Wednesday 15 November 2023

Cat has five ferret servants

This is a very pampered cat and perhaps an even more pampered group of five very active but completely domesticated ferrets. And the caregiver loves them all. She treats her ferrets like royalty, takes them out on walks on a lead and allows them to play vigorously with her cat who leads them around the house as if they were his servants. The cat is very tolerant when they surround him and play but no doubt, they have grown up together and become very familiar with each other and so there is no fear but just friendliness.

I have set the video to start where the ferrets interact with the cat. You can adjust it if you want and go back to the beginning obviously.

Interspecies relationships are always interesting. Of course, the greatest interspecies relationship of all is the human-to-cat relationship and the same would apply to the equally popular, perhaps even more popular, human-to-dog relationship. It's useful to remind ourselves that these are interspecies friendships.

They very rarely happen in the wild. Interspecies relationships and friendships are really the domain of domestic animals.

Here the cat is the leader followed by his 'servants'.

The above are screenshots from the video.

P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Tuesday 14 November 2023

Is there are matchup between cats of a certain character and people of a certain character?

I think I can keep this short and concise. The question is asking if, for example, gentle, shy people get along better with cats that are shy, gentle and timid. Or whether aggressive people get along with more dominant cats. Or perhaps they'd get along with submissive cats? There are a huge number of permutations. And also, both human and cat personality is very fluid and complex. It is difficult to categorise both human and cat personality with precision. Do opposites attract or repel?

The news media like to find neat answers to the question by saying that this cat breed is a perfect match with this type of person. The problem there is that you are only referring to cat breeds and not moggies which means you have cut out of the discussion the vast majority of domestic cats as pedigree cats are much rarer than random bred cats. 

And the breeds can have different characters in general terms while moggies don't. For moggies it is all about the character of individual cats. But that applies to purebred cats too. For purebred cats there is the character of the breed and the character of the individual cat working together. Although the character of the breeds is exaggerated by news media and the cat fancy.

The answer to the question in the title is almost certainly No. I don't think it is possible to create a nice neat chart which cross references the breeds with people of a certain character. I have just visited a website where they did that and it is all fiction. The truth is that online media like to neatly package things to make it easy to digest for the mass of internet surfers but they are being misled if they believe the stuff.

The only way to match up a cat of a certain character with a person of a certain character is for the latter to meet the former and see if they get on. To see if the cat comes forward and appears to enjoy the company of the person. It is a one-on-one encounter to see if they are compatible; have chemistry. Then you build on that in the relationship. Actually, it can start badly and warm up. Sometimes the most unlikely partnerships between cat and person blossom and become great.

Don't rely on charts and formulae which look too good to be true because they are. And don't believe what the experts say about the differences in cat breed character. There are some differences but they can be subtle and they can be overridden by the character of an individual cat. There are two overlapping factors: cat breed character (an umbrella concept) and the character of an individual as mentioned.


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Keeping a good news secret will improve your energy levels

A recent study has suggested that people would do better to keep positive secrets to themselves as it can help energise them and make them feel more invigorated. It's an interesting concept.

The study is published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. The researchers worked out of Columbia University in New York.

The report states that: "Prior research on secrecy has focused on the effects of negative secrets, secrets that involve information that people consider unpleasant, objectionable or embarrassing. Yet many secrets are positive in nature, from marriage proposals to gifts, to surprises to unexpected good news. Although negative secrets have been found to be fatiguing, we proposed that positive secrets can be energising. We define feelings of energy as feeling alive, alert, active and invigorated."

The moment a person discloses a good secret should be delayed so that the person can "spend more time savouring the information, reflecting on its meaning or considering possible joyful reactions to sharing the secret."

The experiments were conducted with 2,500 people. In all there were five experiments and they found that more than 75% of participants instinctively wanted to tell people good news immediately. Yes, I can understand that. It is common sense to tell others good news and counterintuitive to talk to others about it but it may be an opportunity missed.

They were shown 40 types of common good news such as winning on a bet, becoming pregnant, getting engaged or clearing a debt.

They were asked which type of good news they had experienced and which they had shared with others or those that kept secret for a while. And there were asked how they felt under these different circumstances.

