She also believes that cats are flippant, arrogant and a bit too proud. And you can’t train them. Oh, and she does not like hairless cats.
These are the reasons why she doesn’t like cats. So let’s have a discussion about them.
Meanness is a lack of generosity or miserliness. How can a cat be mean? I think what she means (and she is confused or unsure what she means) is that cats are independent-minded. I believe that she is saying that cats are not generous in their willingness to come forward and interact with people.
Well, she is wrong on that. It depends on the quality and nature of a person’s relationship with their cat as to how generous the cat is with there attitude about interacting with their human guardian. My cat comes to me all the time. He lies down next to me, spends ages on my lap and comes under the bed covers with me when it is cold. In fact he spends more time with me than I ask for. He is hugely generous with his desire to be with me because I’m very loving towards him. I enjoy being loving towards him. This is why we have cat companions.
Here he is with me while I write this:
I’d suggest that the reason why this woman believes that domestic cats are mean is because she has the wrong attitude. If she started to like cats, to become more relaxed around cats she’d find that they were not mean. Her underlying problem may be a fear of cats. It might assist her to get over this if indeed it exists. She sounds like an ailurophobe.
There is another aspect to the criticism that domestic cats are mean. Some people feel that the cat’s facial expression indicates that cats are mean spirited. The cat’s face can be impassive. And if a person is fearful of cats (and quite a few are) that fear can colour their views and interpretations of the facial expression. If you love cats their expression is not mean. It is more neutral.
Flippant means not showing a serious or respectful attitude. I think I know what she is getting at here. She wants cats to show a more subservient character towards humans. She wants them to be less independent. This is the flip side of human arrogance. If you put aside you innate human arrogance, you won’t regard cats are flippant.
Speaking of arrogance I think that this criticism has a hidden origin. The human’s relationship with animals is historical one in which the animal is not equal. Humans demand that animals understand that. If cats interact on an equal footing with people it can irritate some of them as is the case with this woman. It is her problem not the cat’s.
Once again this is about domestic cats lacking the needy and subservient nature as demonstrated by dogs. It seems that she is measuring cats against dogs which is not a good idea. This woman wants a ‘pet’ to know their place. I am afraid that is a human problem and not a problem with cats. Cats are barely domesticated despite being ‘pets’ for almost 10,000 years. This imbues them with this admirable independence and the ability to revert to the wild cat as soon as they step into the garden if they are allowed there. The majority of people appreciate this independence of spirit and wild at heart character as it brings them closer to nature which is beneficial to all people as we come from nature.
Bring you nasty dead things
Yes, when cats are allowed outside their hunting skills come into play and they do occasionally bring back prey, dead or alive. I agree that this is not a trait that is enjoyed by almost all cat owners. But it’s something we have to live with. In successful people-to-people relationships each party has to accept some characteristics which they are not entirely happy with. That is the nature of a successful relationship. The same applies to the human-to-cat relationship. I think she has missed that point.
Can’t train cats
Well, she’s wrong as you can train cats but why bother? People don’t have to train animals. It is not a mandated requirement. The only behaviour that one might want to train into a cat is to accept a leash as it allows a person to take their cat outside safely. Everything should be accepted in my view.
There are some hairless cat breeds: Sphynx and Don Sphynx (Russian hairless cat). There are some cats with sparse hair e.g. Peterbald. But these are pretty rare and they should not exist really. They are a breeder creation out of a defective gene – not a wise decision to breed these cats. If you worked out the percentage of hairless cats to the whole population they’d represent an insignificant proportion. Therefore this is an insignificant issue and not worth bring up and in any case it is about humans deciding to breed these cats. If she wants to criticise hairless cats she should in fact criticise people not cats.
P.S. I realise that the video is about speaking English but the points raised are interesting to me and commonly mentioned by people who are unsure about cats.