Tag: predator

Larry The Downing Street Cat Outlasts Another PM, Plus: The Reason For The Loaf

No. 10 Downing Street in London is supposed to be the official residence and office of the UK’s prime minister, but we think it should be called Larry’s House.

Larry, the official mouser in chief since 2011, has now outlasted four prime ministers: David Cameron, Theresa May, Boris Johnson, and the short-tenured Liz Truss, who lasted just 44 days. (And became the butt of jokes when The Daily Star set up a live webcast of a head of iceberg lettuce, betting that Truss’s time as PM would be over by the time the lettuce wilted. The lettuce won.)

Now Larry, the de facto leader of the UK, will be served by a fifth prime minister. There’s also a chance he’ll see his fifth prime ministerial term, if not officially a fifth prime minister, if Johnson manages to return to power. Apparently there’s a real chance of that happening.

Why the loaf?

Buddy Loafing
How dare you suggest Buddy is chubby!

If you’ve ever wondered why your cat likes to lay in the famous loaf position, Jackson Galaxy has weighed in on the matter. (There’s a British theme here too. For some reason Galaxy, real name Richard Kirschner, uses a British accent to explain loafing behavior, and it’s…not good.)

“The first thing that we want to look at is the position itself; we’ve got paws tucked under the whole body resting basically on arms,” Galaxy says in a video. “This look right here is decidedly cat. Because what this is saying is I’m not going anywhere.”

Cats loaf to conserve body heat while remaining in a position that allows them to quickly get up if need be. Galaxy cautions, however, that a “half loaf” position could indicate your cat isn’t feeling too hot, health-wise.

If a cat is half-loafing, he says, that could mean she’s not getting completely comfortable because she feels vulnerable, and for evolutionary reasons (cats are both predator and prey) cats in pain feel particularly vulnerable. Most predators go for the easy kill, which is why cats go to great lengths to disguise pain and discomfort, as opposed to us humans, who whine and complain and make sure everyone knows how lousy we feel.

Bud Attentive Loafing
Meowscles coiled, ready to unleash feline fury!

If Cats Sounded Like Arnold Schwarzenegger

There’s so much negative and stressful nonsense online that occasionally something will come along and remind us that the internet can also be a platform for fantastic human creativity, silliness and hilarity.

If this isn’t one of those things, I don’t know what is. Some genius dreamed up the idea of cats sounding like Arnold Schwarzenegger instead of the meows we all know and (mostly) love. It’s glorious:

I love every ridiculous second of it, from the Schwarzeneggerian grunts to the insane babbling of the trio of cats watching birds from a windowsill, to the cat who looks at his human and says: “Come on! Come on! Do eeeit! Come on! We’ve got to go!”

It reminds me of comedian Pablo Francisco’s classic bit about Ahnold starring in a movie called “Little Tortilla Boy”:

Can you imagine your own cat(s) making Arnoldesque sounds instead of meowing? 🙂

buddyarnold

Got A Rat Problem? Get A Cat To…Befriend It And Groom It?

Cats and humans began their grand partnership some 10,000 years ago, when kitties handled humans’ pesky rodent problem and people repaid the felines with food, shelter and companionship.

Now the deal’s off, apparently.

Yesterday a Reddit user shared a video titled “When you get a cat hoping it will help you get rid of the big rat in your yard.”

The video shows the user’s new cat, a tortoiseshell/calico, “solving” the rat problem by befriending the rodent, playing with it and even grooming it.

The video has amassed almost 86,000 upvotes in 24 hours.

The odd friendship between feline and rodent is not without precedent. Studies have shown that cats are not effective rodent hunters in urban settings where rats have gone unchallenged for so long that they rival or exceed the size of most members of Felis catus.

In certain neighborhoods of New York City, for example, researchers observed cats essentially ignoring massive rats and in some cases eating trash side by side with them. The largest rats, apparently aware of the truce, are equally unconcerned by the presence of the cats. Other rats were more cautious around kitties.

The scene reminded me of the time my brother wanted me to bring Bud over to handle his rat problem. At the time he was living on 88th St. in Manhattan, less than a block from Gracie Mansion. His apartment had an unusual perk for Manhattan living — it was a spacious ground floor flat that opened up into a private, fenced-in backyard with grass and a few trees.

Mighty Bud
Tremble before him! Buddy the Mighty Slayer of Rodents!

In fact, it was one of the first places I took Buddy after adopting him. He was just a kitten, maybe 14 weeks old, and I brought him with me on a warm summer day when my brother had a few friends over for a barbecue.

Buddy made fast friends with my brother’s Chihuahua-terrier mix, Cosmo, and spent the day playing with his doggie cousin, frolicking in the grass and chasing bugs around the yard. Then he got a treat: Steak from the grill, chopped into tiny Buddy-size pieces.

Having a backyard in Manhattan was awesome, but there was a downside. At night the yard was like a stretch of highway for marauding rats who ran across it in numbers with impunity, probably en route to raiding the garbage bins of a bodega on the corner of 88th. The rats were so emboldened and so numerous, you could hear them scurrying across the yard at night.

My brother proposed bringing Buddy over and letting him loose in the yard after dark, letting his claws and predatorial instincts thin the rodential herd.

I declined, using the excuse that Bud could pick up diseases from going to war with the rats. That was true, but I’m sure it wouldn’t have come to that: At the first sign of those rats, Buddy would have run screaming!

(We don’t acknowledge that around him, of course. Officially, Buddy was not set loose upon the Manhattan rats because it would be grossly unfair to unleash such a meowscular, brave and battle-hardened feline warrior upon them.)

It’s one thing if Buddy won’t kill rats. He’s a wimp. But as the Reddit video illustrates, we are apparently closing the chapter on 10,000 glorious years of human-feline partnership, and officially entering the Era of Zero Reciprocity.

We do everything for our cats, and in return they nap, eat and allow us to serve them. From their point of view, it’s a fine deal.

Meowscular Buddy!
Just look at those meowscular guns and vicious claws!