Jeremy Clarkson has written an article in the Sunday Times in which he vehemently criticises the domestic cat for preying on birds and being a useless companion. He finds any other way to criticise the domestic cat by falling into the usual trap by describing them as aloof and independent and so on…yawn.
He wheels out all the old clichés but, as usual, in a very amusing way. I am a great fan of Jeremy Clarkson. He is incredibly talented and highly amusing. But he should not write about domestic cats because he does not know enough about them and he relies upon information on the internet which is often so horribly misleading as to be laughable.
In addition, Mr Clarkson is a bird lover and, my God, I don’t know one bird lover who likes domestic cats. How can they? Quite the contrary, many of them have a deep-seated hatred of this very popular companion animal.
The first error that Mr Clarkson makes is that he regurgitates all the usual platitudes about how domestic cats slaughtering countless billions of birds every year in the USA and in the UK. All these figures by so-called experts are guesstimates based upon small scale studies. It is impossible to extrapolate general nationwide figures of cats preying on birds from small, localised studies. Sometimes the studies are by ornithologist scientists! Some are even guilty of fraud.
The truth is we do not know how many birds are killed by domestic, stray and feral cats annually. We do know that the bird is not a primary prey of the domestic cat. Ground dwelling animals such as mice are the primary prey.
Jeremy Clarkson criticises the RSPB. He wants the RSPB to criticise the cat. The RSPB raises his hackles by primarily blaming the motorcar, people and their activities for having a major impact upon bird populations. He describes the management of the RSPB as “lunatics and communists” who have come to a political conclusion. Desperate stuff.
I’m sorry, Jeremy, but you are incorrect. Jeremy’s ignorance about cats continues and knows no bounds, sadly. He says that cats sleep for 80% of the day and during the remainder of the time they ignore you. Oh my God. I know you’re joking to a certain extent but this is crass ignorance.
Yes, cats snooze a lot of the time but they are not sleeping. They’ll “wake up” in a millisecond. They only sleep about the same amount of time that humans sleep. And during the remainder of the time they interact with their human companion and every cat caretaker/guardian would confirm that.
Clarkson says that domestic cats ruin furniture, gives him asthma, wakes him up in the night by fighting et cetera. He says the domestic cat gives their owner nothing in return and can’t understand why his colleague James May has cats and likes them. I think James is also wrong by the way.
Jeremy asked James why he has cats and in response James said: “Because they don’t care about me.” Well, sorry, James you are wrong because cats really do care about us because they have to care about us because we provide everything that they need. In addition, cats form close relationships with their human companions and their behaviour strongly evidences this. It doesn’t take intelligence to see that.
I’m sure James’s cats wait for him at the door when he is away for long periods of time; cats can suffer from separation anxiety. We know that. This is just one simple example. Of course the owner has to care about his cat for it to be reciprocated. Maybe that needs to be looked at.
Jeremy says that if he was in charge of the country he would have cat owners hand over their cats to a police station and if anybody failed to comply they would have to go to prison. I know he’s joking but the point has been made.
Between birds and cats, he would choose birds every time and he would get rid of all the cats. And in a comment about Dr Bradshaw’s suggestion that the hunting instinct could be bred out of domestic cats he goes one step further by suggesting that it would be a good idea to breed cats to be like dogs because they are the perfect pet! Phew. He hates them…he has to, even if he is joking and writing entertaining copy.
Note: Jeremy Clarkson is a very well-known TV presenter and journalist. He presented BBC’s Top Gear (and wrote the script) and now presents The Grand Tour which is due to be screened on Amazon Prime in the near future.