Tag: cat servant

Study: There Are 5 Types Of Cat Owners

When it comes to attitudes about hunting and impact on local wildlife, there are five broad categories of cat owners, a new study says.

Four out of the five aren’t particularly worried about their cats killing birds and small mammals, the University of Exeter researchers wrote in the study, which was published in Frontiers In Ecology and the Environment, a research journal.

  1. Concerned Protector. These are people who keep their cats indoors to keep them safe from the world. Their main worries are cats being stolen, lost or killed. They don’t have strong feelings about hunting behaviour and wouldn’t keep their cats indoors solely to stop them hunting.
  2. Freedom Defenders believe cats should be able to roam where they please, like wild animals. Cats hunting is a good sign of normal behaviour and helps control the rodent population. They oppose any restrictions of cat access to the outdoors.
  3. Tolerant Guardians believe that the benefits of roaming outweigh the risks of the cat being injured or lost. They love wildlife and cat hunting is the least attractive part of cat ownership, but it is just what cats do. They’re not sure how cat owners can effectively reduce hunting behaviour.
  4. Conscientious Caretakers believe cats should have access to the outdoors but they don’t oppose some containment. Hunting by cats really bothers them, and they particularly worry about birds. They believe owners should have have some responsibility managing their cat’s hunting behaviour.
  5. Lasseiz-faire landlords believes it’s natural for cats to want to go out into the natural world and if they fall foul of it (dogs, bigger cats, SUVs) that’s natural too. They’ve never seriously thought about the effects of cats on wildlife populations. They’d be more likely to manage their cat’s hunting behaviours if it was killing things all the time.

You can take a short quiz (16 multiple choice questions) to find out what kind of cat caretaker you are. For what it’s worth, the quiz says I’m a “conscientious protector,” which sounds about right.

cat-predation

In his mind, of course, Buddy is a fierce, powerful feline and a mighty hunter. In reality he’s hilariously inept at the hunting games we play, and no matter how many times I’ve brought him outside on his harness, he goes into sensory overload every time, spending the first 20 minutes nervously huddled before he relaxes, his tail shoots up and he starts to enjoy the new sights and smells.

Fortunately I don’t have to deal with a cat who pines for the outdoors. Bud has no desire to go out there on his own, and he won’t even step onto the balcony if it’s too hot, too cold, raining, snowing or especially windy.

Most of all it’s too dangerous out there between traffic, potential predators like coyotes, train tracks, other cats and people who will abuse or kill cats just because they can. I don’t want to lose my little Bud.

Dear readers, if you take the test, please let us know which category it placed you in.

Downton Buddy!

If you’re a regular reader of Pain In The Bud you know that Buddy is — how shall we put this delicately? — a complete brat.

Born to a well-loved momma cat and adopted as a kitten, the Budster has known nothing but indoor warmth, comfort and a doting Big Buddy to see to his every need.

Yet I’ve heard it said that even rescue cats, saved from miserable circumstances in hoarders’ homes or brought in from the freezing cold, have an instinctual ability to put their humans in their place.

Grateful? Yes. But to a cat it simply means the natural order has been restored with a human who realizes kitty is a king or queen.

Reader Anna Keller confirms this: She rescued her cat, Frank, from the mean streets of LA, but it didn’t take long for Frank to adjust to his new pampered reality, relegating Anna to “the servants’ quarters of Anna’s Frank’s house.”

Frank, Earl of Los Angeles
Frank lounging in his parlor.

That got us thinking: What if every cat had access to a servant bell system a la Downton Abbey?

In order to be able to communicate efficiently with the domestic staff, internal bell systems became very popular when they were invented in 1744. Prior to this invention, servants would have to wait outside their employer’s rooms or linger unassumingly in the background of the family quarters, waiting for orders. This was considered intrusive and inefficient. The innovative bell systems therefore increased privacy and meant that servants could remain in their quarters whilst waiting to be summoned. This new facility became a standard in this era.

Imagine the labels: “Buddy’s Bedroom,” “Buddy’s Dining Nook,” “Nap Room,” “Food Can Room,” “Human Litterbox Room” and so on.

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Even worse, imagine the incessant ringing!

RING! “I can see the bottom of my bowl! Get up here and fill it!” RING! “You missed a microscopic piece of turd when you scooped my box, how am I supposed to poop here?” RING! “What did we say about feeding me tuna after I’ve had salmon? No consecutive fish dishes!” RING! “I would like to be scratched behind the ears, servant!”

“Will that be all, My Lord?”

“Yes, Carson. You may retire to the servants’ quarters…”

RING! “You closed the door. We do not tolerate closed doors in this house! Oh, and Carson? Have Mrs. Patmore send up a late night snack, I’m feeling peckish.”

Hell, Buddy would use the bell even while I’m sleeping.

RING! “You just rolled over onto your back and disturbed my sleep. Do not forget you are my mattress!” RING! “Stop snoring!” RING! “Wake up and feed me breakfast!”

Note to self: Do not ever, ever allow Buddy to watch Downton Abbey, lest dangerous ideas form in his little head.

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Lord Buddy, 4th Duke of Turkey.

‘Hey, This Is Buddy’s Site! More Buddy!’

Buddy tells me he’s not happy that his blog — which is supposed to be about all things Buddy, after all — has been taken over by snow monkeys and the bright lights of Tokyo.

Thus we interrupt our regularly scheduled travelogue to check in with His Grace and see how he’s doing.

Yesterday was my brother’s birthday so we FaceTimed with mom back in New York — morning for her, evening for us. Of course I asked if Bud was driving her crazy (she says he isn’t) and called out to him.

He made his way toward the direction of the sound, the iPad, and appeared confused.

“He’s looking for you,” mom said.

She picked him up and showed him the screen, and Buddy started vocalizing with a unique mix of meows and mews. He blinked at me and I blinked back. He kept talking.

But did he really recognize me in the screen? What would serve as a signal?

Buddy the Dapper
This is an outrage! Who is going to scratch my chin precisely in the way I prefer it? You must return, servant!

That’s when I did the slow one-eyed blink, and he returned it immediately! It’s anecdotal, but I think I can safely say my cat most definitely recognized me on a screen from halfway around the world. He doesn’t do the one-eyed blink unless it’s deliberate, and only as a way of communicating to me.

Now if I could translate those meows and mews I think they might mean something like this:

“Where are you?! The fact that you’re having fun without me is not cool! This servant has been…adequate…but I demand you return to the Kingdom of Buddy immediately and resume your minionly duties! I need my chin scratched, and your mom won’t let me groom her hair. Unacceptable!”

Sorry, little dude. You’re just gonna have to make do without me for a little while yet. And hey, you should appreciate mom. She’s treating you well!

Note: Welcome Japanese readers! I didn’t realize I’d see a flood of new traffic from Japan after enabling location-tagged posting, so this is a pleasant surprise. Yes, this is normally a blog about a cat, but at the moment I’m in your beautiful country and enjoying every minute of it. I hope I’m doing justice to Tokyo and the surrounding areas, and if I’ve gotten anything wrong, please don’t hesitate to correct me. Cheers!