animal psychology, Humour

Domestic Deity or Just a Damned Cat

The cat sits, ears a point, disdainful of his subjects, on a laundry basket throne or next to the TV.  All eyes upon him, (of course) he gazes at nothing in particular, waiting to be served.  I have never questioned this — I am a cat-person, in his thrall, trained since birth, a hand maiden of the mighty Mog.

‘Don’t get up and feed him the instant he meows!’

‘But he’s hungry.’

‘He’s just a damned cat!’

My husband is not a cat-person — here’s the dilemma — the main cause of tension in our household.


Guinness, The Fat Cat, epitomises the power of self-confidence.  He strutted into our house three years ago, stood his ground when the dog rushed up to him. Their noses touched for an instant, the dog was transfixed, then wham, the paw of steel, the dog was dismissed, blooded, dominated.

Guinness moved in with his own household — his man, Midnight.  Cat psychologists say domestic cats are solitary, that is nonsense — Guinness has a butler, his own Jeeves, someone to see to his personal grooming, to suffer fur balls on his behalf, to hunt for him, to taste his food, to intercede with the other servants (me and the dog) and to do his meowing.

Guinness and Midnight

Midnight, (‘now he’s a proper cat!’ says Alan) is The Fat Cat’s batman, they met in a previous life, not in the army, but in prison — prisoner of war camp — Stalag 46, in Brighton, in the war on the Feral Feline Freedom Forces.  The Fat Cat was in charge of escape and very good at it, but so confident was he that he would present himself every morning outside the prison, at the camp commandant’s bungalow for breakfast.  After breakfast he was marched back to the pound where the other prisoners greeted him as a hero ( the Steve McQueen of the Cat Rescue).  He would eat again and sleep all day, Midnight, The Proper Cat, watching his back.

He, The Fat Cat and his side kick, were released on licence to live under house arrest in Worthing, that pit of iniquity (I was chased by a mugger once in that East Sussex town fallen from glory).  Once respectable, it is now a forest of parking meters roamed by drug addicts, prostitutes and cats. Still uncontainable, it was here that he forged links with the underworld — colluding with local foxes, pimps and mini-cab drivers, wandering the streets at night, his were the green eyes under every illegally parked car, his DNA was on every discarded take-away carton.

He came to Wales, under cover — he’s a sleeper, don’t tell anyone.  Urban gangster lying low — some say he worked for a Russian bank, no one knows the full story.  Now he’s free to come and go he mainly does what he does best — he’s a sleeper after all.  Under his protection, Midnight (his faithful lieutenant and proper cat) does the rest — Farm Cats Inc.  (Non-exec. Chairman: Guinness, ‘The Fat Cat’)

Farm Cats Inc. — FC and the Hit-man


All you need to know about female sexuality — for free.

‘How to get your man, and hang on to him,’  Or something like that – that’s what the smooth young man on the internet was promising to reveal if you registered on his site – ‘what you do that turns men off!’
Pin back your ears, Men. Here it comes! From the other side of the sexual divide – all you need to know about female sexuality – and it’s free.

878652598_1e76f15f2d_bDon’t worry about the science, it’s simple – women have two hormones – one called compliance hormone (which make her say ‘bless him – oh I do love him,’ when you say something dumb) and non-compliance hormone (which makes her say ‘That’s dumb!’ when you say something dumb). During her reproductive years the levels of these two hormones go up and down but compliance hormone is dominant for far more days than its brother – this is what makes marriage possible. The variations in these hormones are endlessly confusing to the male of the species. Some say it keeps him on his toes and maintains his interest. It is much simpler than that.
When there is a biological chance of pregnancy compliance hormone says ‘bless him – I do love him.’ When there isn’t, when conception has failed, non-compliance hormone says ‘God, you are irritating, why don’t you sling your hook and let someone else have a go.’ This is called pre-menstrual tension by men. Nature calls it sexuality and it makes life very difficult for some women and most men. It causes infidelity and makes life difficult for counsellors who try to help women decide what they want to do when what they want to do changes with the tides every two weeks each lunar month  (Note — doctors also think it’s more fun not to warn people that various drugs, contraceptives and aids to fertility mess with this system causing perplexing emotional turmoil.)
Not surprisingly women complain about these dramatic changes in their emotional settings… That is, they complain until the menopause when they become blissfully stable and go back to how they were when they were eleven – pretty un-compliant and free from the influence of compliance hormone. Then they complain about the lack of hormones and take HRT (hormone replacement therapy) – this is to avoid re-negotiating their marriage or getting divorced. The former would probably be best for everyone as divorce is distressing and men generally become more compliant and dependent upon their wives as they age due to slight waning in their I’m in charge hormone, sadly this is not the case in my own marriage but that’s another story.
All this evolved when sex was about dominance, about belonging to the strongest, richest, most aggressive man who could protect and inseminate a woman most efficiently – long before love was invented.

This is why it is so difficult for women to leave what we call abusive men – cave men. (note – I’m sure there is another, as yet unidentified, hormone — let’s call it extra-compliance factor, released in women after sex – a project for a PhD perhaps)
Lastly women are attracted to men that make them laugh – thank God for that at least, I hear you say. Laughter is all about dominance – did you not know that?  Big people tickle little people to let them know who’s in charge, little people giggle to show they understand.
Is it any wonder that sustaining a sexual relationship for any length of time is difficult.

Thanks to David Merrigan for his image of the Gerkin, London (cc-Attribution-Non Commercial) via flickr