Thoughts on the ocean, the environment, the universe and everything from nearly a mile high.

Panorama of The Grand Tetons From the top of Table Mountain, Wyoming © Alan Holyoak, 2011

Friday, February 10, 2012

Domestication is a sad, sad thing

Originally posted 5-21-2011

I'm not one to share cute cat stories, and this isn't one, so it's OK.  This is a sad and depressing cat story... about my daughter's cat, Joy, that proved this afternoon that she is COMPLETELY domesticated.

OK, Joy's a strange cat.  Maybe she's not all that strange, but, like many other cats, she has time for you only if you feign cat-complacency or you actually want nothing to do with her.  If you do those things, she's always right there.

Anyway, Emily and I were planting the garden this afternoon, and Joy was out there prowling around, watching what we were doing.

Emily and I were focused on prepping the ground, digging furrows, and planting seeds when we noticed Joy in a tussle in the corner of the garden.  This is nornally no big deal, because she will scuffle with a hose, a weed, a bug, a dirt clod, whatever.  This time though, Emily looked over and saw what she thought was a dirt clod that Joy was pawing around, until the "dirt clod" tried to make a run for it!  It was a mouse, er, vole.

Joy was playing the classic "cat and mouse" game with it...pawing it, jumping back, etc.  She looked away for a moment though, and the mouse scampered a few feet and hunkered down in a small depression in the dirt.  Joy, um, well, she was snookered!  "Where did the mouse go!?"  It was about two feet away from her, but she was moving away, getting "colder and colder".  I had to pick the goofy cat up and plop her down right in front of the mouse.  "Ah!  There it is!"

Joy played more cat and mouse, right up until the mouse ran into some low ground-cover plants and got away.  I have to admit that the ecologist in me was more than a little disappointed that the predator was the loser.  Then the evolutionary biologist in me realized that it's "Survival of the Fittest", and that Joy isn't all that fit.  She's, sadly, completely domesticated.

This conclusion was supported by another observation I made earlier today.  She spotted a bird on the ground and COMPLETELY botched it.  I mean, that bird was 5-8' off the ground by the time Joy got there. 

Sorry Joy...when it comes down to it, you'd be doomed to extinction...that is, if you were left on your own.  But, luckily you own a girl who loves you and who continuously shovels food and water your way.

Such is the life of the domesticated...

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