They were also asked to imagine they had a piece of good news and to envisage two scenarios. In one they chose not to tell their partner until the end of the day. And in the other they try to call their partner but couldn't make contact and therefore had to wait until later.

In the first scenario they made a deliberate choice to keep the secret for a number of hours and this led to positive feelings while the second scenario did not.

Of course, secrets are very nuanced and very variable. Some so-called positive secrets don't make people happy when kept close to their chest. It might be a secret to avoid embarrassment because good news can make others feel worse about their situation. 

Or the good news might lead others to judge you negatively. A typical example would be if you bought a nice but expensive present for yourself, which might elicit negative reactions in others for reasons, perhaps, of envy.

P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Monday 13 November 2023

Conflict between customers and management at Tesco, Hornsea over ginger tabby who likes to visit the store

Op-ed: Lincoln is a ginger tabby indoor/outdoor cat who likes to wander quite a long way by the look of it from his home and in particular he likes to spend some time at the local Tesco in Hornsea, North Yorkshire.

He likes to rest on the compost by the front door and watch the comings and goings. He also likes to sit on the store's wheelchairs and also watch the comings and goings there as people collect their trolleys and return them.

Lincoln has become a feature at the store and the customers like to see him. He's a calming presence. He makes them smile. He adds a bit of soul among the fruit and veg.

Lincoln resting and watching on the compost bags as they are nice and comfy
Lincoln resting and watching on the compost bags as they are nice and comfy. Image: Facebook.

But the management are being a little bit narrowminded although I understand their position. They don't want Lincoln there and so they're going to gently encourage him not to come into the store. At least they are going to be gentle.

In response to this upsetting news, some customers have said that they are no longer going to return to the store. They will take their business elsewhere. And now as you can see, Lincoln is in the news, in news media outlets on the Internet and this will probably put a bit of pressure on management to change their point of view.

Firstly, I can't see any reason why they should get rid of Lincoln. What's he doing that upsets them? Apparently, they think it unhealthy to have a cat sitting on the compost bags but how can that be unhealthy? He's nowhere near the food. In any case, domestic cats are no worse a hazard to human health than other humans!

This is a misconception: the belief that domestic cats and dogs are disease carriers and are going to spread disease to all people. I think that if you did a bit of research on this you would find that humans give humans more diseases than cats give humans diseases. The same would apply to dogs.

That's really because nearly all diseases are not zoonotic. Most feline diseases stay in the cat world and they cannot jump across to the human world. There are some which can such as toxoplasmosis and Covid can also transmit both ways and bird flu too but the cat version of the common cold cannot affect people. Nor can cat flu and nor can a pile of other feline diseases affect people. So I don't know where this fear of cats carrying diseases comes from.

I think it is very unfortunate and a misplaced thought. I would hope that the management reconsider but if they don't, they're going to losing customers.

RELATED: Bodega cats. These are American corner shop cats. Lincoln is a shop cat and his presence should be embraced by a more enlightened management.

P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Sunday 12 November 2023

Feral cats are becoming a nuisance at British military bases abroad

NEWS AND COMMENT: this, for me, is a slightly sad story but at least the outcome is going to be reasonable. 

British military base in Cyprus. Image: AP.

The British military have a variety of bases abroad in countries such as Cyprus where there are several and where they are the UK's main defence in the Middle East as they are just a few hundred miles from Israel. 

There are three bases in Belize. And there are also three bases in Brunei Darussalam. In all, there are four bases in Cyprus and my research which also indicates that there is a base in Canada.

The British military have four bases in Germany, three in Nepal, two in Oman, four in Iraq, seven in Kenya and one in Sierra Leone. A lot of bases and in total they occupy about 98 mi².

In all, they are home to 3,500 military personnel 7,000 civilians. The problem is that somebody decided that the feral cats are becoming a nuisance and therefore they are going to do something about them which I hope will be humane.

I'm told that they are going to operate TNR programs on the feral cats to sterilise and microchip them. The cats that are deemed to be in very poor health will be euthanised as I understand it. The project will take three years.

Sounds humane to me and let's hope they stick to the plan. They'll be using a contractor so someone will have to ensure that they act humanely and don't cut corners.

P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

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