On a lighter topic...

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101Walterton
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Re: On a lighter topic...

Post by 101Walterton » 23 Oct 2017, 12:22am

My Nan always had cats. Every time I went round there she had more cats. I asked her on day where she got them from and she said she thought they were strays. She said she put food out every night in case a stray cat was hungry then they never left!! Funny that.

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Re: On a lighter topic...

Post by WestwayKid » 23 Oct 2017, 7:35pm

Cats are the ultimate survivors. Interesting to read about their history. Maybe the only animal that domesticated itself - versus being domesticated by humans. That said - I think the line between being domestic and being wild is still very blurry for the "domestic" cat. Great documentary I recently watched called "The Lion in Your Living Room" and they had some expert who mentioned what was truly remarkable about the cat was that they offered very little to humans, yet they managed to earn a place in our homes and are today the most popular pet in the world.

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Re: On a lighter topic...

Post by Dr. Medulla » 23 Oct 2017, 7:52pm

WestwayKid wrote:
23 Oct 2017, 7:35pm
Cats are the ultimate survivors. Interesting to read about their history. Maybe the only animal that domesticated itself - versus being domesticated by humans. That said - I think the line between being domestic and being wild is still very blurry for the "domestic" cat. Great documentary I recently watched called "The Lion in Your Living Room" and they had some expert who mentioned what was truly remarkable about the cat was that they offered very little to humans, yet they managed to earn a place in our homes and are today the most popular pet in the world.
The assessment of housecats that I've always liked is that, when we take them in as kittens and teach them that, don't worry, we'll provide food and shelter, we stunt their maturity, leaving them in a certain state of kitten dependence the rest of their lives. Not that I regret that one iota. My girls aren't being unleashed into society, where they will interact and affect others, so I don't give a lick about their social development. I spoil my girls without a second thought because I love the bastards and am in a position of making their lives comfortable. They don't know a life without us and feel a loss when we're not around—even if I'm not home when they're fed supper, when I return they both get really excited. It's not just material dependence, but a psychological attachment. Their happiness and contentment necessarily nurtures my own.
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Re: On a lighter topic...

Post by WestwayKid » 24 Oct 2017, 9:45am

Dr. Medulla wrote:
23 Oct 2017, 7:52pm
WestwayKid wrote:
23 Oct 2017, 7:35pm
Cats are the ultimate survivors. Interesting to read about their history. Maybe the only animal that domesticated itself - versus being domesticated by humans. That said - I think the line between being domestic and being wild is still very blurry for the "domestic" cat. Great documentary I recently watched called "The Lion in Your Living Room" and they had some expert who mentioned what was truly remarkable about the cat was that they offered very little to humans, yet they managed to earn a place in our homes and are today the most popular pet in the world.
The assessment of housecats that I've always liked is that, when we take them in as kittens and teach them that, don't worry, we'll provide food and shelter, we stunt their maturity, leaving them in a certain state of kitten dependence the rest of their lives. Not that I regret that one iota. My girls aren't being unleashed into society, where they will interact and affect others, so I don't give a lick about their social development. I spoil my girls without a second thought because I love the bastards and am in a position of making their lives comfortable. They don't know a life without us and feel a loss when we're not around—even if I'm not home when they're fed supper, when I return they both get really excited. It's not just material dependence, but a psychological attachment. Their happiness and contentment necessarily nurtures my own.
Very cool point and I agree 100%. The one thing that struck me from the documentary was when the cat expert talked about how cats didn't have anything to offer humans, yet - we brought them into our houses and took care of them and I think it was/is because of the mutual positive psychological attachment we share.

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Re: On a lighter topic...

Post by Dr. Medulla » 24 Oct 2017, 10:37am

WestwayKid wrote:
24 Oct 2017, 9:45am
The one thing that struck me from the documentary was when the cat expert talked about how cats didn't have anything to offer humans, yet - we brought them into our houses and took care of them and I think it was/is because of the mutual positive psychological attachment we share.
I thought that humans initially accepted cats because they helped keep down the rodent population, which was otherwise a threat to limited food supplies.
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Re: On a lighter topic...

