Do cats know it’s their birthday?

Sometime in the period this morning between starting to wake up because going to bed early doesn’t help when your body is trained to only sleep about seven hours and when the alarm went off at 5:15 a.m., my cat Sasha climbed on me.

This was odd for a couple reasons.864BC599-6AE3-4FD5-AE02-130B183505AD

First, she likes to get in our bed, but rarely when my wife and I are both sleeping.

Secondly, when she does come around the bed, it’s because she’s looking for food, and even though I’m the one who usually feeds her, she comes to pester my wife because I can ignore her.

So I petted her on top of the head a couple times, and she jumped off the bed and ran off.

Once I eventually did get up, I fed her a little early.

After all, today’s her birthday.

She’s 8.

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We weren’t necessarily looking to get another cat in July 2010.

Our oldest cat, Scrapper, had died the previous August, but we had our two boys, Skippy and Silly. (I brought Scrapper into the relationship, and Skippy and Silly came with my wife, so it was coincidence that their names all started with “S,” but in Sasha’s case it was intentional.)

And then Bob, a guy I worked with, had a problem.

The problem was that all of Bob’s friends who promised to take a kitten when his cat gave birth had all bailed, even though there only wound up being one kitten in the litter.

When I mentioned this to my wife, she said that if Bob still needed someone to take the kitten, we would do it. He took me up on it that Thursday, and the next morning, we had a new kitten.

We had seen advice to sleep in a separate room with a kitten for a few days, but Sasha chucked that after one night, along with her baby food. Instead, she went straight to her brothers’ food.

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Our first Christmas with Sasha had a bit of a rough moment.

My parents and brother came to our house, and my brother brought his dog Roscoe. He was a good boy, but Roscoe could get a bit rambunctious, and even though he didn’t do anything to Sasha, she just couldn’t deal.

So she did what she sometimes did in her younger days when she got a bit wound up. She peed …

… in the basket where my wife had put the clothes I got for Christmas.

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Sasha has never been any kind of a lap cat, never sticks around for petting too long and hates being held, but she does like attention.

So she’ll wander in and out of whatever room we’re sitting in, and one of her favorite games is to raise a ruckus upstairs until I get up to see what’s happening, which causes her to appear at the top of the steps and come back downstairs.

She also gets very pesky when she wants someone to play with her mouse on a string  — she even dragged it upstairs overnight once — even though she only plays for about a minute before sitting there and staring at it.

She also has a move where if I ignore her when she walks onto the couch, she’ll reach out to grab me with her paw.

I like to imagine it was something Silly taught her before he died in October 2014, as he always did that when he wanted attention. Apparently, that’s also how he got my wife to notice him at the humane society near Cooperstown when he was up for adoption.

The “Paw of Death,” we called it.

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Before Skippy died in January 2013, I think he taught Sasha his go-to move, which was “You can get away with anything if you look cute.” Sasha has that one down pat.

Given that they were both quite a bit older when Sasha moved in, and Scrapper had been even older than them, the boys got along pretty well with Sasha.

However, once, when she was a baby, she decided she wanted to play by jumping onto Silly. The first time she did it, Silly wasn’t looking, and Sasha just bounced off.

The second time … did you know a cat can stand on its hind legs, catch a kitten flying at him and toss her aside?

Yeah, neither did we.

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Sasha loves our suitcases — sitting on them or sitting in them. We don’t know if she’s trying to tell us she wants to go with us or that she doesn’t want us to leave.

When they’re out, the suitcases are two more spots where Sasha hangs out. She has claimed a chair and blanket in our living room for herself, but pretty much makes herself at home all over the house.

In particular, she likes following the sun, so she may go our living room couch to the small bed upstairs to a random spot on the floor because that’s where the sun is coming in the window.

She especially likes when we open the door on nice days, so she can sit and watch the neighborhood go by, although she hasn’t been there yet when the neighborhood dog comes looking for her.

She’ll dash down to the basement, even though she’s not supposed to, if one of us leaves the upstairs door open. After an experience when she was outside for most of two days after being accidentally let out, we don’t know if she’d make a run for it, but we’d rather not find out.

It’s hard to believe that once-little kitten is now 8, but she is.

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