Monday 20 June 2016

Cats Are Jerks. Discuss

Cats are jerks that's what some people say. They compiled a list of cats being jerks on a major website and every occasion can be explained in terms of natural cat behaviour on the one hand and the human's rather peculiar desire to be amused by the domestic cat on the other hand.

Name me an occasion when a cat is being jerk and I will name you the reason why the cat is not being a jerk. And the person who described the cat as being a jerk is really the jerk.

There are countless examples. To name a couple. Your cat is lying on your computer keyboard. He is in the way. He's a jerk. No he's not. He just wants to be near you. Or the keyboard may be warm because it has been used a lot. He likes the warmth. He does not know that he is on a computer keyboard. I guess that is obvious even to the biggest human jerk.

Recently, or not so long ago, there were a whole range of videos about cats being scared of cucumbers. Some people might say the cat is behaving like a jerk but I'd say the cat was simply temporarily scared of a strange object put down behind him. This is normal. The person who put the cucumber on the ground behind the cat knowing that the cat would be frightened is the jerk because he did it for his amusement at the expense of making his cat frightened.

It all depends how you look at it. A lot of people, most of them are probably non-cat owning people, turn to the domestic cat as a source of entertainment on YouTube. They're looking for cats behaving as jerks which they find entertaining. It's all a question of perception. Some people will find some aspects of the cat's behaviour as strange and as a consequence they describe the cat as being a jerk.

I see cat behavior as cause-and-effect; as natural behaviour caused by any form of stimulus or circumstance. All of it can be explained as natural behaviour quite obviously. You can't describe natural animal behaviour as bizarre because it is normal. If it is natural it must be normal and if people see normal behaviour as bizarre and jerk-like then there is something wrong with them in my opinion.

I hate to say it but it's human behavior which can be unnatural and deviant. People who behave like this are the jerks.

Sunday 19 June 2016

How can cats see in the dark?

How can cats see in the dark? The answer is that they have a reflective layer behind the retina of the eyes which bounces back light into the eye, onto the retina, boosting the reception of the light. You can see this reflective layer on occasions when a light is shone into the eyes of a cat. It is noticeable at night when driving, if and when you see a cat looking towards you. The car lights are reflected in the eyes of the cat and you see this green, sharp glow-"cat's eyes". Cats have developed this in order to hunt more effectively at dawn and at dusk or during the night. It is an evolved anatomical development of the eye to improve survival. It is Darwin's survival of the fittest in action. This evolutionary development took place in the North African wild cat, the ancient wild ancestor of our beloved domestic cat.

How much are cats at petco?

How much are cats at Petco? People ask this question on the Internet. It is a bad question1. People should be asking, "what's the best place to adopt a cat from?" And the answer will always be a rescue centre. That is the only place one needs to go to to adopt a cat and you will feel better about it because not only will you have adopted a cat for yourself but you will have probably saved the life of a cat. It's a win-win situation and when you adopt a cat from a rescue centre you do more than adopt a companion animal for your benefit, you will have benefited in a small way the entire population of unwanted domestic cats on the planet. It will have been a gift to the world. You'll feel better, so it will be a gift to you as well.

Note 1 - if Petco only have rescue cats then I am wrong ;)

Sunday 24 April 2016

Donating to Some UK Medical Charities Can Mean That You Support Experiments on Animals

I'm sure that most people are unaware of this. Many people donate money to some of the UK's leading medical charities such as Cancer Research UK and the British Heart Foundation. Both of the charities mentioned fund experiments on animals. There are others.

The Victims of Charity website helps us understand and empowers people to challenge recent examples of charity-supported experiments on animals.

I've mentioned the British Heart Foundation. This charity has supported a catalogue of repulsive experiments including dogs and pigs being deliberately given heart attacks, pregnant sheep being surgically mutilated and partially suffocated, and rats being deprived of oxygen for two weeks.

