The Amazing Domestic Cat Relationship
Beautiful relationship and a nice picture - Photo by Eva Kiss (see link base of page)
I recently published a short article on how, globally, we have screwed up the domestication of the wildcat. In a rather basic way it was a bit philosophical. I am sure many people disagree with me, which is fine.
This is the counter argument to add balance. We have got to have balance, you know!
I am writing this in bed (as I often do!). Charlie has just moved onto my lap which means I have moved my laptop off my lap. This makes typing a bit difficult especially as he is resting his head against my right arm! LOL. He is making little sounds that I know means that he is falling asleep despite my right arm moving all the time.
This little scene of domestic bliss between cat and human is played out all over the world 24/7. And it brings home to me something that we take for granted; how special and unusual our relationship is with an entirely different species of animal. Where else do we see this in the animal kingdom? There are instances of symbiotic relationships between animals but they are relatively rare and they are essentially functional. Occasionally you get beautiful relationships: cat and deer.
At the best level, when domestication of the cat is conducted properly by us, it is a highly successful relationship and if we stand back it is extraordinary in many ways.
We communicate with our cats like Doctor Doolittle. Well I do! Inter-species communication is unusual, isn't? You don't see elephants talking to giraffes! Maybe they do….LOL.
And where in the animal kingdom do you get the much smaller species in a two party relationship training the bigger party and doing it in such a way that the supposed more intelligent and bigger party does not know it is happening? Do you obey your cat's commands? I do. At least I know I have been trained. I occasionally go on strike.
There are numerous barriers to a successful relationship with another species that is a fraction of our size. We are inherently intimidating to the cat, yet it still works provided we do the right thing.
And that is the point. We are in charge. Success or failure depends on us. The quality of life of our cat companion is in our hands, entirely. I think we should remind ourselves of that responsibility to make sure that we measure up to the task.
We have to celebrate the success of the amazing domestic cat relationship but feel sad about the wider failures.
Note: I have not forgotten the dog and other domestic animals. They are all amazing relationships.
Link to photographer's Flickr page. Note: this image is said to be copyright protected by I have made the presumption that the photographer has simply failed to set settings. Wrong? Please tell me.