Saturday, July 20, 2013

I am so hot. If I jump in the garden pond, will I drown?

Dear George,
Here in the Cotswolds it is very hot. I enjoy warm dry weather but this is really rather awful for a cat with longish fluffy hair. Well, in places. My tail is gloriously fluffy so is my backside and underbelly but the top is tougher stronger hair. Either way, I get very very hot.
Naturally I spend time indoors in the shade but I have been considering regulating my temperature by jumping in the garden pond. Looks cool there. And it would easy to do. 
But - this is a big but - will I swim? I have so far never tried. What if I just drown? I know of a cat that drowned in a swimming pool, but would this happen in the pond?
Yours thoughfully

Dear Toby,
You will find you can swim. I discovered this as a kitten when I fell into a garden pond by mistake. I fell in, found I could swim and climb out. So  then a few days later I jumped in to do it all again. I jumped in a third time but the novelty wore off. I also jumped into the human litterbox bowl when I was very very young, but luckily Celia fished me out before I could drown. I think I might have as it would have been difficult to climb out. Nowadays I just go and look into the bowl because I like to see the water swirling around.
We cats swim naturally. Another sign of our superiority. Humans have to be taught how to do it. They really are a feeble species.There's a splendid photo here of Momo the cat swimming to safety after her human crashed his vehicle into a river. 
What irritated me when I read her story was that it was titled "Cat rescue". Huh. Nobody rescued Momo. In the highest tradition of feline independance, she rescued herself.
Yours grumpily due to the heat,
PS. The danger to us cats is not falling in. It is being unable to get out. Cats have drowned in water butts and dogs (perhaps cats) have drowned in swimming pools that don't have proper stairs to get out.


  1. Toby, don't! Unless you are Momo, the cat who did swim to safety in Alberta's food.

  2. George, were you hit by the heat wave buddy? What advice do you give Toby? Of course we, cats, can swim...just that we don't like water! Toby, don't even try; stay indoor with the A/C blasting!

  3. Toby, I wouldn't. It's a mess. Sure you can swim..... But then what? My experience is my fur gets all tangled and takes forever to dry... I know it's hot, but baths are for amateurs! We need high-tech A/Cs! Much better!

  4. George, we are shocked that you experimented with swimming, let alone the dangers of that ape litter box!

    A pond is a nice cool place to hang around Toby, but do stay on the edge. Have a little paddle if you wish, cool paws are wonderful, but please don't swim, it will worry Celia and worry is never good for apes.

    Ask your Mum to freeze some little bits of tuna and tuna water into ice cubes then you and Tilly can whap them around the kitchen floor and lick them. This will give you more water and nice cooling tuna too. You can also have a chuckle as your Mum crawls around on her hands and knees wiping up the smelly mess the ice cubes turn into in this heat.

    Swimming? Leave it to the fishes and the apes mate

    Yours swelteringly
    Gerry & Mungo

    PS: A big bowl of ice in front of a room fan seems to help keep us cool, but you might not like the wind in your fur.


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