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Showing posts with label instinct. Show all posts
Showing posts with label instinct. Show all posts

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Rabbit and cat - is the rabbit safe?


Dear George,
My name is Tutu and I am a lop-eared human - no, sorry, a lop-eared house bunny! My stable mate is Frederico the Cat. You may have met him already. I am 10 years old and he is a young whipper-snapper.
My humans seem to be very fond of him but he is a little b.....! I wish I could train him but he won't listen to me or obey anybody. Look at him in the photo. He thinks he's some great movie director!
What can I do? Can I trade him in? What do you think?
Hugs

Tutu


Dear Tutu

You have a bit of a problem.... Or you might have. Kittens brought up with house rabbits probably think of them as family and are probably going to be safe with them. Probably. That's the rub.
My attitude to rabbits, the natural cattitude, is to stalk, pounce, grab and eat them. In that order. It is literally hard wired into my brain. There's a neuroscientist, Jaak Panksepp, who has revealed that when you stimulate the seek-and-reward area of the brain, rats sniff and forage around, cats stalk and pounce. It's just the most enjoyable thing in life for felines. It is what a cat does.
So, your human shouldn't leave you alone with Frederico - just in case. (Any more than a large dog should be left alone with a baby or a toddler). Yes, it is probably safe almost all the time. But again it's that probably and almost. If you suddenly scuttled away extra fast, seeing you running might set off Frederico's chase instinct.
I don't think you should trade him in. As long as your human is sensible and doesn't let you play unsupervised, you will be safe. She should make sure that you are always in your crate or den when she is out of the house. Of course, if you were a giant rabbit, you could probaby chase and harass Frederico. But a French lop, which I think you are, just isn't big enough to turn the tables.
Cats and house rabbits can live together but only if the humans never forget that the cat is the predator and the rabbit is its prey.
Love (and I would love you in a gastronomic kind of way)
George

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Did God who made the robin, make me?

Did God who made the robin (which I caught yesterday) make me? Robins die easy, but mice are much more fun because they die slowly. When they sit frozen with fear and completely immobile, I just stare at them. If their immobility goes on too long, I poke them to make them move.Then when they make a run for it, I leap on them all over again - eyeing, stalking and pouncing over and over again. I do this in play for half an hour or so until they die in earnest. Even when they are dead, I often play with them. I throw the corpse up in the air to get it moving. Did God make me in order that I should torture mice?
I can't help it. My instinct is to pounce on small furry objects which are moving or to leap up at feathered ones that are flying past. If God made me, he made me to be a smaller version of the fearful symmetry of the tiger, a small but deadly killing machine. I have to hunt. It is not just what I do.The sequence of hunting, - eye, stalk, pounce, grab and eat - is intelligently designed into my flesh and blood. This pattern is what I am. I know what is play for me is torture for the mouse. Am I therefore evil?
But I am not just a hunter. I think about spiritual topics. Is God a cat? Am I created in the image of God. Even if God isn't a cat, and is more like a human, what have humans to be proud of? They have slaughtered more of their own species than I have had mice or robins. They kill each other. I don't kill cats. The very idea is shocking. If humans are made in the image of God, then it must be a pretty beastly God (except beasts do not usually kill each other). A cat God might be preferable.
This all leads up to a bit of a boast. I am in a Times blog, written by Ruth Gledhill, the religious correpondent. http://timescolumns.typepad.com/gledhill/2007/05/faith_in_all_th.html#more

Help for cats whose humans show behaviour problems.

This blog is devoted to the study of human behaviour. We cats, who live with this sometimes unpredictable and always feeble minded species, can benefit from seeing their behaviour in its proper scientific context. The study of feline dilemmas, training problems, and difficulties with humans, can only benefit all of us. All of us train our humans - to buy the right food, for instance, but many of us do not have knowledge of how to improve our training methods. The human species is obviously not as intelligent as the cat, but nevertheless can learn quite a lot - if properly managed. Topics of interest include the use of claw and order, purring as a human reward, rubbing your human up the right way, when to bite, spraying as a method of making our wishes known, ignoring the human, human harassment, human inattention and sheer human stupidity. I welcome your questions. Photos can be sent via my secretary's website, www.celiahaddon.com This blog has been chosen as one of the top 50 feline blogs by Online VetTechprogramms.org