Thursday, February 4, 2010

My Scared Cat / Gatto

This picture of a scared cat says so much about the life of a cat in a human world. And it is a fine photograph as well. I don't know if this cat is a feral cat. The photographer says, "My scared cat". Does the cat live with the photographer? I don't know. It doesn't matter actually because this is a frightened or at least very cautious cat.

The thing is that every cat, feral, domestic or wild has a large amount of caution built in to their psyche as they are, after all, living in a land of giants. We forget that. We are much bigger than them and for a cat on the street it must, on occasion, be frightening.

And a cat living on the street is very much at the mercy of humans. Yet we see this kind of behavior from a cat living indoors even when the cat is loved and fully domesticated.

A cat will instinctively move under a low table or chair when even a little uncertain about what is happening. This protects them from attack. They always retain that independence or wild cat instinct.

This cat is a tabby kitten. You can see the "M" mark on her face. I feel a huge degree of empathy for this cat. The sense of vulnerability is written all over her face.

But there are many people in the world who are not empathetic to that vulnerability. They just don't see it or feel it. For some people, a cat is "only a cat" to do as they please with. And a cat will always be forced to comply with the human will.

I wonder if all cats are often scared cats but don't really know what that means. Or at least more often anxious than we know or understand. I don't think that is an unreasonable thought as the world is pretty scary for us never mind a domestic cat.

When we are scared we feel uncomfortable. When a cat is scared he or she just feels different. And that is a better approach to feeling scared.

So, I think we need to be more gentle with cats - all cats. Lets try and reassure them and not give them a reason to be scared cats but relaxed and confident cats. This is our job, as domestic cats just react to the world that we create.

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