Post by WestwayKid » 24 Oct 2017, 11:04am

Dr. Medulla wrote:
24 Oct 2017, 10:37am
WestwayKid wrote:
24 Oct 2017, 9:45am
The one thing that struck me from the documentary was when the cat expert talked about how cats didn't have anything to offer humans, yet - we brought them into our houses and took care of them and I think it was/is because of the mutual positive psychological attachment we share.
I thought that humans initially accepted cats because they helped keep down the rodent population, which was otherwise a threat to limited food supplies.
That is what I always thought, too...but the documentary kind of debunks that. I have to watch it again to remember what they say. Maybe they just downplay the role that rodent hunting had in cats and humans making contact?

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Re: On a lighter topic...

Post by WestwayKid » 24 Oct 2017, 11:09am

I found this from an article about the documentary. I think this is what I was trying to get at with my original comment:

“Basically, house cats have been able to succeed by sidling up to humanity and harvesting our resources without giving us too much in return and without compromising their feline forms in a way that would prevent them from surviving without us,” Tucker concludes.

Cats have undergone an interesting and complicated process of domestication, Tucker says. “They have changed the structure of their brain to get along with us better, but they haven't really changed their bodies that much, and they remain hunters as magnificent as tigers or lions or any other member of the wild feline clan.”

Instead of fighting with us, cats — lured largely by our trash — ventured closer and closer into our settlements and started changing themselves, to get along with the times.

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Re: On a lighter topic...

Post by WestwayKid » 24 Oct 2017, 11:14am

This is pretty interesting: http://www.loe.org/shows/segments.html? ... egmentID=6

Full transcript from a radio program (I think) with the author of the book they based the documentary on. Some really interesting stuff about domestic cats.

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Re: On a lighter topic...

Post by Dr. Medulla » 24 Oct 2017, 12:13pm

WestwayKid wrote:
24 Oct 2017, 11:04am
Dr. Medulla wrote:
24 Oct 2017, 10:37am
WestwayKid wrote:
24 Oct 2017, 9:45am
The one thing that struck me from the documentary was when the cat expert talked about how cats didn't have anything to offer humans, yet - we brought them into our houses and took care of them and I think it was/is because of the mutual positive psychological attachment we share.
I thought that humans initially accepted cats because they helped keep down the rodent population, which was otherwise a threat to limited food supplies.
That is what I always thought, too...but the documentary kind of debunks that. I have to watch it again to remember what they say. Maybe they just downplay the role that rodent hunting had in cats and humans making contact?
There's semi-famous essay by Robert Darnton called "The Great Cat Massacre," which considers the slaughter of cats by French peasants in the 17th or 18th century (I think). What seems like irrational barbarity was, Darnton argued, a symbolic attack on the aristocrats who kept and indulged the cats in their home, violating shared obligations and perversely elevating the cats above the peasantry. So the notion of a psychological bond, at least from our end, is fairly recent.
Walrus birth doesn't make good breakfast conversation!

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Re: On a lighter topic...

Post by 101Walterton » 24 Oct 2017, 2:27pm

Dr. Medulla wrote:
24 Oct 2017, 12:13pm
WestwayKid wrote:
24 Oct 2017, 11:04am
Dr. Medulla wrote:
24 Oct 2017, 10:37am
WestwayKid wrote:
24 Oct 2017, 9:45am
The one thing that struck me from the documentary was when the cat expert talked about how cats didn't have anything to offer humans, yet - we brought them into our houses and took care of them and I think it was/is because of the mutual positive psychological attachment we share.
I thought that humans initially accepted cats because they helped keep down the rodent population, which was otherwise a threat to limited food supplies.
That is what I always thought, too...but the documentary kind of debunks that. I have to watch it again to remember what they say. Maybe they just downplay the role that rodent hunting had in cats and humans making contact?
There's semi-famous essay by Robert Darnton called "The Great Cat Massacre," which considers the slaughter of cats by French peasants in the 17th or 18th century (I think). What seems like irrational barbarity was, Darnton argued, a symbolic attack on the aristocrats who kept and indulged the cats in their home, violating shared obligations and perversely elevating the cats above the peasantry. So the notion of a psychological bond, at least from our end, is fairly recent.
There is a campaign in NZ to get rid of all cats including domestic pets.
We spend millions on try to eradicate rats, stoats etc. to protect native birds and lizards yet domestic cats are equally lethal killers.

