Monday 16 August 2021

Stray cats ask passers-by to adopt them

Is it fair to say that sometimes stray cats literally ask passers-by to adopt them? They don't do it in an overt, noisy way. They follow the person, perhaps meowing which sends out a clear signal. Of course, domestic cats, with a home nearby, might also do this and therefore you have to be careful. I guess you'll make some enquiries to find out whether a cat who followed you lives with a human caregiver.

Stray black cat asked to be cared for by passing person. They responded. Photo: u/CreditConsistent2878 on Reddit.
Stray black cat asked to be cared for by passing person. They responded. Photo: u/CreditConsistent2878 on Reddit.

My mind was turned to this topic because on the website one of the members of that site posted a photograph with the title: "I found him outside the gym, kept following me, what should I name him?"

The picture shows him comfortably ensconced on the person's sofa inside his or her home. So, within that title there is a subtle statement that she adopted him. She got the message that he wanted a home. This kind of encounter throws up a plethora of potential problems but also a stack of delights. I think that people can sense when a cat is homeless. I hope so. But you don't want to adopt someone's companion animal, do you? Although, I sense some cat owners wouldn't mind losing their cat because they've lost the connection between themselves and their animal. 

But the point of this post is that stray cats do go up to people and asked to be adopted. They remember what it was like to live in a home. The security, safety, the food and the warmth push them into approaching a strange person. That takes courage for some cats. Can they tell whether the person is going to be kind-hearted or push them away, perhaps violently?

Do cats sense whether a person is good or bad? That is an unanswerable question in my opinion. But I sense that stray cats can quickly learn whether a person is going to be helpful and is therefore kindhearted. They do this by approaching a person and judge their response. In turn they will respond either by interacting more intimately or running away.

Associated: Courageous Belgian woman during World War II fed stray cats with prime fillet steak

This discussion also points to another issue with respect to the human-to-cat relationship which concerns the misapprehension by many hard-working people that their cat will be fine while they are away in the office for 10 hours. It's a nice thought but it is untrue. Depending upon the individual cat, they hate being alone all day often in an apartment which gives them no room to entertain themselves outside albeit with a lack of security.

Associated: Fines for tenants in luxury Dubai development if they feed stray cats

You will find videos on the Internet of domestic cats waiting by the front door for hours on end for the return of the human companion. It is not a good thought. Dogs are even worse. They really do suffer with separation anxiety and stress. Thank God for the Covid-19 pandemic. I'm being facetious but the one great benefit of this horrible pandemic is that it has changed working practices permanently allowing pet owners to stay at home.

There are going to be many millions of happy cats from now on because many businesses are changing their work policies permanently to allow employees to at least spent part of the working week at home. This will plug that awful gap in the lives of many millions of domestic cats who are socialised to be with people. Domestic cats are not aloof and independent. They are dependent on the companionship of their human caregiver.

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