Wednesday 12 April 2023

Security camera records young man 'dry humping' a domestic cat in Bukit Panjang

Bukit Panjang is in West Region of Singapore. A security camera captured a 'sick' young man dry humping a cat. It is presumed that he was dry humping rather doing the real thing. Dry humping means not making skin-to-skin contact but simulating the sex act through the barrier of clothes.

The cat's owner, Ismul, posted the photo on Instagram to try and force the police to take action as they were disinterested when contacted. Update: the man has been now been arrested. We await further news.

If you are interested you can see the images by clicking ON THIS LINK. Why not on this page? Because it is too horrible and there are adverts on this page.

He states:
“What do you feel when some sick bastards does this to your cat? […] I’m putting it out here and in hopes that this goes viral, so relevant parties can take actions against this guy,” he wrote.

The cat was traumatised but okay. The cat initially tried to escape before being grabbed and held. 

Source: Yahoo! News. 

How do you make provision for your cat on your death?

This is actually quite straightforward. See a lawyer!! I've added some details below.

Status of the domestic cat

The first point to recognise is that under the law of Western (developed) countries and perhaps all others the domestic cat is like any other object possessed by a person. Therefore, you cannot give a gift in a will to a domestic cat because they are the kind of 'object' that you gift to a beneficiary! 

Domestic cats don't have the legal capacity to be a beneficiary. Therefore, if you want to give some money in your will to a cat you've got to give it through a person who then spends that money on the cat.

How do you make provision for your cat on your death?
How do you make provision for your cat on your death? Image in public domain.

Executor

And that person will usually be the executor of your will. The executor is the person who causing all your assets on your passing, sells them to liquidate them and then distribute the money. They act as trustees of your estate.

Or it might be another beneficiary. You make arrangements with the person to look after your cat on your death. You trust them. That is the ideal. You could do this outside of your will. What I mean is the detail can be arranged outside of the will in a conversation or a letter. In the will you might refer to your cat going to the selected person.

Trust

But the key factor here is that you must trust the person to look after your cat as you would after you passed. If you don't have that advantage then you might consider setting up a trust. These are called pet trusts. This can be drafted into the will or it might be in a separate document. You'll need a lawyer to do this.

Under such a trust, the trustee will receive the money which can be used to care for your cat. The cat might be living with somebody else and that person will receive these funds in communication with the trustee or trustees.

The objective here is to take access to the money away from the cat's caregiver who is looking after your cat and give that responsibility to the trustees who under the law must act like trustees. They could be sued if it came to that if they pocketed the money.

Reducing the risk of misbehaviour

The advantage here is that if there are two trustees and the third party is the person looking after the cat, there's much less chance of misbehaviour because there are checks and balances between these three people.

If you give all the power and responsibility to look after your cat including spending your money to a single person there is a greater likelihood that that person will misbehave. If you share that responsibility between three people the chances are that it will be a success because if one person wants to misbehave and spend the money on a holiday the other trustee should stop them. That is the way it works but clearly it doesn't always work like that! People will be people.

Unusual

I have to believe that it is unusual for a person to set up a pet trust for their cat or dog. Normally this will be when a lot of money is involved. The cat's owner might be rich and they have a particular fondness for their cat and it is very important for them that their cat is well looked after on their passing. It will be exceptional.

Normally a cat owner will simply make arrangements informally or in a letter and indeed in the will for a person they know well to be the beneficiary of their cat with instructions to look after him or her.

Do domestic cats prefer women? Yes, in general, and I'll tell you why.

If you search on Google, "Do cats prefer women?" The answer comes back yes and some of the websites refer to a study. The DVM 360 website summarises the study. And when I read the summary my assessment of the reason why domestic cats tend (but not always) prefer women is because women prefer domestic cats!

Francisca Franken with Bean her adopted rescue cat who happens to be an Exotic Shorthair who nobody wanted because she was described as being feisty, a diva and ugly. I don't see ugliness in this face. Do you? Francisca certainly didn't.
Francisca Franken with Bean her adopted rescue cat who happens to be an Exotic Shorthair who nobody wanted because she was described as being feisty, a diva and ugly. I don't see ugliness in this face. Do you? Francisca certainly didn't. Image: Instagram.

Because women prefer domestic cats over dogs, they interact with cats more often and being female, they do so in a more gentle and respectful way generally (not always) than men. This doesn't apply across the board quite obviously. And this is not a black-and-white picture of domestic cats loving women and dogs loving men. It isn't as straightforward as that.

There is a big gray area. But the fact of the matter is that in a home where there is a man and woman, a married couple, and a cat and a dog, the woman will more likely approach the cat to interact with them. They do so nicely. The cat enjoys it. The cat wants to do it again. The cat therefore approaches the woman.

