memories...

Peace and light to you friend, Maithri

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