Who’s that dunce in the corner?

There are many things we didn’t, and still don’t, know about Winston and cats in general. What do three meows mean when they are followed by a bite? Is that the same as two meows and a bite? They both probably mean “feed me,” but who really knows? Over the years, we have learned a lot. Some things we’ve learned seem obvious now. They were not always so obvious though.

A couple weeks after we got Winston, we were sitting on Sarah’s couch staring lovingly into each other’s eyes. She glanced over my shoulder and her eyes opened wide in panic. She whispered, “Uh-oh. He’s headed for the corner.”

“So?” I was confused.

“Well, what if he gets stuck?” She was very concerned at this point.

“Stuck? Why would he get stuck?” I was still confused.

“He can’t go backward, so if he goes into the corner he’ll get stuck.” This was accompanied by a look that seemed to ask, “Don’t you know anything about cats?”

“So, you don’t think Winston can go backward?” I raised my eyebrows at this point to be dramatic.

“No. He can’t. I’ve never seen him go backward.” This was fact, not speculation.

Despite Sarah’s firm belief that cats lacked the ability to walk backward, Winston did, can and quite often does go backward. Perhaps he’s just highly evolved for his species, but one would think that going backward would be one of those necessary instincts in life. Certainly, it seems more necessary and obvious than his normal backflip three feet in the air to catch a fast moving bird toy in his paws and land upright with it in his mouth.

But, then again penguins can’t fly, so maybe it’s not too far fetched to believe cats can’t walk backward.