November 1st, 2015


Practical Cats

"Why do our cats want to kill us?" my mother asks for the third or fourth time.

"Because they're predators,"  I reply. Earlier responses have been more discursive but what's the point of explaining a thing to someone who will be repeating the very same question in a few minutes?

It's the bloody Telegraph that's getting her all stirred up about cats. Some scientist chappie has been comparing the behaviours of domesticated cats with those of wild ones. All that cosying up they do is just hunting technique. They're probing for weakness-  for a way in- and the only things that keep us safe are our size and our liveliness. We know from reports that if we become incapacitated they'll start chowing down on us.

Dogs mostly won't do that. They have loyalty to the pack. Cats, though, are solitary predators with no damn nonsense about them. Odd, then, how much nonsense we weave around them.

"Does your cat want to kill you?" My mother asks- always looking for the personal angle, for reassurance that today's newspaper horror story doesn't  threaten her comfort and peace of mind.  "Does he want to kill me?"