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Green Sand & Pcar

yours crossed with my slow typing! I think one way or another, we are all singing from similar hymn sheets.

Green Sand, do you recall whether your beast of a cat was only aggressive to those entering "his" territory, ie the hay loft? Were you and others "safe" when outside but in the vicinity, even if under discrete surveillance?

Pcar, in the spring, a clearly cared for cat, tried to rehome itself here 4 or 5 times over a couple of weeks.. It had an identity tag. It had travelled 1/2 mile across fields. The young family contained 2 children under 3, and had just got a dog.....

3-4 years ago, a rather expensive looking pedigree cat, but clearly a bedraggled lost one, camped in the garden, trying to get into the house. Bribed and tricked with tinned tuna, it was caught. It had no visible name tag, but was traced by a local cat rescue volunteer, as it had an embedded ID chip. It was 20 miles from it's urban home. I presume it had got into a vehicle by mistake. I never found out how long it had been lost, but once fed, it did relax in its temporary cage, once inside a warm and dry house

Incidentally, GPS Trackers for cats/dogs are available if you Google, though I have no experience of using them.

Aug 29, 2016 at 12:51 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

@Green Sand, Aug 28, 2016 at 10:23 PM

Ah! Animals, territory, domestication etc...

Barack Obama was right – UK will be back of the queue after Brexit, says US Ambassador

Those ungrateful colonials mis-running the USA need to accept their place beneath HM EIIR. Mr Reagan, Mr Bush, Mr Clinton and Mr Bush did.

Thankfully, the Mr Obama and Mr Obama White House occupants will soon be gone.

Fingers crossed they are not replaced by Hellary and Slick Willy

Back OT, Congress & Senate who make the laws want free trade agreement with UK as they know that is easier than agreeing one with EU's multiple Gov'ts. Obama's rhetoric is just that.

Aug 29, 2016 at 12:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterPcar

TinyCO2, if unneutered, domestic cats are fiercely territorial about their home, garden, and whatever other bits of land and property they claim and can defend. If neutered, they will be possessive about their home, it is where their food is, plus their own warm laps to curl up on, and their own special stroking person/people. They may tolerate another cat passing through their garden, but not one that sits down and looks comfortable. That cat may be issuing a challenge and/or a claim of ownership.

Like Ring-Tailed Lemurs, a cat walking with its tail up, is advertising it's presence, in a non confrontational manner, to other cats in the neighbourhood, and it's humans in the house. A cat with it's tail down is trying to be discrete, and if the tail is right down, it is either stalking, or frightened and very nervous about being seen.

Dominant and aggressive cats in a household, even if neutered, are quite happy to bite or slash their owners. They may then jump down on to the floor move away 6 feet or so, and then raise their tail, before walking purposefully somewhere else. It is a gesture of defiance, knowing they have won that particular battle of wills, and will not face retaliation!

Small terrier type dogs will do something similar. Dogs bred for size and/or aggression, may press home the initial attack. In a pack, it is not normally advantageous for the dominant member of a pack to kill another pack member, and the beaten one, will normally submit by becoming limp and quiet. Sadly, human families and aggressive dogs trying to be pack leader are a disaster waiting to happen, as they don't understand each other's understanding of each other.

Aug 29, 2016 at 12:05 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

" Cats and dogs do leave the domestic life, especially if abused."

Abuse not necessary. One kitten of a litter, can't recall how many, decided he was farm cat very early, ousted the older larger incumbent. The barn/hayloft was his thiefdom. He was wild, first it cost him his two veg, shortly afterwards it cost him his life. I still have weals and scars in my scalp from one of his favoured forms of attack diving from atop stacked bales on to anyone or anything daring to enter his thiefdom.

I didn't appreciate the tales from others, stable girls refused to go into the barn, we even had some horses who bucked at entering. But eventually he gained my attention, got me one unsuspected dewy morn. It was his last.

Still secretly admire that beast for being a beast..

Aug 28, 2016 at 11:13 PM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

@GC, Aug 28, 2016

Cats and dogs do leave the domestic life, especially if abused.

When I was 4 our male poodle moved house. Took up residence 4 houses and a perpendicular road away with two old widowed sisters who pampered him. Dog preferred that to competing for attention with me and my younger brother.

In those bygone days, where we lived dogs were allowed to roam free like today's cats.


@SandyS, Aug 28, 2016 at 7:52

"Befriending" wild predators is rarely a good idea.

Although I have no personal experience, I have always understood that it's virtually impossible to tame an adult feral cat. Re-domesticating a stray is much easier, especially if the cat hasn't been abused. Cats are normally solitary predators so will not regard a human as a leader, merely a threat. I think domesticating foxes has the same problem, which is why it may take a few generations of feeding and breeding urban foxes before they become domesticated.

Cats are solitary, except lions. Dogs are pack animals, except foxes. Foxes have cat eyes.

Lions (as in Born Free and Lions On The Move) and are often happy to share life with humans and view them as leader.


