Monday 28 April 2008

Cat Scratching

Abyssinian Cat
Photo ©polandeze

Two bits of news about cat scratching (there are, I am sure, many more) tell us a bit about ourselves and our relationship with cats.

The first concerns a B list actor named Adrian Grenier. He was at a party and the host's Abyssinian cat (probably the most popular cat at the moment - the cat above is an Abyssinian) joined it. He said, "It belongs to my friend". I don't like this statement, if it was one he actually made. He uses "it" indicating an inanimate object possessed by humans. I don't think we possess cats, we keep them, care for them as they depend on us. We agree that arrangement. He also uses the word, "belong", to reinforce this misconception and one which causes a lot of problems for domestic cats.

If we all thought of cats as equal and fellow creatures the situation regarding the feral cat populations and the treatment of cats would greatly improve.

Adrian then says, "the cat wanted more attention and attacked all of us". Where did he get the idea that the cat was seeking attention and that the cat was attacking them to get attention? Perhaps the cat was simply defending him/herself from a violation of his space. Cats do not scratch and attack people to seek attention. It's not even logical or sensible and cats do everything in a natural and therefore logical (in terms of nature) manner. Cat scratching is normally defensive.

It is clear that this cat was upset and defensive probably by the invasion of people for the party. The cat may lack proper socialization skills. If so it is because he/she was raised/breed incorrectly - a human failing. The keeper of the cat should have intervened and ensured that the cat had more space and felt secure.

Adrian tried to calm the cat down and put his head near the cat (at a time when the cat was agitated). Wrong I am afraid. That probably made the cat feel even more insecure. A strange person approaching very close. This is scary. And frankly dangerous (for the human). Cat scratching is OK on hands etc. but near the head can mean damaged eyes. That was careless of Mr Garnier.

Everything that went wrong regarding this Abyssinian cat was due to the people involved but the story sends out the wrong message about cats. It implies (incorrectly) that cats are bad, unpredictable, can cause injury etc. Cats are highly predictable if we understand them and we owe it to ourselves and the cats to understand them as we agreed to live with them and keep them. If we cannot do this correctly then lets not keep cats and lets stop breeding cats.

In another story about cat scratching a women was driving along with a cat on her lap. The cat "scratched" her. It may well have been that the cat was using his/her claws to climb up to her. But when we hear the phrase, "a cat scratched someone", we assume the cat attacked that person. This is incorrect, often. It just so happens that cats have claws where finger nails are for humans. These are useful tools for survival. You cannot blame a cat for using them naturally.

Anyway after the driver got scratched, she crashed into a "power" pole causing the pole to topple and cause disruption. Who caused this problem, the cat or the human - be objective and honest answers in the comments section, please?

Cat Scratching to Abyssinian cats

1 comment:

  1. This is an informative post regarding cat scratching. The port about diverting attention away from furniture in lieu of a cat scratcher post and board is a good idea.


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