Successfully Living – With a Cat

First, a cat is a cat. This may seem obvious but there are certain things one needs to realize about them. They come across as arrogant and aloof. Felines seem wicked because they like to play with unfortunate critters they have caught. Cats seek to please only themselves and consider the family they live with to be their minions whose only goal in life is to wait upon the cat. After all, a female cat which is not neutered is referred to as a queen. How appropriate is that! How successfully a cat enslaves its minions is definitely up to the minions. If you can tolerate its yowling when it wants something, you can make it wait for it. One does not have to drop everything and wait upon the cat. Remember, you are a human, top of the food chain, our species dominates the world, and it is a cute, lovable, noisy, mammal that really is hard to refuse. But, you do have the option of not being a slave to it. Be strong, it doesn’t hurt to let the cat wait a few minutes.

Cats are not really arrogant. They just don’t care about humans the same way as dogs do. Their species has associated with humans for thousands of years but it is not a social species to begin with. Dogs on the other hand are. The family becomes the dog’s pack. Cats like our company, they just don’t express it the same way as dogs. If they did not like us, they wouldn’t live with us. They can be independent as long as they know how to hunt. House cats that never had a mother feed them wild critters rarely know how to hunt. While going to college, I worked on dairy farms where unwanted cats were dropped off. No extra cat one day, the next a terrified, new cat. It was pitifully obvious they were terrified, out of their element in this noisy, dangerous environment where they didn’t know how to get food other than have a human give it to them. Even if the farm help fed the farm cats cat food, the new cat didn’t know where it was and if it tried to eat, the other cats bullied it away. The farm cats did not like an intruder and were constantly fighting with and hurting it. Dropping off an unwanted cat on a farm becomes the most inhumane thing anyone could do to a cat. Drop offs usually lasted a week, maybe two before they died in some horrific way involving machinery. They rarely lasted long enough to fit in and death even by being mangled in machinery was better than what life they were living.

Aside from the horrors of unwanted cat drop offs, it was on these farms that I saw cats behaving in a more natural way. Mothers would bring their kittens mice from the field and they called their babies with a special call. Kittens would come running from every where. The mother would drop the live mouse in their midst and go back out for more. The kittens learned to hunt by stalking and “playing” with the poor mouse. When adult cats do this, they are just being a kitten again. They do not have any feelings of remorse because they are cats, not people, and the mouse is just lunch. I can’t remember the last time I felt remorse maine coon cat for sale for a sandwich. I don’t usually play with my sandwich before I eat it, but I definitely don’t feel remorse.

We had a cat who adopted us. His name was Lester. Actually, his name was Lester, Lord of All Carlisle. We lived in Carlisle at the time he came to us. One day he just appeared in our sheep barn. He had moved in from the farm just up the road. I recognized his looks as resembling those of cats that lived there. He was an attractive cat. Gray tiger with white markings on his chest and feet. He was somewhat friendly so we took him in. It didn’t take too long to figure out Lester wasn’t quite right. He wasn’t a loving cat. He tolerated attention and had such a quiet purr you needed a stethoscope to hear it. He showed affection by biting and putting his paw on your nose. He would stretch up to do this if you were sitting down. If someone was sitting on the couch and he was on the back of it, he would grip their head in his paws, claws extended so the victim couldn’t get away and then chew lovingly on their hair. The older he got the less clean he was. The only thing he would clean was his face and behind. Everything else in between was very much like a rancid dog. He was an old poop, but he was our old poop so I kept taking care of him…when he was around. Lester often disappeared for several weeks if not months at a time. He would come back like it had only been since that morning he had been away. It wasn’t like having a “real” cat. I wanted one that would sleep contentedly on my lap and purr with the power of a motor boat. Lester wasn’t a total dud. He caught and killed all manner of rodents including rats and weasels. It’s a rare cat that will take on a rat because they are large and can be quite aggressive. I was absolutely astounded over the weasels. They are small, very vicious, predators known for killing chickens, an animal very much larger than they. They know how to kill. A really tough match for a cat, much more so than a rat. He earned his keep when he killed weasels. They were attacking our chickens and if he was brave enough to tackle a weasel, I would continue to take care of him.

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