A couple of weeks ago my husband and I were having our weekly-stay-at-home date night, watching our $1 Redbox movie, and munching down on some buttery-goodness microwave popcorn when our unusually affectionate cat jumped from my lap down into the floor and proceeded to limp away as though both her hips had been broken. She was crouched down on the floor and every time her back legs would try to gain footing under her, her hips would give out and she couldn’t move.

I paused the movie and watched her intently for a few minutes, noting how she kept wincing in pain and trying to get back up on the couch. She was bawling like a baby and really had stirred my feelings of empathy when I asked my husband what he thought we should do about it. I was concerned that she had hurt herself in some way and we were going to have to take her to the vet, something we couldn’t really afford to do at the moment.

He said, “Turn the movie back on, Karen.” I thought he was so heartless. Anger stirred in me. I refused to do so until he at least checked her legs out. He raised one eyebrow and said, “She’s just telling you she wants to go to a drive-in movie show.” At this point, I should tell you that I have never been to a drive in movie show and had no clue what that referred to (I was called a goody-two-shoes at my high school graduation, okay?). So I kept insisting that he look at her – her cries had become so loud I thought she would wake up the kids.

And then she did it. She looked at me and winked. It was then that I understood. She was propositioning me. Suddenly I didn’t feel so badly for her. I was instead repulsed by the aforementioned actions. Suddenly her extreme affection for me all made sense. The fact that I was the object of her desire? Not so much.

Obviously, she WILL be spayed as soon as I can find the money to do it. And for your information, here are some signs that your cat is heat:

~Immediately preceding oestrus, your female cat may become unusually affectionate, by sidling up and rubbing her hind quarters against furniture, stuffed toys, other cats, and/or her favorite human. (This would have been oh-so-nice to know beforehand)

~She may spend excessive time licking her genital area. Note: Lacking the other behavioral traits on this list, genital licking can be a symptom of a urinary tract disorder, which can be serious, if not treated promptly. (I do not pay attention to such things…so I have no idea whether she did this or not)

~The Queen (name for female cats of breeding age) will vocalize loudly. This “calling” may go on for several days, unless she mates. (“Hello, is it me you’re looking for? ‘Cause I wonder where you are and I wonder what you do.Are you somewhere feeling lonely or is someone loving you?”)

~She will assume a mating position: head down, forelegs bent, rear quarters raised to expose the perineum (this raised posture is called lordosis), with the tail raised and held to the side of the body. Her rear legs will tread rhythmically, as if walking in place. (Don’t ever assume that her legs are broken. ever.)

~Queenie may also spray vertical surfaces with a strongly scented fluid. She will accomplish this by backing up to the surface and raising her tail high. The tail may quiver, and she may perfom the rhythmic treading described in step four. (This act will be followed by furious spraying of Lysol by owner over any and all surfaces dear Queenie may have come into contact with.)

~If your female cat does not mate, she will go into oestrus as often as every two to three weeks, for several months each year, until she either mates or is spayed. (Oh myLANTA…I might have to sell a kidney to get the money to pay for her spaying, but it WILL happen. Mark my words.)


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3 Comments on The phrase ‘like a cat in heat’ has never meant so much as now

  1. Kimberly
    March 29, 2008 at 8:33 pm (16 years ago)

    Oh Karen! That is so funny! LOLOL

  2. Mzzterry
    March 30, 2008 at 4:25 pm (16 years ago)

    Karen, Oh My lanta indeed!!! You are funny, but this is sooo not!! Spraying cats are seriously stinky!
    Apparently Bob Barker is a VERY wise man…..”control the pet population, have your pet spayed or neutered”!!!

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