Saturday, November 11, 2006

Do cats forgive humans?

Re-reading my last blog, I wondered if I had forgiven Celia for her negligence about the garden shed? Do we cats have a forgiving nature, like dogs. Dogs forgive easily. Indeed they fawn on their abusers, creeping back with tails wagging sometimes urinating a little out of fear and appeasement. It's the pack instinct. Dogs are social animals and they have an enormous need to stay within their human family, so much so that they will put up with too much. Celia's remembers a poor labrador which was taunted and teased by a teenager. Its adult owner, female, used to hit it every time it urinated out of fear. Every morning she would come down to the kitchen to let it out into the garden, and when it crept towards her urinating out of frightened appeasement, she would hit it. "It knows it has done wrong. That's why I punish it," she told Celia. Nothing Celia could do, would persuade her that its urination was out of fear of punishment and it had no idea that this was making her punish all the more. We cats would never behave like that - not that creeping towards punishment each morning. We don't do appeasement gestures. We do, in extremis, urinate out of terror. As the SAS say, "Ă…drenalin is brown". That's why sensible humans, put a layer of plastic between the car seat and any cat carrier which doesn't retain urination. We don't apologise for it. We would never ever go towards a human who is going to hit us. One hit and we are off. And we never forget a really terrifying traumatic experience.
So do we forgive? Yes, we do when the bad experience isn't that bad. But we don't forgive physical abuse like dogs do. We leave home. That morning I got shut in the shed, I considered taking one of Celia's red spotted hankerchiefs, wrapping up several envelopes of Felix, putting it over my shoulder and walking off to the nearby village to see if I could find a better home. But then I thought about how warm it is here, and how the Felix in unwrapped for me, and I stayed. If forgiveness is letting go and moving on, I have forgiven her. But she'd better watch out. I might feel differently if she does it again.

1 comment:

  1. This is such bullshit. Cats DO forgive. Moron


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, This blog has been chosen as one of the top 50 feline blogs by Online