September 23, 2015

Horse 1989 - Cat Poo

In this blog post I take you from the ranty to the minutiaery (if that wasn't a word, it jolly well should be and is now).
I have two cats. Rather, I am the curator and servant of two cats. One thing that has puzzled me for a while is the question of why cats cover their poos and wees but no other animal that I can think of does. I've had a dog before and I can tell you that he would leave his piles of nuggety foulness where ever and it suited.
This covering behaviour is also not prevalent in big cats either. Lions and tigers, jaguars and ocelots also do not cover their poos and so if this is not present in other animals and isn't even present in other cats, what's so special about the domestic house cat that compels them to cover their poos and wees? After living with cats, I can tell you that they will show affection for you but to say that they are covering their poos and sees out of some sense of consideration for you, is nonsense. Cats are incredibly selfish and so the thought that they might do anything for you at all is also nonsense.

Thinking about lions and tigers, does as it turns out, give a fair clue as to the answer of this apparent cleanliness. Granted that our two cats do spend an inordinate amount of time cleaning themselves; Kipper in particular has turned it into an obsessive compulsive tic to the point where he'll even wound himself in the process of all this licking and biting, but that's not got anything to do with the answer. Lions as "king of the beasts*" feel no need to cover their poos and wees because as the very top of the food chain, they fear none and dread nought.
Lions feel as though they can poo and wee where ever and when ever they feel like because of their sense of entitlement and power. All of the other animals who cower in literal fear, of being eaten, will see a great steaming pile of lion poo and know that there is a lion somewhere. Poo and wee in the animal kingdom is the way of marking territory and claiming space; which is not that far removed from people's use of flags. If lions had developed the technology to go into space and land on the moon, then there wouldn't have been an American flag up there but one giant mound of lion poo. If Kenya suddenly announces that it has intercontinental ballistic missile capabilities, then be very very afraid because there won't be nuclear weapons being sent from Kenya but massive payloads of lion poo, as they make claims of territory.

The kingdom of domestic house cats is a little kingdom. Cats will wee on things to leave their messages around the place, which is usually "I am here" or "I would very much like to engage in cat love", but cats are relatively little animals and their desire is not to be eaten by big animals like lions or tigers. Cats cover their poos and wees not out of a sense of cleanliness, consideration or cleverness but out of a sense of self preservation.
Although that might sound idiotic, remember that domestic house cats are living in a house with creatures that tower over them; which can pick them up and which amazingly have an ability to consistently bring home meat. A person, weighs more than eleven times that of a domestic house cat and so the biggest predators around, in the eyes of the cat, are their people. There might not be any lions or tigers around but the instinct which saves little cats out in the wild, is still prevalent in urban environments. Nature was so very deadly that we decided that we'd had enough of it and moved out, cats hitchhiked with us but nobody told them that a house isn't that deadly.
When our cats do go out into the backyard, they hear the deep and very loud growls and barks of a couple of German Shepherds next door. Inside they fear people as the dominant thing and outside I assume that they must think that the dogs next door are the biggest monsters.

Cats display all the technical signs of psychopathy; which are a distinct lack of empathy, precisely zero remorse for anything and outright bold and antisocial behaviour at times. The thought that they fear me because I am a big thing, that's sensible. A small furry thing with a sense of its own ego not wanting to be near its poo, that also makes sense. Thought that they might be covering their poo because they feel some kind of cat compassion or niceness just doesn't make any sense to me.

*Autocorrect wants to change "beasts" to "beats" and I can just imagine Aslan with a set of decks scratching out some heavy house music with his claws - Jungle is massive. Tigger is more of your happy hardcore kind of cat; he likes 190bpm music.

No comments: