Cat Compulsions – Red Light/Green Light

by Deb at 5:50 AM • Uncategorized31 Comments

What is it about cats that they cannot control the urge to chase the red dot from a laser pen? As you well know, if a cat doesn’t want to do something, they won’t. But yet, take the laser pen out and they will wake from a deep sleep or stop whatever they are doing to chase that dot – almost like when a light changes from yellow to green and it’s full speed ahead, all systems go! Even the laziest cat on earth, our Miss Harley is powerless to the spell of the laser pen and is unable to NOT try to capture this elusive red monster.


Sure, Harley looks her relaxed and lazy self here, but she has a secret – she has bravely captured the evil red dot and is holding it hostage under her paw….

I was thinking how odd that must be, to be that compelled to do something that it almost puts you in a hypnotic state. Then I realized I hadn’t fallen too far from the cat condo myself and was EXACTLY like my feline companions and had no right to question (or laugh at) their culpability. You know that little red box that pops up on facebook when someone either “likes” or comments to a post string you are part of? Well, I have no self-control whatsoever when I see that notification and I have to instantly click on it. My hand reacts before my brain can tell me that it’s probably not that critically important that I find out Jane Doe likes the picture I posted of Kizmet looking ridiculously cute… Yet, I MUST CLICK…


Foolproof directions for more facebook “likes.” Take one adorable wide-eyed kitten and place it in an empty box. Post picture on facebook and be patient – approximately 6 seconds later you should have at least a dozen “likes.” If you don’t have a kitten handy, you can substitute puppies, bunnies, or ducklings….

I used to have a droid phone that would flash a little green light anytime I got an email notification – naturally, the moment I saw the light, I would pick up the phone so that I could read that really important message sent to me from the nice folks at Viagra who are concerned about improving my sex life. I no longer have that phone – I now have an iPhone and sadly there is no light to let me know of these important opportunities that are being sent to me. I have to actually pick the phone up when I feel compelled to do so to see if I have any messages…  Man, what a cumbersome drag that is…

So, yeah, I’m overly a bit compulsive and driven by colors like my cats, but to my credit, I have contained my addiction to colors only and not sounds. I have silenced ALL the sound effects for text and email notifications on my phone and my ringtone is set to vibrate so that I am no longer a slave like the Pavlovian dog who was trained to salivate when hearing a bell ring when I hear a certain noise. I don’t allow my phone to interfere with my day while I am at work with crazy noises and I eat my dinner in peace without special sound effects. Now, of course, the cats are an entirely different story…. they have no problem at all interfering with my dinner. Perhaps I should keep the laser pen nearby so that one quick flick of the switch and their attention goes from my dinner to that all powerful red dot!


Excuse me? Did someone just whisper that I might have obsession issues with leopard printed items also? I admitted I had a problem with colors… Isn’t leopard a color? But seriously, cut me some slack… shoes with hearts and leopard print? Clearly I had no choice…

Irish_clover P.S. Speaking of colors – we wish you all a bit of the Irish green!! Happy day before St. Patrick’s Day!!!

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  1. da tabbies o trout towne says:

    haz we ever menshuned we haza compullshunz bout:

    trout, mackeral, flounder, sea bass, salmon, perch, herring, snapper, tunie, ham samiches, pizza pies, donuts, butter, nip, cat grass, pork chops, cod, whitefish, fish stiks N cake…but in a bazillion N twentee we will knot ever.. sweared ona oath ta Bastet… haza compullshunz bout stooooooooooooooooooooooopid, rood, noizee, caca droppin bug infezted….burds…..


    Haza awesum seachtain OH deireadh anda happee Lá Fhéile Pádraig
    haza awesum week oh end anda happee st patricks day

    • Deb says:

      Well tabbies… you kind of have a compulsion for not having a compulsion about birds!! MOL! You have a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day as well!

  2. Ingrid King says:

    There are actually studies that show that every time you get a Facebook like or comment, you get a little dopamine hit to your brain (one of the neurotransmitters that makes you feel good). Unfortunately, immediately after this happens, your dopamine levels drop below normal, so you need another “hit” to get back to feeling good. No wonder we feel compelled to instantly click on these notifications or react to the blinking lights! Maybe the same thing happens in cats’ brains with regard to the laser dot?

    • Deb says:

      I remember reading about that in your book, Purrs of Wisdom, Ingrid… goodness no wonder I feel like a junkie. I’m nothing but a notification addict!!

  3. Ohhhhhh myyy those shoes are soooooooo YOU!!!! How COULD YOU RESIST??!!
    I do have a question……..a RED box on Facebook? I have never ever seen a red box pop up on facebook…my little alerts are light blue 🙂
    I just got an iPhone 4 a couple of weeks ago and LOVE IT! I sooooooooooo prefer it to the Droid that I used to have
    This was a fun post Deb!

