Below is Part 2 in my ongoing Respecting Your Feline Housemates video series:
I called this video "The Sit-With Invitation" because it is about the situation when one might want to invite a cat to sit with them. (A future video will concern the "Participation Invitation", which is when you-the-human invites a cat to come share in some activity or play a game or whatnot.)
Of course there ought never be any obligation for the cat to sit with you, but cats are generally very polite creatures, and hence may just appreciate some signal from you that you're available at a given moment.
Anyway, Part 2 features Brodie and Nikki (it just randomly worked out that way, but seeing as Part 1 featured Coraline and Shadow, I figure this is a nice balanced way to start out the series).
Brodie and Nikki, as you'll see if you watch the video, have very different styles and preferences.
Nikki generally doesn't mind being approached (and will sometimes, though she doesn't do it in this video, yell at me until I walk over to where she wants me!).
Brodie, on the other hand, very much prefers to be the one doing the approaching. He very much likes sitting with me but he's got a very strong "flight" reaction and will usually run away if someone walks up to him too quickly, stares, points at him, etc.
This isn't due to anything being "wrong" with him -- it's just his temperament. Frankly, part of the reason I wanted to make sure and include a video of him responding to an invitation in this series is because I know how often cats like Brodie get written off as "unfriendly" or "standoffish", when really they're just extremely sensitive to movement, etc.
Oh, and another thing I wanted to mention in the video but forgot to is the concept of "social timing" when interacting with cats. You will notice that I do a fair bit of waiting in these videos. This is in deference to something I've noticed about cats, which is that very often they don't react immediately-in-human-terms to something, but rather seem to "process" for a while before taking action.
And...I've found that it's often beneficial to (as the human half of any human-feline interactive exchange) know how to wait out the cat's "processing interval". I've seen a lot of humans, when a cat doesn't respond immediately, start doing all kinds of other things to try and get a response out of the cat. Of course particular cats vary in how they're inclined to react to this, but a lot of them seem to (again, in my observations) just get annoyed and leave, or appear to ignore the human.
And...as odd as this may sound, I am beginning to suspect this may have something to do with differences between the typical human's sense of time and the typical feline's sense of time.
Again, I can't claim to literally see inside their heads, but much of what I've seen them do in various situations suggests to me that cats don't readily distinguish between something that happened a split second ago and something that happened up to, say, five minutes ago.
In other words, it looks to me like felines have a relatively large "now" compared to the typical human's sense of "now". To them, perhaps, it just looks like we're being weird and irrational when we start waving our arms and making googly-eyes at them when they were just about to respond to our first invitationary gesture...which can compel them to figure that maybe they don't actually know WHAT the heck we want, and hence, perhaps we're better off left alone.
I can relate to this in some respects myself, as my own sense of time probably isn't human-typical, but even so I've definitely come to realize lately that cat-human interactions benefit tremendously when the human is willing to wait and sit still and not demand an immediate-in-human-terms response.