The typical house cat has been incredibly designed with two front paws. The front paws may seem ordinary as they aid the cat in walking, running, climbing, playing and of course catching birds and mice but they do even more. What is not as commonly recognized, even among cat owners, is what a cat’s front paw does for you.
The helping paw as it’s more widely known, is used to assist the owner or owners in various activities and chores around the house, farm or workplace. It’s true your cat’s helping paws come in different colors and markings but their purpose remains the same.
For example, your cat may use his or her helping paw (or paws) to help bring a glass of juice on the table, closer to you. This applies to most any beverage including mugs of coffee, latte cups and cappuccinos as well. Of course, once the cat uses his or her helping paw to assist you, the end result may not be what you had hoped for and usually isn’t. Not to panic though. With the aid of the helping paw, naturally your juice may spill onto the table, your homework paper or even onto your favorite book and ultimately onto the floor but it’s important to keep perspective in this situation. When such an event occurs (and the odds are probable it will if you own a cat) you must not to take your anger or frustration you undoubtedly are most likely going to feel, out on your cat! Remember that your cat was only trying to help you, otherwise they wouldn’t have used their helping paw in the first place!
It is also important to note how entirely difficult it can be for a cat to use their helping paws to help–simply because the paw isn’t a hand. This may seem obvious to you but to your cat it probably isn’t. The average helping paw doesn’t even have fingers for grabbing objects so the next time your cat knocks over your glass remember it is their attempt at helping you rather than the end result!
Besides using their paws for moving a glass of juice closer to you, your cat may use it for tugging at a string or a thread in order to play with you–which of course is meant to help you. A prime example of this is when you need help (or not) in tying your shoes. Your shoelaces are simply irresistible to your cat so let them “help” you tie your shoes, but don’t forget about those claws!
Your cat who is seeking to help using their favorite helping paw may attempt to help you in other ways as well. Suppose for moment you are using yarn to knit or crochet a blanket. Your cat may very well use their helping paws to aid your work. Don’t be alarmed if your fabric gets snagged a little by a hidden claw or your cat tries to “grab” at the yarn. Without a proper hand with fingers your cat won’t be able to “grab” anything (aside from a snag) but remember it’s the effort your cat is making to help you complete your masterpiece that counts!
Not only does your cat want to aid you in finishing that sewing project, your cat may put their best helping paw out while you are reading a good book. I generally like to think it’s common knowledge that helping paws are not only great at trying to turn pages in a book but in communicating with you. Helping paws work great in reaching out to say hello as you walk by your cat sitting in their perch. (Again mind the claws!) And let us not forget the effort your cat goes to, thanks to their helping paws, in catching or trapping that nasty bug so you don’t have to!
In addition to the creation of helping paws, God has also given our cats two hind paws to be used in jumping. These paws are longer and stronger than the standard helping paw. With jumping paws your cat is able to make great leaps onto tree branches, fences, perches, your lap and even onto your bed with minimal effort! Of course without the essential jumping paw, your cat would not be able to jump the four or five feet into the air it takes to catch that fluttering butterfly. And then there’s that mighty leap and pounce, courtesy of the jumping paws, onto that streaking grey rat trying to get away!
And finally, there is your cat’s tail. Ever wondered why your cat has a tail? I know I have. The tail is better known as the balancing tail and for good reason! Your cat uses their agile balancing tail to balance like a tightrope walker as if he’s walking on a highwire while your cat gingerly runs across a tree branch or effortlessly balances with four legs on top of the neighbors fence. As far as I can tell the balancing tail is used in conjunction with the jumping paws (and helping paws). When your cat leaps into the air to catch a menacing moth or scampers up a green sprouting tree trunk, the balancing tail is constantly working to keep your cat from falling on his nose!
All in all, the cat is wonderfully made and fully equipped to help you. Whether he’s using his stellar hearing, penetrating eyesite, amazing jumping paws or agile balancing tail, just remember helping paws are important too.
images are mine own thanks to Tuna the cat