One of the pleasures of our relationship with the domestic cat is their innocence and I use that word in the best possible sense. Unlike people they don’t hold grudges and they don’t play mind games. My cat was a feral cat and he will never be totally domesticated as a true domestic cat should be. I accept that. He can play too rough and he still bites me occasionally in an unprovoked manner. If I temporarily react in anger and disappointment he darts away. I don’t like my instinctive reaction. But within a few minutes he is back on my lap purring and cuddling. He does not harbour a grudge or an unpleasant thought against me. We are very soon back to where we were.
It is this aspect of the domestic cat’s character, and as I understand it the same can be said about dogs, that charms us. It is a relief to be able to relate to another sentient being without having to factor in a multitude of causes and effect. Political correctness has got out of hand. People are forbidden from saying so many things nowadays for fear of upsetting people’s sensibilities. You don’t have the ‘walking on eggshells’ problem when interacting with the domestic cat.
That is not to say that we can ignore the usual decencies of animal-to-animal interaction (I am referring to the human as a human-animal here). Cat guardians must respect their cat’s emotions and affection towards us. Poor cat caretaking can make cats fearful of their ‘owner’, which is a breakdown in the relationship. But being kind and gentle to a cat is not the same thing as being politically correct to a human. It is not the same thing as having to play games with humans to avoid them playing games with you. It is hard sometimes to know where the truth lies and the true status of our relationships.
We don’t have that problem with domestic cats. Our relationship is so much more pleasingly straightforward. Provide security, warmth (emotional and physical) and good food plus the chance for them to express their natural behaviour and you’ll get high quality companionship and entertainment in return.
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