Cat turns her back on me to display her trust!

K2, on Reynolds Mountain, Asheville NC 28804

Recently a sweet, loving cat did it again…while we were outside sitting on some rock steps, she sat her little rear end down on my feet, clearly wanting to keep close…but turning her body 180 degrees away from me…eyes, ears, claws all frontward. I’ve seen this a lot with clients’ cats and my own cat will still do it, though less and less as he gets older. We pet lovers can take things personally, so I have wondered about this… Lo and behold, Pamela Johnson-Bennett, feline behaviorist, says, in her book Starting from Scratch, “…this posture is very positive. …with his back toward you, he’s showing ultimate trust.” She goes on to explain that your cat, as a hunter, wants “all of his sensory receptors facing forward,” even while he’s lolling in your lap (or my feet). He may never have seen a mouse in his whole life, but he is still a predator who must stay aware of his environment.

With cats, instinct always trumps trust… but here, just by sitting in your lap or on your feet, they display both!

Cats, still undomesticated in many ways, refuse to fit our anthropomorphic interpretations… Still, we love the mystery and the adventure of living with cats!

Find Pam Johnson-Bennett’s book, Starting from Scratch, at