Tuesday, September 26, 2006

of cats and dogs

My sister who used to do research on a panic gene in dogs knows quite a bit about dog breeds. Plus she has two cats so she knows quite a bit about their behavior too.

She was telling me that dogs really don't know how to kill despite various news reports about deadly dogs. Dogs know how to maim at most, bite and hang on perhaps, but not really go for the kill. Hyenas the wild dogs of Africa, she tells me, take down their prey and begin eating it right then and there. The prey may not even be completely dead, but it eventually dies from being torn to pieces. When dogs hunt, the entire pack hunts. And when something goes down, that's where the entire pack eats. Plus the hunting variety dogs, over hundreds of generations, have been trained not to damage the prey at all, just to corral it while it waits for his master to do the actual killing of the animal.

Not to say that dogs can't be dangerous to people. Some breeds are certainly large and powerful enough to, but in their nature for the most part they aren't. Unless they get trained to kill.

Cats, on the otherhand, are rather efficient killers despite their occassional desire to play with their prey. Lions kill their prey so they can drag it back to the rest of the pride with the Alpha-female getting first eats. So, they can't just maim their pray and have it still kicking and fighting while it brings home the meal, they have to make sure it's dead. So, their bites and swipes to the animal are deliberately lethal and targeted.

It kind of explains alot of the nature of martial arts and what is seen most on TV. I'd categorize UFC and most movie fighting akin to the nature of dogs. Vicious, with lots of bruises and pain, but people don't necessarily die unless it's an accident. Thus the aptly named, Dog Brothers fighting group. I wonder if the members have actually thought about the meaning of what they call themselves.

My cousin is trying to sell their house. They have an indoor cat, which they tried to keep in one of the bedrooms during their open house. However, whenever someone came in, the cat would hiss and try to attack anyone coming into the room. Not a good thing when you want people to buy the house and their memory of the house is, "oh the one with the attack kitty?" The next week, they were planning to put the cat in the closet and put up a sign about "do not open this door." Hopefully the cat will stay quiet, because they wouldn't want some animal love open house browser "have mercy" on the cat only to be the target of its full on rage for being stuffed in a closet.

My friend with a young cat finally let the cat start roaming the neighborhood, which has calmed the cat down quite a bit. The cat's figuring out his rank amongst the other outdoor kitties and finding he's not the top of the heap. And he's probably getting "lucky" with the other cats out there. We'll see how well of a stud this cat is when the signs for "free kittens" start popping up around the block. But now knowing the the world out there can be cruel and vicious, he comes back home all nice and friendly now.

It's a good thing cats are the size they are, any bigger and they'd probably be a serious problem for humans at a domesticated level.

The hubby has had a dog before. And I've had neither. I think I'm a dog person. Like I'd like to have a dog, but don't really have a desire to have a cat. But that my friend's cats all seem to like me well enough. I was born the Year of the Tiger afterall. I don't really bother them and just wait for them to come around to me. I seem to have an understanding of their nature, and perhaps mine as well.

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