I'm still kind of new to this whole "understanding cats" thing. The thing is, I don't.

I have two cats—Norma, who is 9, and Floyd, who is 3. Norma is my husband's cat; I married into that relationship. She and I started out as adversaries, vying for Mr. Waffle's love and attention (well, that's how she saw it, anyway). As we got to know each other and became begrudging roomies, she became emboldened and purposely naughty, and finally came to accept each other's presence as a fact of life. Still, she was standoffish with me, and would bolt when I tried to be affectionate.

Her attitude changed when Floyd came into our life. He was seven months old when he came to live with us, and Norma was in no mood to play step-mom to a teenager, but with this new intruder in her territory, she turned her energy toward being competitively affectionate, and suddenly wanted ALL THE CUDDLES from me.

It's been three years since Floyd moved in, and Norma's affectionate side has evolved into a more easy, natural response. She likes snuggling next to me, she's taken over the pillow at the top of the bed as her own, she seeks out butt rubs and forehead kisses from me. But lately, she's been kneading me and sleeping on top of me a lot more often. Last night she nudged my arm out of the way so she could hop up onto my hip and lay on my side, after an awkward (for me) boob massage. I don't want to brush her off, because I appreciate that she's coming around.

Do cats usually become more affectionate as they get older? She's nine now, so about middle-aged for a kitty. For the sake of comparison, Floyd is three and remains ever the Oberyn Martell of our house—a lover AND a fighter. I know you're not supposed to roughhouse with cats, but he and I transition easily between cuddling and wrestling, and he's always sought out kisses and hugs.