Indeed, why laps?
I have sometimes contemplated why cats like to lie on human laps. Not all cats do, of course, but a startling proportion of them do. There are a number of obvious reasons why the location is chosen, such as the warmth generated by the human body. But, by and large, whatever the lap has, I would think a cat can find elsewhere, and to greater advantage.
Consider the physical aspect of where the cat lies on a human lap. Every human is shaped differently, and, since every cat is, as well - at least to cats - there seems to be an unlikely chance that cat will fit human perfectly. The feline physique, being, seemingly, boneless, can adapt itself to a variety of shapes and contours. Yet I cannot convince myself that these are more comfortable than not. A plain cushion or carpeted floor would appear to be a more attractive horizontality.
Not every human has a sufficiency of padding, to make a cat’s tenure upon the lap easy. Some people have too little, and are boney. Some have too much and take up the cat’s space. Some have it in the wrong places. Again, then, there must be more appealing locations for the average cat, such as one of the many beds with which most cat-households are equipped.
Heat is a probable benefit to lying on a lap. Yet, once more, nature or artifice would surely provide better than a human. A heated cat-bed gives just the right temperature to the feline temperament, while a sun-puddle, having warmed the right spot on the floor, has an allure most cats cannot resist.
What is it, then, that a human lap has that nothing else possesses? I am forced to conclude that it is the human himself. There can be no better way for a cat to show his affection for his person, while simultaneously relaxing, snoozing or sleeping, as best he can. It is the closeness of the two, human and feline; the ability of the human to feel the cat’s purr, and the cat to receive pets and strokes; the unstated comradeship that is thus manifested. I believe that this is the secret of the lap; this is why cats choose an angular or misshapen lap, inclined the wrong way; two fat parallel bars, with an inconvenient crevice between; knees that protrude and thighs that don’t provide enough foundation. They belong to the cat’s human, and by snuggling there, as only a cat can, the beast tells the person that to be with him, the beast would endure discomfort and inconvenience, forgoing the many better stations of ease he could find.
Between cats and humans, then, the lap is the seat of friendship.
portia; big time aaawwwsss frum uz heer in trout towne; we iz glad ta see ewe and dad iz growin sew close ☺☺☺♥♥♥ happee week end two everee one ther ~~~~ !!ReplyDelete
It sure is nice to see Portia enjoying some special lap time!ReplyDelete
Trust me, my thighs provide ample foundation. :-PReplyDelete
It's wonderful to see Portia choosing your lap over what is assumed to be more comfortable spots. That physical closeness and comfort is good for both of your souls. ♥
I do believe you are so right about the seat of friendship. Even inReplyDelete
this heat we are having, and no fan cools it enough, Precious wants
legs in the evening for a few hours. Sometimes I am beyond tolerating
the heat, but for her, anything goes. Love seeing Portia being so
comfy on your legs.
Portia, the Lap Queen!ReplyDelete
Our only lap cat was The PO'M, but I'm trying to convince Chili Bruce to come over to the lapside; he'll stand on me when I'm seated, and all three cats will lay upon me if I'm supine, so that's a beginning.
That is exactly what it is, love and companionship on both sides.ReplyDelete
Someone once said that if a dog sits in your lap it's because he likes you. But if a cat sits in your lap it's because she just wants to get warm. However, I agree with you - a cat sitting in your lap is a sign of affection.ReplyDelete
I really enjoyed this "treatise" because I agree 100% with it. You have covered what I feel is every aspect of it. I always thought that mine chose the most uncomfortable places occasionally regardless of the discomfort to me as well. But for them, as with Lynn, anything goes.ReplyDelete
The Lap signifies safety, security, and trust along with the warmth and stroking. An unhappy cat will not value the warmth for its own sake; a happy cat will sit on a cool lap for the association with the person.ReplyDelete
As you say John... Among the reasons catsReplyDelete
sleep on people is warmth, comfort, affection
and soothing sounds..
though cherish the moment when they do as they
like to switch up their routine and may find
another place to nap...
The chest is another favourite place for cats
to settle..though you must be laid down, or
they'll fall off..HeHe! Bless!x
Great observation! Portia has definitely perfected the lap position. She looks so content on your lap.ReplyDelete
I have only one cat out of three who will use my lap, that's my TomTom. So happy he's back home and he's getting lots of lap time.
Where had TomTom been?Delete
I do agree it's a sign of affection, which is why I've always wondered why some cats--who are completely friendly and affectionate in all other ways--just aren't "lap cats."ReplyDelete
It's a pity they can't explain such things to us.
That it is showing trust and caring about the lap they are sitting on. Toby likes the crook of my Right arm. He comes over and gets in the right spot so his butt is held by the couch and my arm is over and behind him and... a nap with a purr. What a fine way to unwind at the end of the day for me and my TobyReplyDelete
That sounds delightful, though I think I'd have a cramped arm before I'd have an achy lap. Yet that still probably wouldn't get me to move until the cat did...Delete
Turn turn Undine's above comment around, I question the way our Cleo just does not like to be held, yet she loves our laps. Not only that, but she has her favorites- with me in the early morning hours, usually stuffed between my left leg and the chair arm and occasionally across my lap as I hold the laptop towards my knees, and on her mom's lap every evening as we sit and watch movies or just talk. In contrast, our old Orbit- this blog's founder- was such a cuddle bug, eager holder and lapcat all in one. I truly believe that cats can also sense when a human loves cats.ReplyDelete
Precious is the same about pick me ups. She wants no part ofDelete
being picked up. But, the leg time is inevitable.
I can only echo Kim's comments. Saku is my lap cat and usually at the most inconvenient time. But how can I say no?ReplyDelete