I'm a teacher, so at least half my work is done at home. I'm generally away from home two full days and two half days a week. My husband works various shifts, and every other weekend, when I'm at home, so it is rare that JC has to spend more than 6 hours alone (more often none, or 2-3) on any given day, but still I feel guilty. Today I was home at 1 p.m., and my husband left for work at 12.30 p.m.. Jamie pulled the "poor little me" act as soon as I got home. He won't accept other cats in the house (we're more than willing to find him a friend, but he won't have it), but still manages to make us feel guilty. This afternoon he demanded about 2 1/2 hours of cuddling for being "abandoned", plus a half hour of my trudging through the snow carrying him, and putting him down and picking him back up on demand (he insists on his walk, but doesn't like ploughing through snow). This cat plays it for all it's worth. My mom calls him an "alien"; she thinks he's just too smart and manipulative to be a cat! We call him our "child", and have obviously spoiled him from day one. My husband and I are definitely his "staff". But that's what I find so fascinating about cats. They can be utterly selfish and independent, but also the most understanding and compassionate pets.