Even if a cat is not able to go out and about it will ‘explore the house it lives in. Cats are into everything. A houseplant is an excuse to play with the leaves, an empty jar may still retain a delicious smell, and an open box is an invitation to climb in. Cats love to edge their way into exciting places.
The linen cupboard door left open is just an encouragement to curl up on the clean sheets. A hat box becomes a hiding place and some string or a necklace can be great fun to get tied up in. But it is not all playfulness thee cat explores as much out of a need to know. After all, there may be some nasty surprises in store.
It is best to be sure, and the nose, whiskers and paws are all used in approaching the strange object. You can’t be too careful. Cats often like music and the composer Scarlatti claimed that his Cat Sonata was literally dictated by his cat touching the harpsichord keys with its paws.
Everything new which comes within the cat’s orbit has to be examined, on the outside and, if possible, the inside. Having checked that all is well, does the cat then feel it can relax and wait for its owner to come home? Who knows what goes on in the mind of the cat?