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Re: On a lighter topic...

Post by Marky Dread » 24 Oct 2017, 2:38pm

101Walterton wrote:
24 Oct 2017, 2:27pm
Dr. Medulla wrote:
24 Oct 2017, 12:13pm
WestwayKid wrote:
24 Oct 2017, 11:04am
Dr. Medulla wrote:
24 Oct 2017, 10:37am
WestwayKid wrote:
24 Oct 2017, 9:45am
The one thing that struck me from the documentary was when the cat expert talked about how cats didn't have anything to offer humans, yet - we brought them into our houses and took care of them and I think it was/is because of the mutual positive psychological attachment we share.
I thought that humans initially accepted cats because they helped keep down the rodent population, which was otherwise a threat to limited food supplies.
That is what I always thought, too...but the documentary kind of debunks that. I have to watch it again to remember what they say. Maybe they just downplay the role that rodent hunting had in cats and humans making contact?
There's semi-famous essay by Robert Darnton called "The Great Cat Massacre," which considers the slaughter of cats by French peasants in the 17th or 18th century (I think). What seems like irrational barbarity was, Darnton argued, a symbolic attack on the aristocrats who kept and indulged the cats in their home, violating shared obligations and perversely elevating the cats above the peasantry. So the notion of a psychological bond, at least from our end, is fairly recent.
There is a campaign in NZ to get rid of all cats including domestic pets.
We spend millions on try to eradicate rats, stoats etc. to protect native birds and lizards yet domestic cats are equally lethal killers.
That would be catastrophic.
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Re: On a lighter topic...

Post by Dr. Medulla » 24 Oct 2017, 2:54pm

101Walterton wrote:
24 Oct 2017, 2:27pm
There is a campaign in NZ to get rid of all cats including domestic pets.
We spend millions on try to eradicate rats, stoats etc. to protect native birds and lizards yet domestic cats are equally lethal killers.
I can appreciate the sentiment in a fragile and confined ecosystem, but I can't get behind any kind of program of eradication.
Walrus birth doesn't make good breakfast conversation!

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Re: On a lighter topic...

Post by Marky Dread » 24 Oct 2017, 3:01pm

Dr. Medulla wrote:
24 Oct 2017, 2:54pm
101Walterton wrote:
24 Oct 2017, 2:27pm
There is a campaign in NZ to get rid of all cats including domestic pets.
We spend millions on try to eradicate rats, stoats etc. to protect native birds and lizards yet domestic cats are equally lethal killers.
I can appreciate the sentiment in a fragile and confined ecosystem, but I can't get behind any kind of program of eradication.
Just sounds plain evil to me.
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Re: On a lighter topic...

Post by Kory » 25 Oct 2017, 2:58pm

Marky Dread wrote:
24 Oct 2017, 3:01pm
Dr. Medulla wrote:
24 Oct 2017, 2:54pm
101Walterton wrote:
24 Oct 2017, 2:27pm
There is a campaign in NZ to get rid of all cats including domestic pets.
We spend millions on try to eradicate rats, stoats etc. to protect native birds and lizards yet domestic cats are equally lethal killers.
I can appreciate the sentiment in a fragile and confined ecosystem, but I can't get behind any kind of program of eradication.
Just sounds plain evil to me.
A better solution might be to enforce mandatory indoor living for cats. It won't do any good to exterminate them, but native fauna populations are more important than introduced pets.
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Re: On a lighter topic...

Post by Marky Dread » 25 Oct 2017, 3:51pm

Kory wrote:
25 Oct 2017, 2:58pm
Marky Dread wrote:
24 Oct 2017, 3:01pm
Dr. Medulla wrote:
24 Oct 2017, 2:54pm
101Walterton wrote:
24 Oct 2017, 2:27pm
There is a campaign in NZ to get rid of all cats including domestic pets.
We spend millions on try to eradicate rats, stoats etc. to protect native birds and lizards yet domestic cats are equally lethal killers.
I can appreciate the sentiment in a fragile and confined ecosystem, but I can't get behind any kind of program of eradication.
Just sounds plain evil to me.
A better solution might be to enforce mandatory indoor living for cats. It won't do any good to exterminate them, but native fauna populations are more important than introduced pets.
Think I agree but there has to be protection for both.
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