The Cure Parkinson's Trust has co-funded an experiment in which marmoset monkeys were brain-damaged by a toxic chemical overdosed with a Parkinson's disease bug to induce debilitating side-effects. They were also given ecstasy or a derivative of it.

The Alzheimer's Society has co-funded research in which mice were genetically altered to suffer from a crude version of Alzheimer's disease and they were subjected to highly stressful behavioural tests such as being forced to swim around in a pool of water looking for an escape route.

The Cancer Research UK charity has co-funded experiments in which genetically modified mice without fur were injected with human cancer cells and forced to endure the growth of a tumour inside them for three weeks before some of them were treated. Other rodents were poisoned for around six months with an industrial chemical to induce the development of cancer.

People should be aware of of the above information. When people give to charity a lot of them would be horrified to know that they are funding cruel animal experiments.

There are many organisations that only fund non-animal human-relevant research. To find out the names of these charities and to find out about the policies of charities on vivisection you can go to the animalaid.org.uk website and I also urge you to visit the victimsofcharity.org website.

In writing this short article I have quoted sometimes verbatim from a pamphlet given to me by a representative of the victims for charity and animal aid websites. I do so in order to pass on the message. The pamphlet certainly enlightened me. I hope this helps.

Do Cat Owners Feel Guilty When Their Cat Is Abused?

I'm sure that you probably think that a cat owner will feel guilty if their cat is abused by somebody. The point is this. It depends on who did the abusing. If a neighbour or somebody the cat owner does not know at all or not very well abuses their cat in some way shape or form then a study has revealed that the cat owner will not feel guilty because they feel that they could not have foreseen the abuse.



They feel this despite the fact that they may have let their cat go outside unsupervised. To some people it would seem that the owner is partly to blame for the abuse under the circumstances. However, the owner appears to accept that all the blame is placed upon the abuser and that they are not culpable.

However, the position is quite different if a cat owner's partner or live-in lover or anybody else's living with them and with whom they are intimate, hurts their cat. Under these circumstances the cat owner does feel guilty.

The reason for this guilt is because the owner feels that they could have avoided the abuse if they'd done something about the presence of the person with whom they were being intimate: for example getting rid of them.

Another reason would be that the cat owner feels that the person doing the abusing wants to hurt them (emotionally) and that their cat is a vehicle for this purpose. Therefore they feel some blame because if they were not the object of the abusers actions their cat would not be abused. The cat is an innocent party in an abusive, difficult relationship. Under the circumstances the cat's owner has a responsibility to sort the matter out to ensure that their cat is safe. If the person doesn't do this she feels guilty.

Women who live in abusive situations appear to be more concerned about the welfare of their cat than themselves. Some women protect their cat or find ways to protect their cat from an abusive partner. They understand that their partner is abusive. They understand that he is no good and that their cat may be in danger. But they are unable to dissociate themselves from this person. Therefore they may take steps to protect their cat but they do not, on occasions, take the ultimate step of getting rid of the person.

There are no doubt many instances of men who batter their female partner who do so because they are alcoholics or are troubled in some shape or form. Sometimes there is co-dependency with respect to the female partner. Under these circumstances the cat owner, the female partner, will almost certainly feel guilty having placed a cat in these difficult and hazardous circumstances.

To recap: when a cat owner is in an intimate relationship with an animal abuser, the owner feels guilt if the abuser hurts her cat. Where the owner has a distant connection with the abuser then she does not feel guilt or does not normally feel guilt if a cat is abused by that person.

These findings come from a study which probably requires verification but it concerned interviewing a number of people, cat and dog owners, who had suffered anguish because of the abuse of their cat or dog.

The owner of a cat or dog should sit down and think how they would feel if there companion animal was abused by somebody; either killed or injured. They should then ask themselves whether they would feel guilty and bad about that. If they answer, YES, then they should take proactive steps to protect their cat from hazardous circumstances under which the abuse may take place. Only then will they protect themselves as well from the emotional anguish that long-term guilt will bring them.

You can read an alternative version of this topic here.

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