    • Deb says:

      Caren – even more crazy – they were the only pair left in the store and they were in MY SIZE!! Fate for sure…. As far as facebook, you have me completely intrigued! Blue boxes?!!! Hmmm…. On my iPhone, the home screen pages lets me know if I have unopened emails by a red circle. Then, when I go to the email itself, if it has not been opened yet, it has a blue circle next to it! I was frustrated with my iPhone for a couple of days, now I love it too!!! My Droid was evil and had to go….

  4. Marg says:

    The cats here love that little red dot too. But I don’t get that excited about the ‘likes’ on Facebook. I would much rather have someone make the effort to leave a comment on my blog. I am just a weirdo living with too many cats. LOL.

    • Deb says:

      I agree with you on that one, Marg! I would much prefer blog comments to likes, but it is nice to give someone a quick smile on facebook with a cute kitty picture too!

  5. sue brandes says:

    My kitties also love the little red dot. Fun, fun, fun they say!

  6. To start with, Mom says that those shoes are fierce. She hates that she can only wear flats. We wish she could wear those so we could try to stick our paws through the hearts when she is walking. She also says that she refuses to fall victim to Facebook…does not have an account and will not get one. She does, however, have a bit of an addiction to her blog comments and checks her blog e-mail frequently when she is on the computer. We also like the reflection the humans’ watch crystals make on the walls when they catch the sun. We can jump and run after those for as long as they’ll let us. Purrs and hugs, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Josette

    • Deb says:

      Wow Janet…. you are one strong lady!! No facebook account!! I will admit that for years I refused to become part of facebook for the same reason as you – I did not want to fall victim. But, after I wrote my book, I realized I needed more of a social network. While I do have an addiction to it, I have to say that it has also enriched my life in ways I never dreamed possible. I have made some dear friends that never would have been part of my life otherwise and it has also opened my eyes to so much I was unaware of, such as the plight of the cats in Japan after the devastating 2011 disaster.

      As far as the crystal reflection… that sounds like fun!! We will have to try that out with our kitties!!

  7. My name is toni and I’m a “notification addict”. Looks like you are not alone my dear.
    Maybe someone should start a support group.

    Your post always make me *SMILE*>!

  8. Brian says:

    We are all red dot fans here too, but we all do love shoes as well and those would be purrfectly comfy!

  9. Wendy S. says:

    It’s funny how neither of my girls have ever gone for the red lazer! Lazy? perhaps but I just think that if it’s not food related than nothing is going to get them going, well, da bird sometimes does. Would love to see a video of Harley chasing her red light.

  10. Happy Caturday. I’ve blogged several times about digital device addiction in the past year at my other blog including the new phenom of phantom ringtones (people think they hear a ring they it’s silent! Love the shoes 🙂

  11. I LOVED this, Deb!!! You are SO right…we all have our elusive red dots, don’t we?!?

    Best line ever: “Then I realized I hadn’t fallen too far from the cat condo myself ” HAHAHAHA!!!
    I’m going to remember that one for a LONG time!

    Thanks for making me smile today.
    XO, GG

    • Deb says:

      Thanks Glogirly and Katie!! I love that line too – it is so true and I’m sure you can relate!!! You make me smile everyday, so very happy to return the favor!

  12. Connie says:

    Love the shoes, I actually saw them in a magazine too! Here we run after flashlights, red dots, watch crystals, any light that moves!
    I don’t think your too addicted to leopard. If you’re ever tattooed leopard then I might think you might have went
    round the bend. Beautiful kitties!
    Luck of the Irish to You

  13. RumpyDog! says:

    Those are some wicked shoes. But where is the red dot on them?

  14. One of these days we’re gonna get that red dot…you just wait and see.

  15. Penelope says:

    Me Nellie hates the red dot! The minute me sees it, me runs and hides and Mommy and Daddy does not see me for hours! That could come from where I was before. But your soes, those me would play with!

  16. Bernadette says:

    I was looking for the red dot on the shoes too! Shoes are nice, but do not dispense dopamine. I don’t use the laser dot too often, usually only as a distraction, and they are all so competitive that all five of them pile up after it so it’s shining on someone’s back instead of on the floor. But even though I use it infrequently, and most of the time I’m not going in the drawer for the dot maker, Giuseppe will still come running with totally dilated pupils when I slide out the drawer where I keep it as quietly as possible, and he’ll sit right below the drawer and look at the drawer and look at me, waiting for it to appear. It gives him something to do.

  17. meowmeowmans says:

    Oh, that was GREAT, Deb! We can totally relate to the words you wrote about the laser dot, and Facebook, and phone notifications… you nailed them all purrfectly! 🙂

    Hugs, and Happy St. CATrick’s Day!