Last week, I mused over the fact my dog, Freddie, is overjoyed when a box arrives at the house.

He’s so excited to see what’s in the box. I’m sure he’s thinking there might be something for him. Sometimes there is, but mostly, I order what I need to get through the pandemic. I’m not sure if he cares about a new toy as much as he enjoys excitement of a mysterious box.

Harriet is my first real cat, a solid black beauty who had a litter of kittens under my front porch. I’ve had to do a lot of learning about being a cat mother. I still find cats weird.

If a closet door is ajar, she gets in there and hides. Not unusual for a cat, but for a dog person taking a bathroom break who sees eyes glaring at her from a dark closet, it’s terrifying.

Harriet perches in the weirdest places. I go about my business in the house and accidentally touch her or bump her. Dangerous, as cats like to claw the devil out of you when they’re startled. Never mind I’m startled, too.

Cats like boxes and baskets. It makes them feel safe, I’m told. They do seem jumpy, so I can understand their constant search for the feeling of safety.

With so many boxes coming into my house, Harriet is interested.

After the unwrapping and Freddie’s domination of that part of the box’s life, the cat starts to take over. She likes a pile of boxes in the corner of the room that she can rummage through as if looking for an item I ordered for her and forgotten about.

But I know she’s just being a curious cat and I’m sure having a box nearby gives her some comfort in the form of a place to hide in case she starts feeling insecure.

I thought she might like them neatly stacked so she could climb to the top, sit and look down on everyone. That sounds like the kind of move a cat would love.

I closed the boxes and stacked them. I even staggered them to make steps to the top. I thought it could make it easier for her to ascend to her throne.

It didn’t go over. She ignored the tower made especially for her. It wasn’t the same as being able to root around and settle into a box for a nap, safe and secure from the dog.

Trying to be a good cat mom, I knocked over the tower so she could romp and explore as she wishes. I was wrong. She has plenty of places to perch and feel superior to Freddie and me.

Being a cat mom is a learning process that apparently never ends.

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