What Are CATS Good For?

Animal Welfare Issues.
Post Reply
User avatar
Posts: 619
Joined: August 20th, 2004, 9:37 pm

What Are CATS Good For?

Post by abcrystcats » December 14th, 2005, 1:48 am

My cats did something GREAT for me last Thursday: they killed a MOUSE. And they did it without even waking me up!

The people who live above me have mice. They are not the best housekeepers and they had a bad habit of leaving the patio door open last summer. They have a dog too, and so they got mice. The mice live in their floor (my ceiling). The mice run through the heating ducts, steal a piece of dog food from the bowl by the heating vent, and then run back through the vent with it.

Well, it's gotten cold here, and I guess one of these brown mousies got bold and thought cat food would do just as well as dog food. He didn't live long. There wasn't a mark on him, but his neck was broken. I found him in the early morning and he was still limp, so I knew he'd been killed recently, but I never even heard a sound. Katy showed me the dead mouse, but nobody made a big deal about it. All in a day's work for a small group of cats ....

Good job, CATS!

This is why cats made friends with humans, and why humans decided to keep them on. When we got civilized, and began to plant and gather grain in large quantities, we attracted mice. The mice attracted cats. The mice ate our grain, but the cats ate the mice and kept their numbers down to manageable levels.

It's possible that, without cats, we'd still be meat-eating nomads. What's the point of harvesting and storing food if it gets eaten up or contaminated by rodents? Adopting cats into the human family solved the storage problem for grains, and as everyone knows, farming led to settled communities, civilizations with governments, art, writing, architecture, mathematics and so on.

I love dogs. Dogs are great. But what did dogs do to advance civilization? OK, they helped us pull down meat, and they did an excellent job of it, too. And then they helped us herd sheep and other animals. That was also a good contribution. They've assumed numerous tasks over thousands of years, and they've performed well in all of them, but it was CATS that allowed us to settle down and develop some culture.

My neighbors love their dog. He's cool. He does nothing, but he's cool. He doesn't guard, because he hasn't been trained to do it and he's a hunting dog by breed. He's like a big, hairy, drooling child.

While my neighbors are fussing with traps and poison, unsuccessfully, my cats have kept the mice AWAY from my home downstairs, just by being here. They dispatched the one brave mousie who ventured to cross the divide without even waking me. What's more, they efficiently expunged every insect in this place within a month after I moved in.

Dogs need to be trained for tasks. Cats can only be trained with great difficulty, but what they do by nature is far more practical and useful over the long term.

And besides, what DOG has ever used a litter box and covered his feces to hide the smell?

Not trying to diss dogs, necessarily, but cats have been underrated. Dogs have been given a lot of glory because they were the first animals to be domesticated by men. They get a lot of attention because they know how to appeal to human sympathies with their cute and clownish antics. They obey, and cats don't. But cats did us a HUGE service by ridding our food storage bins of mice, rats and insects. No other animal could have done that. It took a small, versatile, predator with little or no interest in our vegetarian foodstores to enable Man to settle into communities and develop some serious skills.

You can thank your cat for art. For literature. For politics and law. For supermarkets.

And check it out next time you drop a slice of bread and your dog eats it, but your cat doesn't.

User avatar
Zlatko Waterman
Posts: 1631
Joined: August 19th, 2004, 8:30 am
Location: Los Angeles, CA USA

Post by Zlatko Waterman » December 14th, 2005, 12:04 pm

Dear Kat:

I'll add this little snippet to your excellent exposition:

When I have lived alone in mouse and rat-occupied spaces ( I love those little grey and brown skitterers too, so this is hard to confess), I have always kept kats-- ( misspelling intentional)-- and they have always kept the mice away, even though the little rodents abounded in the dwellings right beside me, which were sadly kat-less.

My grandmother taught me why:

When mice can smell cats-- and most mousies are smart enought to reason thus: they won't even come around.

One kat-sheriff shooting down one pillaging mousie in the dusty street seems to be an example that keeps all the other "owl-hoots" away from the grain supplies.

Thanks for the detailed, well-crafted and human piece on our feline allies.


User avatar
Posts: 619
Joined: August 20th, 2004, 9:37 pm

Post by abcrystcats » December 20th, 2005, 9:47 pm

You were right, Z.

Just went upstairs to give my neighbors a little Xmas cheer, and they reported that in the last few weeks they caught nine mice in their glue traps. However, they've noticed that the mice know how to elude the glue traps now, and just walk around them.

Apparently, the glue traps upstairs aren't much of a deterrent, but the collection of cats downstairs is!

I've looked all around for signs of mice in my place, and there's nothing. The opened boxes of crackers in my pantry, the cereal boxes, even the crumbs I frequently leave on the counter overnight (OK, I DO clean them up in the morning)remain unmolested.

Occasionally it seems to me like a cat is mildly interested in something it sees under stove, so could they be in the cupboards? It's possible, but since I don't keep any food in the cupboards, they wouldn't stay long, and I've never seen mouse droppings in there.

No mice here. :D

User avatar
Posts: 2764
Joined: September 3rd, 2004, 2:02 pm
Location: Knowhere, Pun-jab

Post by e_dog » January 11th, 2006, 8:16 pm

What are cats good for?

I don't think 'Therefore, I am.' Therefore, I am.

Posts: 126
Joined: August 27th, 2005, 2:48 am
Location: England

Post by microbe » January 12th, 2006, 1:46 am

ill commandante
Posts: 2
Joined: March 14th, 2006, 6:13 pm

Post by ill commandante » March 14th, 2006, 6:20 pm

Mo bought us..birds, snakes, mice, gophers, lizards, and a baby beaver during her career. The cougar nearly took her home, and the coyote did. But, her older sister Yogi in seventeen years has delivered two hummingbirds and one gopher. And now she's not feeling so good.Two bladder infections in a year and I'm not going to let her suffer. My heart will probably stop with hers.
For God & Drugs!

User avatar
Posts: 619
Joined: August 20th, 2004, 9:37 pm

Post by abcrystcats » March 26th, 2006, 1:53 am

I grieve for Yogi, and Mo, and you. It's hard to lose them, no matter what age they are.

They live longer inside, especially here in the United States where there are so many natural predators and unnatural dangers. But they are capable of some stunning adventures in the wild, as your Mo showed you.

Post Reply

Return to “Cathouse”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest