The working Ukrainian cats living in trenches killing rodents

NEWS AND OPINION: It isn’t just that the Ukrainian military are using domestic cats when living in trenches to keep down the rodent population; they seem to have turned the clock back to the beginning of the domestication of the cat when they were used to keep down the rodent population on farms to protect grain stored in barns. I expect that the cats have never been happier provided they survive.

Ukrainian military in hundreds or thousands of miles of trenches employ cats to kill the rodents
Ukrainian military in hundreds or thousands of miles of trenches employ cats to kill the rodents. Picture: AP. CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO SEE IT LARGER.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

In the east of Ukraine where currently most of the fighting is taking place, it’s become trench warfare. “It’s just like the First World War”, said Meter, 54, a videographer who now operates drones when fighting in Donbas. He added: “It’s crazy how many of them there are [the Russians]. If we kill them, they just replace them”.

The Russian trenches are a 150 meters away and his drone camera provides him with a bird’s eye view of the Russian trenches. The Russians are very badly equipped, some with Second World War rucksacks and old Russian rifles from the same era. The worst trained Russian troops come over first and they are mown down as cannon fodder. More experience troops follow but they don’t do much better.

All the reports are that Putin is using his troops as cannon fodder, thrusting them into the meat grinder and then silently cremating them in mobile crematoria. The Russian soldiers know what’s going to happen and they have a truck filled with crates of vodka parked by the trench to make dying easier.

Ukrainian troops are getting used to the mud, sometimes up to their knees. The key is to keep their feet in good condition and to prevent the frostbite by constantly moving. And they’ve made their living accommodation relatively pleasant if that’s the right phrase. It looks like pure hell.

And The Times newspaper has reported on something which caught my eye amongst this description of hell on earth. I will quote the journalist: “They adopt cats to kill the mice, which skitter through the miles-long trench networks.”

The temperatures drop to -17°C. Ukrainian soldiers also befriend dogs to keep them company and warm. They use the dog’s super senses of hearing and smell to help them detect enemy movements. And it is the work of domestic cats to keep their accommodation free of rodents.

In many ways it is nice to hear that those domestic cats which have survived – and many have died in this illegal and brutal war foisted on Ukraine by Putin – can play a role in defending their country.

Below are some more articles on the war:

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