Wallflower (aka the“victim” or“scaredy” cat) - ˈwôlˌflou(ə)r -(nounˆ) One of the three mojo-based cat archetypes; One who exhibits timid, skittish, or scared behavior as a matter of personality, as opposed to because of traumatic events; As in“Monty is a Wallflower by nature,” to which the answer would be: “Who is Monty? You have a cat?”
- Wallflowers generally prefer to hide out underneath beds or in closets.
- They will typically avoid interacting with, or even being seen by, human guests, at any cost.
- In multicat households, they are often the ones who are bullied by other cats.
More Cat Daddy Wisdom on Wallflowers(from Jackson’s book, Total Cat Mojo):
The Wallflower is a closet cat, an under-the-bed cat, someone whose primary objective is to remain unnoticed, as close to invisible as possible, and safe from scrutiny. She is the one who politely hopes you won’t notice her as she sneaks by. While the over-owning Napoleon Cat is strategically lying across the doorway, and the Mojito Cat is walking around shouting,“Hey! How you doin’?” the Wallflower is hanging back against the wall(hence her moniker), never once daring to walk across the middle of the floor and risk discovery. The Wallflower is saying,“I don’t own this. I assume you must be the owner . . . which is totally fine, but if it wouldn’t be too much trouble, I’m just going to the litter box over there. I’m not looking at you, just leaving. Don’t mind me. Good-bye.” And she leaves with a blink-and-you-miss-her, tail-tucked run, or the Wallflower special, the army-crawl exit stage left.
Ironically, it is the Wallflower’s display of anti-Mojo—slinking around the periphery, avoiding confrontation at all costs, deferring, and often being overly fearful and shy—that leads to her role as the victim in multicat homes, a role often referred to as“the pariah.” In such homes, you find her“caving” in the closet or under the bed, or sometimes cornering herself on a shelf or on top of the fridge. In extreme circumstances, our Wallflowers feel unable to come down from those“safe zones,” to the point where they even poop and pee in those zones.
Like the Napoleon Cat at the other end of the confidence pendulum, the Wallflower cat is also anti-Mojo because hiding is reactive, not active. It doesn’t matter whether the threat is real or imagined—it still requires her full attention and prompt action.
We want all cats to be their version of Mojito Cats—in other words, not expecting them to conform to what we think confidence should look like, but acknowledging their tendencies and easing their anxieties to make them the best Mojito Cat they can be. What tends to be a hindrance in getting both Napoleon and Wallflower toward Mojitoland is our ingrained feelings about them. The Napoleon tends to get our scorn, and the Wallflower, our pity. The Napoleon gets locked away in a room where she can’t beat anyone up, while the Wallflower gets special treatment in her“safe zones,” which could mean a dish on top of the fridge or under the bed, or a cushy bed inside the closet. As the old saying goes,“The road to ruin is paved with good intentions.” The only road to Mojitoland goes right through the challenge line.
Helpful Resources and Info:
Some help for your Wallflower…
Check out this video on the Jackson’s three cat archetypes and where Cat Mojo comes into play…