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Hey everyone, I wanted to see if anyone else here has come across/could pore some light into a strange behavior my cat has recently picked up.
Celeste is my little two year old, spayed female buddy. Recently she has taken on a rather strange habit that I haven't seen in the few other cats that I have kept/known well. I started working from home recently, and two weeks ago I moved to a new apartment with a dedicated office space. I took three stuffed animals that I have kept at my work desk for half a century and set them up by my computer in my home, two little mice and a kitty. Celeste, recently, has begun to carry around the stuffed cat in what I can only explain as a "friendly" fashion. She will carry it around with her, sometimes, and it will "show up" in many of her various hang-out spaces.
The strange part is that it appears she doesn't "play" with this stuffed cat like she "plays" with the rest of her toys. I can give her plush mice/toys and she'll rip 'em to shreds, often very quickly. With this stuffed cat I can find no evidence that she attacks, claws or bites. In fact, I can't really see any of the usual indications that it is a "toy" for her as she seems to treat it so very differently.
It makes sense to me that this stuffed animal may be "company" or a maternal instinct for her, as I tend to travel a lot for work and it seems that days that I'm gone from the house or overnight are most often when I find the stuffed animal has been moved.
Part of this is also, specifically, that in the next six months she'll most likely be introduced to a new cat who will come live with us. I'm wondering if this may be a sign that she's lonely, especially when I'm out of town or sleeping? Any insight is welcome!