Dr. Rob Jenkins (Georgia Perimeter College) makes the case that professors are like cats.
As he notes:
Like cats, professors tend to be highly intelligent, deeply self-actualized, and fiercely independent. They need to be stroked occasionally, but only on their own terms and in their own good time. Mostly, they just want to be left alone to do their own thing. They might not come when called—perhaps because they're suspicious of the caller's motives—but they may very well show up on their own when least expected.
Speaking from my 28+ years in academia, I definitely agree.