Because a cat-loving woman is bonded to her cat and intuitively begins to understand their body language signals and vocalisations, she responds to approaches by her cat in a sensitive and prompt way. She has developed an understanding about what her cat wants which would be a friendly interaction and some love and tenderness.

Or it might be a request for food or any other request if the cat meowed; and we know that the meow is basically a demand for attention and a request.

Reason

My assessment is that the reason why cats prefer women in general is because they are more likely to get what they want from women and the signs are that women instigate the interactions. In a study the researchers will see more interactions between women and cats than men with cats which gives the impression that cats prefer women. But the beginning of this preference is women being more likely to approach their cat. 

Favours

The study apparently found that cats seem to remember favours done for them and return those favours. For example, if owners comply with their cat's wishes to interact their cat will repay the compliment by complying with their owner's desires to interact. That isn't, in my view, a rational decision. It is simply that domestic cats enjoy interacting with a human being who cares for them and provides for them in a gentle and loving way.

And cats will do things that they enjoy just like people. Let's remind ourselves that domestic cats live in the human world. How they react to that depends on the world that humans create and whether it is cat friendly or hostile even slightly so. Domestic cats are reactive often. They are instinctively reactive.

Men

Now let's refer to men! What got me thinking about this was a video of a couple who adopted a cat, I think primarily to benefit the woman but the cat ended up referring the man. There is a very strong bond between man and cat in this video below. The cat's name is Milo and he is crazy about his human male companion. It's a love. It's as simple as that.


And this tells me really that cats don't really prefer women per se. They prefer people who interact with them in a very respectful kind and gentle, loving way. The cat then associates that person through their behaviour and body odour with pleasant experiences and go to them for more. Perfectly normal.

In the video it will be a bundle of nuanced behaviours by the man which provide signals to Milo that Milo will have a good experience when interacting. For example, he allows Milo to knead his chest through his vest. He tells the camera that it hurts like hell but he allows it to happen because he wants to do it for Milo. He understands that Milo is doing it because he relates to him as his mother.

The man is very tender towards Milo. His respectful and does all he can to please him. This is appreciated. It draws Milo back. It isn't about the gender of the human being. It is about their behaviour and an understanding of feline behaviour.

Tuesday 11 April 2023

Corsican wildcat (cat-fox or gatto-volpe) is a subspecies of the African or European wildcat

Some speculative pundits described this wildcat as a 'cat-fox'. Remarkably some believed that it was a cat-fox hybrid. I think their imagination was running wild. Wildcat wild. This is quite definitely a normal cat and it looks like a European or African wildcat. Although apparently DNA analysis tells us that it is not a European wildcat subspecies:

The LBBE and the Antagene laboratory conducted initial genetic studies that revealed that these animals do not belong to the European wild cat species, namely the F. silvestris silvestris.

This cat species must have been transported on ships from the mainland - perhaps North Africa - to Corsica and Sardinia as they did not evolve on these islands.

This reminds me of the first domestic cat, a tame North African wildcat unearthed with their human caregiver after being buried together around 9,500 years ago on Cyprus, another island in the Mediterranean Sea. That cat had also been transported to the island by ship with its owner.

Corsican wildcat
Corsican wildcat. It was sedated in this photograph. Image: in public domain.

My guess is that this happened thousands of years ago allowing the species to diverge genetically from the European or North African wildcat species. 

It looks like a wildcat. Its coat is quite rusty compared to the European wildcat which has a grey coat. Also, it looks skinner and smaller compared to the European species which is to be expected as warmer climates result in the evolution of smaller species as prey size is smaller.

Corsican wildcat
Corsican wildcat. Image in public domain.

But despite being called "ghjattu-fox" or cat-fox there is no connection whatsoever to the fox which is frankly obvious. I am surprised that anyone could think that.

Petting your cat with a wet toothbrush. Worth doing?

There is a group of people who believe that petting your cat with a wet toothbrush is a good idea because it replicates the kind of sensation in an adult cat that they experienced when they were newborn kittens being licked around the head by their mother.

Petting a cat with a wet toothbrush
Petting a cat with a wet toothbrush. Image: Reddit.com

I'm sure this is true. It is probable that the toothbrush more accurately replicates the sensation of being licked by a mother than petting with the fingers on the forehead. But I don't think it is significantly better.

Personally, I don't see a great advantage in petting with a toothbrush. I think a cat companion will enjoy a very similar sensation if you pet their forehead with two or three fingers. This is what I do also

I actually use three fingers on the part of the head you see in the photograph because it avoids touching the ears when you pet at that position. I don't want to disturb his ears. I also do the same thing with a flea comb.

I believe that cats don't particularly like it if you use the entire hand to pet their forehead and squash their ear flaps down. I don't think it's a big issue but it is not quite as good as doing it with three fingers.

Sometimes if you pet a cat's forehead with the entire hand, they shake their head afterwards as if to adjust their ear flaps and return them to their natural, neutral position.

