Ode to Fancy Paws and Copy Cats

Living with my own little cat colony has taught me a lot about the psychology of the domestic feline. I also think I've discovered the root of the phrase "copy cat". Cats like to immitate each other's behavior. It's true!

Let me illustrate with one little example from the felines here at Rosehaven Cottage...

I've grown up with at least one cat in my home ever since I was six years old and held up my end of a bargain that I would not suck my thumb anymore and in return I would get a cat. Since that time I've always had one around being my furry little friend.

During all that time I didn't have the pleasure of having any of our cats display what we have now dubbed "fancy paws". "Fancy paws" are when one of the cats is laying down with its paws crossed in front of it in a very prissy and proper manner.

When we moved to Rosehaven Cottage, we acquired the first two kitties of Rosehaven--Dexter and Dee Dee. I never saw them cross their paws in fancy-paw fashion for the first 2 years that we had them.

Then when the other kitties were introduced into the household when Dexter and Dee Dee were 2 years old, everything changed. The younger kittens (we still call them "the kittens") didn't take long before their little limbs were longer and lankier. Suzette began to exhibit the fancy-paw behavior. She had picked it up from her mother, I think.

It didn't take long before the other kitties starting doing it. Even Dexter and Dee Dee did it on occasion.

A year or two after that, we brought the old neighborhood tomcat in after he was neutered so he could retire in luxury. Tom Tom hadn't done fancy paws at all in the years that I had known him since we had first moved in and he was already residing in and around our gardens.

But it wasn't very long after he came in the house before I saw Tom Tom laying with fancy paws! He saw Suzette doing it and got the idea from her! Cats are "copy cats". I'm telling you, it's true!

And just today, Lydia (my puffy silver princess) took fancy paws to a whole new level. She had three of her four paws crossed and stacked perfectly on the other (at right is the photographic proof).

I can't wait to see how long it takes for this new trend to catch on!
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  1. Now I want to try to learn to do Fancy Paws! Your garden is very beautiful.

  2. Your kitties are wonderful! I have one kittie (his name is Shadow and he weighs around 20 lbs.) who could pass for Tom-Tom's twin! I'll be watching to see if he knows "fancy paws" now....*smile* Love your site!


  3. Hi!
    Kelly the Good Cat told us to come visit you. What a lovely blog.
    It's very interesting! Just an hour ago our Mosaic Lady was preparing our post for tomorrow, Wordless Wednesday. It is a series of three photos of Willie, and she calls it: Willie Cross Paws! He's the only one of all of us who crosses his paws, and it kills her! It reminds her of her grandfather George, who always crossed his forearms as he leaned over things. So Willie doesn't bring to mind prim and prissy, but aging, relaxed, slightly-weary, tribal elder man cat!


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