A World Without Cats?!

Inconceivable, right? If you think it wouldn’t BE a world without cats, check out this article. Once you get past the disturbing title, you will discover that bird populations can actually drop when cats are removed from the equation, since cats control other bird predators. So if you justify cat-hating on the basis that you love birds, that won’t really float, will it?

A cat surrounded by tall storks in a field peeks out over the top of the grass
Not that I’m denying cats chase and kill birds. But for any human to blame the demise of bird species primarily on cats is supremely ironic. You want to see the cause of most bird extinctions for the last several thousand years? Look in the mirror.

But I don’t want to fight with bird lovers. I like birds too. Just don’t advocate taking guns to kittens, and we can be friends. Of course, I realize hardly any cat-haters would be reading this blog. Which is OK by me!

Getting back to our world with cats, cats and humans have evolved together for quite awhile, and that has probably had more impact on cats than humans because their shorter lifespan equals more generations.

Those who doubt have only to observe a colony of feral cats. The species from which domestic cats descended did NOT live in colonies. But they are now a more social species in the urban environment. Could this be due to a few thousand years of genetic advantage in the form of extra food and protection for cats who are more friendly and less territorial, because humans prefer them?

A cat with a tilted head and a mischievous expression sits next a to a sign that says "mouse welcome" (in German)
It is rarely considered that the impact of interspecies relationships cuts both ways. What has the evolutionary effect of living with cats been on us? Were purr-indifferent humans weeded out of the gene pool by rodent-borne illnesses that their purr-loving cousins were protected from by the presence of a mousing companion?

These days, the popularity of cats has edged out dogs. Too bad we don’t have statistics going back a few thousand years. It would be interesting to see whether this has always been so, or has increased over time. Perhaps one day we will be so influenced by cats that they will take over the world, and we will all be better groomed and better rested. I can live with that!

User Review: Morning Joy Alarm Cat

A gray cat very close to the camera, looking up

USER RATING: ★☆☆☆☆

PROS: Compact, with sleek styling that is compatible with any decor. Comes in a wide variety of colors. Some of the alarm tones are pleasant. The unit is self-cleaning.

CONS: By some unfathomable oversight, this model has no settings! There is no time setting, no tone selector, and worst of all, no way to turn off the alarm.

Snooze. Sometimes you can get snooze to work, but the length is completely random, could be 1/2 an hour or two seconds.

Alarm Sounds. The alarm tone is also random. Although the tone options include a soothing hum tone, and a cute low-volume chirp, it seems like the shuffle usually gets stuck on the most obnoxious setting, which is loud, shrill, and grossly inconsistent with the name of this product.

Additional Comments.  The lack of a time setting is obviously a deal-breaking flaw, and we cannot recommend the Morning Joy Alarm Cat as a wake-up device. Since it is a multi-function unit with superior performance in some of its other functions (reviewed separately), we have tried to extend its dormant period by refueling it at bedtime. However, we have been unable to suppress the alarm function for longer than 6.5 hours. Best for users who supplement a short night’s sleep with an afternoon nap (see separate reviews for lap warmer and heart warmer features), or can sleep through anything.

The Secret Life of Cats

I always wanted my cats to have lives of their own – their own friends, haunts, and adventures that I didn’t necessarily have access to. I wanted them to be able to be cats, and for their relationship with me to be freely chosen.
A cat sits on the seat of a parked motor scooter
I wondered where they went, though. They explored back yards of neighbors I had never met, and could never have walked right into without committing a major social (and legal) faux pas. A six foot privacy fence that stopped me cold was no barrier to them.

As they got older and our neighborhood became less cat friendly, my anxiety trumped my idealism, and they became indoor cats. But there are still mysteries in their histories that will never be solved. Someone spayed one of them, in her early still mostly feral days. Which was fine, except I wouldn’t have gone to all the trouble of trapping her and taking her to the clinic myself if I had known! (That’s her under the towel in my Oct. 16th post, with her two daughters sitting guard). I never found out who it was.

Another time, she went missing for several weeks. I plastered the neighborhood with flyers, saying I didn’t mind if someone else adopted her, but could they please let me know so I wouldn’t worry? She eventually turned up, skinny and hungry. I later learned she had a propensity for getting trapped in garages and basements, where she would hide out for days without making a sound.

This blogger was lucky enough to get a glimpse into her cat’s offsite socializing. Maybe we misunderstood about the nine lives of cats. They aren’t consecutive, they are parallel.