Categories: inquisitive

Domestic cats fascinated by their big, wild cousins on the tele

Domestic cats mesmerised by their cousin the lion on tele. Photo: screenshot from Twitter feed of Emily.

In the UK last night, David Attenborough presented the BBC’s latest episode of Dynasties. It’s about a pride of lions, a special pride of lions, the Marsh Pride of the Masai Mara in Kenya. It’s an unusual pride because they are led by an impressive female called ‘Charm’. She is a very effective huntress, killing large prey with a suffocating throat bite. She hangs on relentlessly to her prey until they succumb. She has to hunt daily to feed the pride. The demands are massive.

It wasn’t only humans who were glued to the television; their cat companions were too. Domestic cats recognise other cats so it seems that it does not matter if they are on the television and a lot larger.

Personally, I turned off after about 15 minutes because it was too painful to watch. It is just so hard for the lions. It’s horrible and some farmers poisoned the pride as well which is ghastly. Here is the biggest threat; farmers lose livestock to lions because they illegally use the reserve to graze cattle. They retaliate by poisoning the lions because they don’t revere the lions as we do in the West (unless you are a trophy hunter). There is a huge divergence of opinion about lion conservation and Westerners are more concerned about it than the people who are responsible for it.

The Kenyan government should do much more. They could offer a compensation scheme to farmers and stop them taking their cattle onto land assigned to the lions. It’s not rocket science. Perhaps they do this, but if so it is not enforced adequately.

There is almost nothing worse than seeing the mighty and magnificent lion brought down to a crumbling wreck by human poison. It’s about as bad as humans can be for me.

A question that some might ask is whether domestic cats know they are watching television. The answer has to be no. However, they know what they are seeing even if they don’t know how it got there. This is probably why some domestic cats are so fascinated by seeing lions on the TV.

“The cats have taken custody of the remote control” says Roger Farrant on Twitter. And Emily wrote, “I think Jasper wants to join the pride”. Be careful for what you wish for, Jasper. It’s damn hard out there in the wild even if you are a fabulously strong and resourceful lion. There are dangers everywhere and even when the best lions tackle a large prey item they can be fatally hurt. Success rates are not high.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I am 70-years-of-age at 2019. For 14 years before I retired at 57, I worked as a solicitor in general law specialising in family law. Before that I worked in a number of different jobs including professional photography. I have a longstanding girlfriend, Michelle. We like to walk in Richmond Park which is near my home because I love nature and the landscape (as well as cats and all animals).

View Comments

  • My two had a close up look at the two young male lions play wrestling and winding up a hippo.

    It was painful to watch for all the reasons you state.

    Considering the entertainment the Marsh Pride have given humans via these documentaries (the beeb make millions in global sales of this type of material) one might wonder why an effective warden system could not be funded?

    Dynasties has been a bit of a disappointment so far. They seem so desperate to cobble together a story, that they leave narrative coherence behind. The Chimpanzee episode had massive unresolved holes in the 'story' too.

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