Cats Politics

By Ruth aka Kattaddorra

cats politics

Poster by Ruth aka Kattaddorra

Cats are very strange and wonderful creatures, they have their own code of behaviour which Barbara and I call: ‘Cats Politics’

We have a ‘new kid on the block’ and Walter and Jozef are determined to establish the neighbourhood ‘pecking order’ in that they rule, lol. These new people who recently moved here may need a bit of education about cats but so far we haven’t been able to make contact in that they never answer the door.

The other morning I opened our front door to let our boyz out for their morning rounds, being around 5.30am when they declare morning every day, it’s usually very quiet, not a soul around. But both Walt and Jo seemed spooked about something and then I heard a tiny meow and a fluffy tabby kitten appeared, around 5 months old at the most and wearing a collar.

Our boyz were interested and even though it hissed at them they must have realised it was only young, so didn’t attack it. They did drive it away though and Babz and I worried in case it was lost but we saw no more of it until later when a neighbour came to our door holding the kitten and saying he couldn’t get away as it kept following him. He said it belongs to the new people across the street, he saw them carrying it in when they moved in.

I don’t like calling cats ‘it’ but we don’t know its sex yet, we just hope and pray those people have it neutered soon because if a tom he will be fighting the toms passing through, if a queen she will no doubt end up having kittens.

Anyway he knocked at their door, no one came, then another neighbour took the kitten from him so he could get away and later he knocked at their door, still no one came.

Jozef went over to hang around its gate and ‘monster’ the poor little thing as it sat by the door, he wasn’t very happy when I carried him back home but I kept both our boyz in until the door opened and the woman shouted at the kitten and it went in. It was noon by then and far too long for any cat, let alone a kitten, to be left out. We worried it had been out all night and that they’d make a habit of shutting it out and going to bed. Some people still believe in ‘putting the cat out at night’

The minute Jozef was free again he marched over and sniffed every inch where the kitten had been lol then came home satisfied he knew all its secrets. But both Walt and Jo go over and check it out sometimes since, we thought maybe the kitten was out by mistake that morning but it has been out again since then. It’s amazing that kitten knows exactly where it lives already, within days of moving here!

Hopefully they will soon establish their individual territories and boundaries, we don’t have many cats in close proximity now since some have moved away with their families. Narla has been here as long as our boyz and she knows to come for her dinner when they are not around, her dad likes us to feed her because she’s often out long hours while he isn’t at home.

The new ‘kid on the block’ will soon slot in after neutering we hope! We had another taste of ‘cats politics’ today too, do anyone else’s cats kick a man when he’s down?

Jozef had a tummy upset and maybe Walt was jealous of all the extra attention he was getting, I saw a naughty gleam in his eye as he looked at Jo and then he ran past him biting his bum on the way. We had to smother our laughter, poor Jo.

So Jo went to sit in his ‘hide’ in the garden and Walt marched up to him and tapped him on the head. Oh he’s in for retribution, Jo bides his time until the perfect moment for revenge and then he stalks Walter around the house. He never touches him, just stares with his tail waving until Walt creeps slowly off.

We’ve learned not to interfere with ‘cats politics’ unless it looks to be getting too serious, they are usually quite capable of sorting themselves out.

Ruth aka Kattaddorra


Comments

Cats Politics — 34 Comments

  1. This is a window on a slice of life for the domestic cat in a neighbourhood. I could be anywhere. That is what is so nice about it.

    Cat politics is really about status and pecking order, which is what real politics is about a lot of the time.

    For cats it is real. Politicians just mess around. Is Jo the boss? Sort of looks like it. There may be some clashes once this new tabby on the block grows up and has more confidence.

    • Yes I think Jozef is the boss although Walter thinks he is, they never really sorted that out since our old cat Ebony died. Walt enjoys a fight if a strange cat comes along, but Jo is a pacifist, he will only fight to protect himself.
      I think once that kitten is neutered they will all settle down, they always have when new cats have come along, a bit like the people here really, live and let live. Just hoping the new people are the sort to ‘talk about things’ too rather than the aggressive defensive sort who take umbrage if anyone says something to them.

  2. Well, so far the new neighbors do not seem like the best caretakers. I hope the collar is a pop off, and that the neutering happens in a timely fashion. Tis a relief they live close to you and Babs, as I know you will keep track. Politics or no.

    I have serious politics in my yard. And, there is only one king! And that would be Marvin. Yellow has to protect poor Shadow. Fortunately, Marvin only needs to prove his king hood every couple weeks. He must not be scary enough. Everyone still lives here.

    As Dee told me, Marvin will continue bonding with me, and perhaps over time, give up politics all together.

    • My Charlie has given up cat politics. He is in retirement, it seems to me. He doesn’t go out anymore. I think the fireworks scared him off. They happened at the same time we moved to this place. It is quite nice in some ways. Less worry for me. But I want him to go out and play politics because it is more natural and it is safe here.