@AK, Aug 28, 2016 at 8:36 AM

I remember seeing a programme about a russian experiment to domesticate wolves by selective breeding over many generations. It was not successful, wolves became slightly tamer but remained untrustworthy. They bred true for wildness. Occasionally however a pup would be born that had certain characteristics, I don't remember exactly but included distinctive colour markings on their coats and could be more easily tamed. They didn't behave like wolves and I believe the plan was to selectively breed these dog-wolves to see if they could produce dogs.

I suspect that attempts to produce domesticated foxes, as opposed to tame foxes, will fail unless, like wolves, foxes occasionally throw up sports that have less wildness in them.

I remember watching that too. In 1990's there was a fad for dog/wolf crosses. Didn't last long.

It suggests the domestic dog is a descendant of the frequent "mutant" wolves that attached to humans. Were they weak & submissive, or strong & intelligent and saw the advantages?

I favour the later as physically weaker dogs (eg Belgian & German Shepherd) worked to protect their masters' sheep.

It was enlightening watching our Malinois chasing a rabbit and looking for features to drive it towards so it became trapped. Quick shake and rabbit dead.

Amusingly, she trapped a grey squirrel once, it fought back and bit her nose drawing blood. Squirrel lived.

Aug 28, 2016 at 10:33 PM | Registered CommenterPcar

Ah! Animals, territory, domestication etc...

Barack Obama was right – UK will be back of the queue after Brexit, says US Ambassador

"The point was, you are at the front of the queue right now – he [Obama] was saying back in April – because we are doing this big trade deal with the European Union, [the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)] of which you are a member.

“But if you step out of the front of the queue, by definition you are no longer at the front, and some notion that you can jump further ahead: you just want to say that is not the trend for the types of big deals we are doing these days.”

TTIP has failed – but no one is admitting it, says German Vice-Chancellor

" Germany’s Vice-Chancellor said in 14 rounds of talks neither side had agreed on a single common chapter out of the 27 being deliberated.....

... The free trade negotiations between the European Union and the United States have failed, but “nobody is really admitting it”, Germany's Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel has said. ........"

Ho hum, quick Joey Small went over the wall with his balls on a chain behind him. Well something like that...

Aug 28, 2016 at 10:23 PM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

Interesting discussion, and I agree that some animals have very little in their make up to allow themselves to be domesticated. I'm not sure cats are fully domesticated, they've tamed us (well not me but then I'm a gardener). At what point does tame slip over into domesticated?

Don't pigs revert quite quickly to a more agressive version once running wild? Tusks grow and everything.

But I do think that 'personality' for want of a better word is part of evolution. It allows animals in a group rub along together and allows different circumstances determine what type flourishes. To a certain extent mankind domesticated itself. Co-operation became a positive survival instict. Hunter gatherer became farmer.

I think domestication is one of those things that's more conjecture than consensus. eg recent DNA tests are pushing the advent of the dog further back into mankind's past than previously thought. Until recently they thought dogs were descended from grey wolves but now it looks like they both split from a common ancestor that no longer exists.

Aug 28, 2016 at 10:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

@Swansea British Science Festival Tue 6 Sep • 17:00 – 18:00
Panel Discussion : What can I do about climate change anyway?
Organised by:
British Psychological Society...which makes me suspect Lew Crew will be there

Is there a bigger challenge to our society than combatting climate change? Governments and policymakers have launched many campaigns to persuade the public that the path to tackle climate change lies in behaviour change on an individual level. Our panel explore what we can do as individuals, and how we should effectively engage the public in the fight against our changing climate.

Aug 28, 2016 at 8:55 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

SandyS 3:53 thanks for the white cow correction!

My memories of Highland cattle in summer in Perthshire is of very docile animals, despite huge horns. I think fences with cattlegrids stopped them from going too far down the glens. The fences only had to extend 10s of yards either side of the road cattlegrids , to where the terrain was uncomfortable for them to plod. Presumably the location of the cattlegrids, with associated fencing was based on 100s of years experience.

Provided stocking densities were kept sensible, and there was enough grass, there was no reason to restrain their movement. They were living almost as wild as the deer, that would sometimes graze amongst them. The deer would scarper on sight smell or sound of humans, the cattle would not, having occupied barns for 4(?) months of the year.

Aug 28, 2016 at 4:23 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

ACK & SandyS Domestication v. Tameness again!

The film "Born Free" was about a couple who rescued a lion cub, Elsa, brought her up as a pet, and then realised they needed to re-wild her. It is based on a true story, and the BornFree Foundation still exists carrying out similar work.

All sorts of charities, trusts and voluntary groups are capable and willing to rescue injured wildlife, and nurse it back to health, whether it is seals, oil-slicked seagulls, or owls with a broken wing. Organisations are much better now at not getting animals too tame, prior to release, but releasing a healthy wild animal, back into the wild after a period of captivity, is no guarantee of a successful outcome.

Released into a similar environment, animals are capable of finding shelter etc, but being fed as much as they need, to a daily timetable, dependent on man, without any exertion or effort, is a habit that wild animals get used to, very quickly.

Similarly, a well stocked bird table can support many different species, and a large number of birds. If the householder goes away for a single day, especially when there are broods to feed, there will be casualties.

Aug 28, 2016 at 3:55 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

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