Huffington Post: Sorry, But Your Cat is a Jerk. It’s Science.
Why do people constantly feel like they need to put cats down? I simply don’t get it.
While that really isn’t anything new, I still get a little upset when people say certain things, like when the Huffington Post ran this post: Sorry, But Your Cat Is Actually A Total Jerk. It’s Just Science.
The post is full of intentionally inflammatory claims, which is probably why they decided to run it — because it would stir up controversy and conversation. Nonetheless, it’s frustrating to see these lies being validated by being posted online. Yes, I’m definitely taking this post too seriously, but maybe someone needs to. As we’ve talked about before, cats already have a bad rap — there’s no need for the Huffington Post to make things worse for them.
Anyway, here’s a quick look at some of their claims — and my immediate thoughts after reading them. What do you think? How have you reacted to some of these statements? Please share in the comments!
Claim: Your cat hears you, but she won’t do what you tell her to.
Not to play the obvious card, but no kidding. This claim goes on to pit dogs’ willingness to please you against cats, and I don’t think that’s fair. By and large, some pets are simply more responsive than others. A dog may be more responsive than a cat, but a cat may be more responsive than a hamster. I don’t think judging a pet’s responsiveness is a fair way to judge if he or she is a jerk. It just doesn’t make sense.
The author expands on this by explaining, “Cats have not evolved enough to become domesticated enough to obey human’s orders.” OK, well there you go. If they really believe cats aren’t domesticated enough to respond to us, then why are we even making this an issue? Following this train of logic, if they can’t respond to us, there’s no way they could do what we wanted them to do anyway.
That said, I absolutely believe that some cats can be tremendously responsive. They may not always come or sit on command, but I can’t tell you how greatly my cats are clued in to what I’m doing. You may say they are responsive because I fed them and give them affection. Exactly. Isn’t that why all creatures respond to us — because of some sort of benefit to them? Sorry guys, I don’t buy this claim.
Claim: Some cats actually hate the only thing they’re good for: cuddling.
And here’s another goofy claim. Yes, some cats do get stressed out from petting — it’s called overstimulation. It’s one reason why some cats don’t have great relationships with their owners (because the owner doesn’t understand it); it’s also another reason why some cats end up in shelters. It’s not the cat’s fault, it’s just life. Just like how some people like to crowded places, and others need their own space.
Anyway, I think it’s just silly to say that a cat is only good for cuddling. Cats are clever, creative, aware creatures that make great companions. The cuddling is just a major bonus.
Claim: Just because a cat rubs against you doesn’t mean it likes you.
This one really bugged me because of how they twisted the science to make it what they wanted it to be. We know that when a cat rubs up against you, it’s his way of marking you as his. This can certainly be interpreted and described in different ways. For cat people, it’s endearing. Obviously for the author who needed another claim for this post, it was an opportunity to flip the viewpoint.
Claim: Your antisocial cat may not even be the smartest pet in your house.
Here the author argues that dogs may be more intelligent than cats because they know how to make friends. Sure you could make the argument that dogs may be more social animals (for a variety of reasons), but that doesn’t mean that cats are *not* social.
Claim: One of your cat’s favorite ways to “kiss” is through a distant gaze you probably don’t even know she’s giving.
How does this make your cat a jerk? Just because people may not understand this language doesn’t mean that it’s the cat’s fault. Let’s say you somehow befriended a Frenchman who didn’t speak an iota of English, and you didn’t speak a bit of French. If he ever told you “Je t’aime” (I love you) would it make it any less real because you couldn’t understand it? No. He’s communicating his feelings the only way he can know how — it’s the same with cats. Yet another claim I filed under “phooey.”
Claim: If you die alone with your cat, it won’t hesitate to eat you.
OK, well they got me on this one. Apparently, if you died alone in your house, all it would take is a few days for a pet to resort to eating the owner’s body. This is called “postmortem predation,” and you know what? It totally makes sense. Now, if Ellie tried to eat me in my sleep, that would be another issue!
Oh well, thanks everyone for letting me share some of my thoughts again. I don’t mean to get anyone riled up, but I couldn’t help but respond after reading this post. I know not everyone will be a cat lover, and that’s OK. But the more we can do to get the truth out there, the more likely people will be able to make informed decisions — one step at a time!
How do you feel when a post like this comes your way? How do you respond to people who make similar comments like those in the Huffington Post piece? Please share in the comments!