      • But, HE needs to feel safe.
        It may take a while and New Years fireworks won’t help.
        Are your explosions the same as here?

        • Don’t mention fireworks, Dee! I get them at anytime almost and it affects cats badly. There are lots of outdoor cats where I live and I know most of them will be frightened.

          • We are dreading New Year’s Eve already, we go to bed as usual but at midnight the loud bangs start in earnest, after a few in the evening from idiots who can’t even wait to join the noisy revellers later.
            Why can’t some people celebrate without noise these days? They don’t give a thought to domestic or wild animals and birds frightened out of their wits by those whizzing exploding mini bombs called fireworks!
            It’s selfish and anti social, we had pretty fireworks at one time, on one night only and enjoyed the thrill of it all. But I suppose like everything else nowadays the damn things make money for those who don’t care about how they affect animals or old folk or nervous folk or folk who would just like to live in peace.

            • To be honest Ruth, fireworks are driving me nuts because I know it upsets Charlie. I am like you. Dreading New Year’s Eve.

              By the way the reason why your comment was held for moderation is because you probably used an alternative email (which was new to the anti-spam software) which is also why the avatar does not show.

              • It was my fault Michael, I’d done a crap cleaner and when typing in my email address I put an extra o in but didn’t realise until too late when I went to another PoC page and saw it lol

    • Yes we will keep an eye on things Dorothy, we couldn’t get hold of the kitten ourselves after our boyz had banished it from our garden lol it was wary of us, so hope it’s a safe collar.
      I don’t think Marvin will give up on politics, he sounds like the Prime Minister of your area to me lol

  3. I have closely watched and learned from “CAT POLITICS” that happens in my own house between the two cats”Matahari” & “Matata”.”Territory Control” is the primer agenda of cats, especially the male cat.Wonderful article.No wonder we humans have picked up many words and phrases from the “Animal World” by observing animals, most famous being the “CAT WALK” and “CAT FIGHTS”, all a part of “Cat Politics”. Remember the “PUSSY CAT RIOT” all womens protest group that has created a ruckus in Russia ? Thats all a part of learning and observing the behaviour of the common cat.

    • Thanks Rudolph, you are a very wise man about cats and obviously have observed them closely and understand them well.
      I hadn’t heard about the ‘pussy cat riot’ must look it up.

  4. Oh, my goodness, Ruth! This actually is quite humorous, at least so far. Hopefully the new neighbors will eventually prove themselves worthy. Keep a close eye on them.

    You did not say how old the kitten is. Certainly, you would think, they would keep it in for awhile to adjust to the new inside surroundings before letting it acquiesce to the well-established furry neighborhood outdoors.

    “Walt and Jo” Ha! I like that, “Walt and Jo.” Ruth, it used to be on PoC that I was afraid to say just “Shrimp,” because something had been said about syllabic names, and that mono-syllabic names just didn’t seem to show the love that more syllables did. (I was very self-conscious then around British catlovers–it took me awhile :) ) I like to hear you say that, because I can imagine that you put a lilt in your voice just like I do when I say “Shrimp.” lol.

    Cat politics. Wow. Thank heavens cats don’t subscribe. BANG! case dismissed. :)

    • Yes I did Caroline, the kitten is around 5 months old, you must have missed that bit, don’t worry I do the same sometimes :) if I read in a hurry.
      What a shame you were afraid to just say Shrimp, I think it’s a sign of love to shorten names, like we do for people we love too, such as I call my sister Barbara ‘Babz’
      I know some people don’t like it but hey don’t you be self conscious here, say what you think and if anyone doesn’t like it it’s their problem, not yours.
      What I love about PoC is that everyone is equal, no one moderated apart from the ‘Woodys’ and we respect each others opinions even when we don’t agree.
      Peoples politics are much more complicated than cats politics ;)

  5. Walter and Jozef are fascinating really, the way they live their lives and sort things out, sometimes Jo is frightened of Walter who can be a bit of a bully, but then sometimes Walter is frightened of Jo who can easily take Walter’s food off him just by sitting staring at him while he’s eating, Walter leaves the food and slinks away and Jozef then eats it. Sometimes when Jozef strolls jauntily into Walter’s and my bedroom he gets chased back out but then sometimes I wake up in the night and they’re side by side at the bottom of my bed, never touching but closer than they usually choose to be. I would love to really understand what makes cats tick but I don’t think there’s even a remote possibility of that ever happening, I don’t think even the cats themselves know what makes them tick!

