Great documentary on BBC Horizon last night. The Secret Life Of Cats. I confess to being a Cat Person. Keano, now almost twelve years old is the family pet.
It has always struck me as odd that Wildlife documentaries are always about polar bears, stick insects and elephants but David Attenborough has never really told us anything about the domestic cat. And yet most cat people will confess to knowing next to nothing about our pets. David Attenborough probably knows nothing about cats.
Keano is a prime example. He has me on “Keano Time” which means that I rarely get more than four hours straight sleep. He nibbles my fingers at least twice a night….which is a pretty direct way of saying “Feed me” and he comes and goes thru the bathroom window to do his ablutions or lie in the sun. Mostly he just lazes around…
The really odd thing is that he NEVER inconveniences Mrs FJH. Even when I was in Texas, Keano never bothered her. His life has been disrupted recently as one of my sons and family have moved in with us for a while…and part of my sons family is Smokey, a gentle but large five year old Labrador.
This means that Keano finds it more convenient to live in our bedroom for the duration and Smokey is largely confined to the living room. Of course, occasionally their paths cross.
As Keano tells me nothing, I watched last nights documentary hoping to learn mor about cats. A small English village…and fifty cats were selected to be electronically tagged and fitted with cameras to see what they actually did and where they went, when they disappeared thru the cat flap.
Some cats wandered off in a fairly wide circle. Keano for example rarely ventures beyond our garden and has never crossed the road. The cats rarely encounter each other…they have a bizarre time share arrangemnt which allows them to avoid each other. Occasionally they have that strange “stand off” but its mostly hissing and verbals. They try and avoid fights and seemingly the more violent episodes only occur when the cats immediate home territory is breached…the feeding area, nesting area.
Of course, a week-long experiment involving fifty cats will involve some dead birds and rodents but perhaps not as much as anticipated. Part of the patroling routine involves hunting exercises rather than actual hunting. In domestic situations a cat rarely needs to kill a mouse…we would not be without a cat because we believe Keanos presence is probably enough. Embarassingly for some owners, their cats raided the homes of other cats to plunder the neighbours cat food.
A great insight into cats…but if I have a criticism it would be that there wasnt enough bout the life of the Cat INSIDE the family home. We did discover that cats request feeding in the same frequency that human babies use….but there was no real insight into how the mind of a cat works.
Cats are of course increasingly well fed and increasingly domesticated. They are for the most part simply pets rather than working farm animals. And are actually evolving at a very fast pace.
Interesting documentary….but Keano took no interest.