Mind out ...its a cat attack. Photo by aylaujp (Flickr)
There is a story circulating in England that a 19 year geriatric cat who sleeps all the time, gets up to attack postmen and then returns to his bed! Three postman have suffered 'nasty injuries'. What for heavens sake is a nasty injury in this context? Maybe someone thought of cat scratch disease as a possibility.
As a result the glorious Royal Mail, that is no longer very royal in the level of its service, has decided to suspend deliveries to the owner of this cat, who by the way is called Tiger. Go get 'em Tiger!
Maybe Tiger is doing what we want to do because the standard of service of the so called Royal Mail has declined to almost unusable levels on occasions.
However, when did anyone suffer a nasty injury from an attacking domestic cat, particularly one that is 93 years of age by our standards?
If a cat is aggressive towards a postman there is a warning. Domestic cats don't stalk and pounce on humans as prey as we are a little outside their size range.
Given that an attack from a domestic cat is predictable it is fairly easy to avoid it. The first point that comes to mind is to present a friendly demeanor. Tiger is being defensive. If we present friendly body language and a calm voice that may do the trick.
If it doesn't we can always out psyche a cat. It is a bit like Sumo wrestling. If we watch cats fighting over territory there is a long period of Sumo style posturing. This is intended to avoid a fight and inevitable damage of some sort. It is about survival at a basic level.
A stray cat comes around to where I live and Charlie being territorial wants to fight with him. I want to avoid a fight as it might lead to Charlie getting hurt so I join in! I just play the cat game and out psyche the cat and out hiss him! We have a massive size advantage so a domestic cat will always back off.
Once domination has been established, the domestic cat will not bother to the same level unless desperate in my experience.
What I am saying is that the postman could have stood his ground and used common sense in out maneuvering the cat without being physically aggressive. It may well be that one of the three postmen who were so horribly injured (mauled even!) had been aggressive to the cat provoking a response.
The bottom line is that we can cope with an old domestic cat that is acting instinctively. The Royal Mail should continue to deliver. Perhaps the Royal Mail should run training courses on how to deal with cats and dogs as it must be fairly common for postmen to meet companion animals.
That said the cat's owner could have done something herself surely? She could keep Tiger in during the usual delivery times. Or watch what has happened and look for a suitable solution.
I just don't see a successful domestic cat attack on an adult man as a viable scenario. Something silly is going on.