  6. Another fantastic article Ruth and your posters alone tell the story.What I like to read is originality not some story gleaned from other sites.I don’t think any other sites have the posters that tell stories like POC has.
    I hope those people get the kitten neutered and peace reigns in the cat political world lol

    • Thanks Rose, I’m sure we will work it out, the gentle and friendly approach usually does ;)
      I do enjoy making posters but thinking up new things to write about is a bit more difficult, I have to await inspiration lol

  7. I’m worried about that baby. I hope they keep good track and take good care.
    I know how distressing it is for someone to come to my door holding a cat or kitten asking, “Is this yours? She was in the street and almost hit by a car.” I’m scared and mad. Where are this cat’s people?

    • Don’t worry Dee we haven’t seen the kitten again since I put a note through their door saying to please keep it in or they will lose it. They seem to be unemployed and stay in bed long hours, rarely emerge. They appear to be a couple, two women and have a dog too according to their next door neighbour, but we’ve never seen them out with it.
      Our Neighbourhood Watch which Babz and I co-ordinate, watch out for the animals here too, between us we will make sure that kitten is safe, you can be sure of that!

      • So pleased to hear you will look after the little Kitten imagine him being out when the fireworks were on :( poor little mite.

        • They seem to be keeping him or her in now, fingers crossed, they are strange, don’t come to the door when anyone knocks so I think I’ll pop some CP leaflets on neutering etc through their letter box next.

  8. Well another strange session with our boys last night, Walter was in bullying mode and managed to bypass both Ruth and myself and jump on poor Jozef’s back when he came in happy from his evening stroll. Big depression, we went off to our beds feeling like we’d let the little chap down, he went under Ruth’s bed and Walter was in my room on the desk having his supper, happy with the result. But just as I was about to doze off into my bedroom swaggers Jozef and he jumped onto my bed and pinched Walter’s place, curled up and stayed there till 5.45 this morning, meanwhile Walter had to go in the other bottom corner for a while, then up and into bed with me and finally onto the ottoman at the bottom of the bed. So this morning he’s a bit chastened and looking at Jo with respect, Jo meanwhile is back to looking nervous around Walter. We can’t make them out, they just can’t decide who’s boss it’s taken them since 2007 when Ebony died and left a vacancy for top cat and they still haven’t decided. Cats politics are complicated!

    • This is top quality cat politics and it is complicated. It seems they are about “equal” in the hierarchy of two which leads to this balancing act. Fascinating.

  9. Loved reading about Cat politics where you live Ruth and your poster is brilliant Walt and Jo tring to intimidate kitten :) Its similar here tbh. When we decided to keep Honey we were concerned that ‘the balance’ might be upset. I believe that along with cat politics there is also a very fragile balance. Luckily Honey had been popping in and out so the boys had got used to her. There is rarely any aggression between her and the boys except when Ozzie gets in her face a bit too much and only then its a swipe and prancing off.

    The worst we have is when Ozzie is given a sheet of crispy paper he won’t share and he guards it with his life lol more fights break out over that than anything else!

    The other evening Ozzie was on the sofa and Honey pounced on his paper. While keeping eye contact with him she proceeded to shred it. Poor Ozzie looked and and meowed at her but to no avail :( After she went out though I got him another sheet:)

    Internal cat politics in this case but internal or external they definitely exist and are often hilarious!

    • I had to laugh at your cats politics Leah, with our boyz it’s red tissue paper. They get highly excited when we lay a new sheet down to play, Jo likes to pounce on the tickling stick under it, Walt likes to catch the ‘tape measure snake’ under it We usually play with one at a time but if the other one comes in it’s so funny to see his indignant face, they each make the same expression, it’s as if he is saying ‘Hey that’s MY game’
      They are like two spoilt brats at times lol

    • What is this with Ozzie and his sheets of white paper that he guards! :) Cute behavior. There is a balance in a cat group and it can be harmonious and it can be dysfunctional. It is important to have cats that get on ideally although if they don’t get along they get used to each other but it might never be as good as it might have been

      • Very true Michael but in the main they do appear to get on Honey and Ozzie snuggle up together when it gets chilly. My vet maintains despite whatever I say that cats never really get on they just tolerate each other and that cats aren’t pack animals. I disagree take Vincent and Torti for example they are inseperable.

  10. what a beautiful and creative way to introduce “Cats Politics”. But you are always so creative!

    When we introduced Sir Hubble to our beloved Mousie Tongue AGES ago, Mousie just glanced at him with a very stern look on his face, hissed at him and batted him on the top of his head and then started licking him all over, purring his little heart out. I was worried that little Hubble wouldn’t be accepted quickly, but Mousie was a purrfect greeter but showing the little white ball of fluff that he was definitely the boss in our household.

    And they became the best of friends- always together.

  11. This is very interesting and helpful as im going though the process. Jasmin i think just would like to play and be friends with everyone. Ozzie not to happy constantly growling, i think it be awhile yet before they all get along. I guess only been a week now.

    • Our older cat Ebony hated Walter, which was why we brought Jozef along so they amused each other and left her alone. Yet she loved Jozef. Just a clash of purr-sonalities they never did become good friends but they learned to live together.

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