The Wild Side of Cats


Over a year ago I received an email stating that one of Chris’s YouTube videos (http://youtu.be/iFnHCcrlrnI) was being considered for inclusion in a National Geographic documentary titled Wild Side of Cats. I filled out the necessary paperwork but never heard back from them so I assumed (correctly) he didn’t make the cut and made a mental note to watch for the show but then forgot about it.

I don’t watch much television but by chance I noticed that it was showing the other night so I watched it. I found it to be quite interesting. The show parallels our domestic cat’s behavior to that of wild cats.  One interesting example is that purring is a method of quiet communication between mother and kittens so as not to be heard by potential predators.

Another example is that wild cats will bury their unfinished kill so that other animals can’t smell it. I often see Chris do this after I feed the cats wet food. He will eat a small amount and then scratch at the floor like he is trying to bury it. I often wondered if he was saving it for later or burying it because it tasted like poop. Now I know.

Towards the end of the show they indicated that some of the affectionate things that cats do are done for non-affectionate reasons. While some of what they say may be true some of the time, I think it is wrong to try to explain away loving gestures in a cold, scientific way.

For example, they say a cat that lies on someone’s lap does it for warmth. I say that whoever produced this show probably does not have cats. Chris can be very needy at times for affection and lies on my lap quite often. I can guarantee he is not doing it for warmth. As a matter of fact, it is hot here in Florida in the summer and the cats lie on the tile floor because it is cooler. The extra warmth Chris gets from my lap is a sacrifice that he makes for attention. In addition, when Rose and I do sit down and watch television, Rose likes to sit with a pillow on her lap and Chris will often come and lie on her pillow. No warmth there but plenty of affection.

I think all warm-blooded creatures have emotions and cats have very strong emotions. They can love you just like you love them. So the next time your cat wants to lie on your lap, be assured that he or she loves you for you and not for your body temperature.

Despite my rantings, I believe the other 99 percent of the show is very interesting and worth watching. You can find more information about it at http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/wild/episodes/wild-side-of-cats/

If you have seen the show, or even if you haven’t, let me know what you think.

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