Thursday, May 15, 2014

Who Says Cats Don't Care.

This video showing a family cat driving off a dog which attacked a small boy in California and the accompanying article came up on my Facebook newsfeed this morning. Given the reputation of cats being aloof and uninvolved with those they live with I guess it's really surprising to many that a cat would do this but not to me.

Of course, it all depends on the cat. I can't imagine my current always anxious feline friend doing anything except running away and hiding but there have been others in my life who have been very different. The most memorable was a handsome, white fronted and very big (as in muscular) tabby boy who lived with my family for many years when I was child.  He was easy going, placid, affectionate and very loveable, tolerating almost anything from my toddler brother, who would stuff him into the tray of his favourite toy truck leaving him lying on his back, head resting on the cab without a complaint until one of us noticed and rescued him. He never resisted - no growling, hissing or scratching or other sign of displeasure. He just lay there waiting patiently. Such a lovely boy and he doted on my brother and followed him around most of the time when he was out in the yard.

Puss was special in many other ways. He and our dog were best mates. In the evenings they would curl up together, Puss curved into her body, head on her shoulder. They would explore together and more than once we found the dog digging out a mouse nest then standing back so Puss could try to catch the escapees. This was rarely successful. He was more a lover than a hunter but they worked as a team.

Fiercely territorial, he never wandered beyond our very large yard and he appointed himself its guardian. In those days, folk worried less about wandering dogs and they would come into our yard probably attracted by our dog. They only did it once because Puss stationed himself about half way along on the side fence where there was a ledge - just outside the kitchen window as it happened which is how we knew what was going on. The dog would sniff along the path, blissfully unaware of what was going to happen until Puss launched himself onto its back and dug in his claws. Tail waving, legs braced, he would ride the terrified dog to the low front fence, where he would jump off. Then he'd watch until it was out of sight, lick down any errant fur and come back and settle down again on his ledge.

Just goes to show that we should not fall into the trap of stereotyping, I think.

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