I don’t own a cat. And no, no cat owns me either. But there is a cat in my neighborhood that has adopted me. Well, okay, not me so much as my place. As I write this, the cat is hanging, spread eagle, on my patio door screen.
Yep, it marches to the beat of its own drummer. Sound familiar? That’s right, a kindred spirit.
When I first encountered it, I referred to it as “some random cat” on Facebook. One of the wits that I’m proud to say is a friend of mine dubbed the cat “Random.” I was against its having a name, didn’t want to give it the impression that it was welcome.
Now to be clear here, Random is not feral. Random is clean and well groomed, I’m certain she has a home. Why has she chosen my house as her hangout? I can’t say. No, I don’t feed her. Yes, on occasion I have allowed her in. No, not more than twice … in any three day time span.
Usually, when Random comes to the door, I tell her “Nothing to see here, move along.” She doesn’t listen.
So what makes me think Random is a cat with ADHD?
Random seems to have very poor executive function. While I’m no cat hater, I’m also not a cat lover. If you’re a cat and you’re looking for acceptance, best look elsewhere.
Random’s attention darts from detail to distraction. She wanders about my house looking at everything and nothing. At least she doesn’t look at anything for any significant length of time.
Random climbs. I know, cats climb. But Random climbs the screen on the patio door. Oh, I mentioned that already did I? Well? Doesn’t that sound like the kind of spontaneous thing that I’d do? Yes, if there was a screen I could hook my claws in, I’d think that it was meant for me to climb.
The thing about having a cat with ADHD is that I’m getting to experience what it must be like for other entities to deal with me. I’m sure that my spontaneity is quite refreshing for people a lot of the time, but until I met Random Cat, I didn’t really understand the miffed reaction I sometimes get from others.
The other night, I was sitting in my living room, writing. Okay, I was also reading emails and saying terribly clever things on Facebook, but I was writing, I swear I was. Suddenly, I heard a thump thump kind of lumbering rumble moving across my roof. It was loud, it was heavy, it was slow moving. A raccoon! I was guessing maybe 50 pounds, or maybe two raccoons. I shook my head and muttered. What next I thought. Then I thought about the cat and started to worry that it might meet up with this herd of wild creatures. Random has never offered evidence of being too bright, so I began to worry about her being outside with these wild marauders. I went to the cupboard and dug out my large flashlight. I stepped boldly out onto the deck, walking stick in hand, ready to banish the wild bandits and make safe the neighborhood for cats who may suffer from a lack of executive function.
I hit the switch and the light leapt out, piercing the night sky. I began scanning the roof for the raccoons. Nothing, nothing to be seen. And then, my light stopped on …. a skunk? No. Maybe? … Something black and white, that was a certainty. Slowly it turned to look at me …
It was Random, the ADHD cat. And her facial expression was … “What?” It was like she was saying “… if you don’t mind, I’m having a wee romp on the roof right now. — Perhaps we could discuss what’s on your mind tomorrow?”
I don’t own a cat, and no, no cat owns me. But Random the ADHD cat has definitely rented space in my brain.