The conclusion for me, is that you should pet their forehead with two or three fingers and then the entire hand can be used to stroke the back of their neck which by the way my cat loves and then down the body.

The sides of the face i.e. the cheeks can be petted with a couple of fingers as well. I usually use the back of my fingers to do this as it is more convenient and actually it is gentler because the positioning of the fingers means that the muscles of the fingers act as a kind of spring system and allows the fingers to follow the contours of the cheeks more reliably.

Pet your cat with a flea comb
Flea comb as an alternative tool to pet your cat.  It does two things at the same time. Image: MikeB

As mentioned, I also pet my cat's head and cheeks with a flea comb. This provides a very similar sensation for the cat as a toothbrush and has the added advantage of checking for fleas.

Sunday 9 April 2023

Can you predict an adult cat's personality from their behaviour as a kitten?

This is a question that is sometimes asked. I think you have to apply a bit of common sense. There would seem to be two distinct personality types (a) confident and outgoing and (b) timid, shy and retiring.

2 main character types for cats
2 main character types for cats. Image: MikeB

Cat adopts person

Sometimes people tell us their stories when adopting a cat from a shelter. They say that the cat adopted them. The same applies to dogs.

When a rescue cat at a shelter comes to the potential adopter in any one of many ways, it indicates that they are a little bit more confident than another cat who stays at the back of their cage. The one that holds back is the more reticent retiring one.

You can tell the difference between two different types of cat in terms of confidence levels. This character trait will be with them all their lives. And that's quite important because the degree of confidence compared to the degree of timidity is quite an important factor in how the other aspects of the cat's character develop.

Developing character

For instance, a confident cat is more likely to come forward, interact and to explore and to have new experiences and therefore become more rounded and more able to deal with strange and novel things.

In contrast, the timid cat will enjoy less experiences and even might hide when anything new happens. Both cat types have their advantages in my opinion. 

But the point here is that you can tell how a kitten will develop on these broad-brush aspects of character namely confidence and timidity.

Confident cats are more popular

Most people like confident cats because they interact more. But the advantages of a timid cat are often not discussed. One benefit is that because they are more retiring and content to be less active, they are more likely to enjoy the benefits of being full-time inside the home.

They are less likely to want to go out and explore. They are, therefore, less likely to come to harm. And if they are indoor/outdoor cats they are less likely to wander away far and wide if they lack confidence. Getting lost is less of an issue.

Timid is better

I think a domestic cat which is slightly timid is perhaps a better domestic cat companion than a confident one.

The trend nowadays is to keep cats indoors full-time particularly if you live in an urban environment. You don't want to live with a very boisterous active cat under those circumstances.

Bengal cat

Example, the Bengal cat is known to be pretty active, confident and lively. Some people keep them in apartments full-time. I don't think that can work.

In fact, when I lived in an apartment block a friend of mine in a nearby block was the caregiver of an F3 Bengal cat, Daniel. This cat was climbing up the walls to get out.

And when the owner took Daniel out into the gardens for a walk it was impossible to contain him. If he was off the lead he was gone. The point is that apartment living for the confident boisterous outgoing cat might be too challenging.

But apartment living for a timid retiring cat who likes to hide is a good place to be. There is the advantage.

That argument goes against the general consensus that confident cats are better cats.

Young cats killed on roads

And let's remind ourselves that the cats most likely to be killed on the roads are young, immature and confident male cats. They are the ones who like exploring and taking risks.

What I'd choose

I'd argue that the better cat to live with is a slightly retiring, slightly timid, female. That's what I would choose if I was going to adopt a cat right now. Or even better than that you might adopt a disabled cat like a blind cat because you can then keep them indoors full-time without feeling guilty as you've got to keep them indoors.

Character nuances

As to the finer nuances in character, to go back to the original argument, I think you have to wait to when they become adult to find out what they are. Which, by the way, is one reason for adopting an adult cat over a kitten despite the fact that kittens are the most popular type of cat to adopt from a shelter.

If you adopt an adult cat, you know what you're getting, particularly older ones. When you adopt a kitten, you are adopting a cat companion which you don't know that well.

Hector

There is an interesting story on social media about a woman who adopted a male cat called Hector. When he was a kitten, he was sweet and funny but when he grew up "he became a cat that no one could touch, except me. He was easily overstimulated and would attack one's hand while he was being petted."

So, her male cat went from sweet and funny to too difficult to handle. You don't quite know what you're going to get when you adopt a kitten because you will not be able to really predict their adult character except for the broad-brush aspects as mentioned

Saturday 8 April 2023

Super-noisy cat with camcorder ventures outside with his feline friend

A cat's point-of-view.

This is a fun video from Instagram. It is a 'point-of-view' video as the camcorder is attached to the cat's collar. He's noisy. He' screaming but in a charming way. And I think he is talking to his feline friend.
Note: these embedded videos tend to go wrong after a while so if that has happened, sorry.


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