Showing posts with label Ricky Gervais. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ricky Gervais. Show all posts

Thursday 1 June 2023

Be the person that your dog or cat thinks you are!

Ricky Gervais, a well-known animal advocate, tweeted the above saying. Actually, he only referred to dogs but the same applies to cats in my view with a slight difference, which is why I have a section on cats as well on this page.

It is a very pertinent/important saying. If you aren't sure why, I will, with your permission, explain.


The domestic dog regards their human caregiver as the alpha. The human caregiver's family is the wolf pack. The dog looks up to the alpha who is the leader of the pack. This accounts in part for their incredible loyalty. Loyalty which allows the human caregiver if they go wrong to abuse their dog and the dog to accept it. 

When that happens, it is something terrible to behold because it is a complete breach of trust and it must be incredibly confusing to the domestic dog to be attacked by the leader of the pack.

This is because the leader of the pack has duties such as guiding, teaching and caring for their pack members. The alpha wolf leads their pack to improved survival chances under difficult conditions. The pack members look to their leader for that kind of guidance.

The alpha wolf is a benevolent dictator if you like. But they must be benevolent. They must behave nicely towards their pack members.

Going back to the title to this post, it is saying that the dog's caregiver/owner should be benevolent towards their dog. It is what their dog is expecting of them. It is what their dog thinks that their human is like. 

The domestic dog's expectation is that their owner is going to be a decent person and in response to that known expectation the person MUST be decent. There is a strong obligation on dog owners to treat their dogs well in order to meet with their dog's expectations.

Gervais and dog. He is the person they think humans should be. Image: Twitter.


The domestic cat is not by nature a member of a pack. We know that domestic cats are essentially solitary although they have become very sociable creatures throughout the 10,000 years of domestication. This is because they live in human homes where there is often more than one person and pet.

But essentially, the domestic cat views their human caregiver as a surrogate mother. A parent. A mother who cares for them and looks after them. Who feeds them. Who keeps them safe. Who prioritises security.

The cat looks to their mother to provide them with warmth and tender loving care. In the wild, the mother also teaches their kittens how to hunt and survive. The human doesn't do that but in caring for them they keep their cat in a state of permanent kittenhood, in effect.

The domestic cat has a reliance upon the human and that reliance is dependent upon the human acting and behaving decently at all times. That is the cat's expectation. There is an obligation on the human to meet this expectation.

If they are cruel to their cat, once again the animal is confused, bemused, anxious and frightened. It would be a breach of trust once again by the human. It would be a breach too of the unwritten agreement between human and domestic cat which is one of mutual support.

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