My wife and I live together on the 5th floor of a 1950’s apartment block near Frankfurt in Germany. We have lived alone for quite a while and enjoyed the freedoms that come along with that, simple things like sleeping in, going on spontaneous weekends away or owning clothes without holes in. We enjoyed all of those things until in a moment of lunacy we decided to adopt a cat. We did take a few days of careful consideration before we committed, but all this consideration however did not prepare us for what it is like to take care of a cat. Our cat is a beautiful black tabby cat; she is 5 years old, which in cat years puts her in young womanhood. By now she is old enough to know herself, to understand her own routines and what she does or doesn’t like. Then there’s me, 34 years old, I also know what I like and don’t like, you know, things like sleep, clothes without holes in and not being attacked. Here are 5 things you will probably learn as a new cat owner.

You stroke a cat on its terms, no one else’s.

Particularly when you are getting used to each other, no matter how slowly you approach, how friendly you sound, if a cat doesn’t want to be stroked, then those little razor sharp claws are going to react with lightning speed to create holes in your hand that were not there before. If the cat is not in the mood to be touched, then there will be blood.

Cat’s eat when they want, not when it’s given to them.

Spent good money on treats? Picked only the finest cat food available from the pet store? Too bad, cat’s will fuss and fuss, then when you put the bowl down, just look at it and walk off returning later at a point that suits them leaving you thinking the food is not good enough, or that she will not eat it. But they return when they want and no sooner.

Getting comfy requires ruining your best t-shirt and anything that’s under it – which is normally skin.

Cat’s do this kind of kneading thing when they want to get comfortable, my friend calls it “happy paws” it is part bonding so it’s a good idea to let your cat do this, but it gets old very fast – particularly if you can feel the claws through your clothes!

Your cat is going to go wherever it wants, whenever it wants in your home.

At first we wanted to have the bedroom door closed at night, so that we had one room that we could call our own. Websites will tell you that the only way to stop a cat scratching at your door is to ignore it and they will learn. NO. THEY. WONT. For Two months we tried to ignore her, some nights she would scratch incessantly, sometimes only once or twice, but eventually, you will give up and end up co-sleeping in the same bed.

Despite all the above, you still grow to love your cat.

You would have thought that given how much I love sleep, how fond I am of my clothes and that I enjoy stroking cute things, that being able to do and have none of these things would mean a tricky relationship. But, like mine, your cat will find a way into your heart; it’s something to do with the purring and the cuteness when playing, but it is inevitable after a while you will fall for one another.