Tag: Cats (page 1 of 2)

Even though it is irrational for adults to fear ghosts in the dark, I still do

This is a weird thought I had at 3am when I woke up needing to go to the toilet. I’d just had a dream that I was being shaken by a ghost so I was reluctant to move from under the duvet with the memory of the fear I felt in my dream still vivid. So I fought the urge because I was scared that if I got up in the dark, I’d be attacked by a ghost between duvet and bathroom or between bathroom and duvet.

This is what I thought was out to get me at 3am

This is what I thought was out to get me at 3am

So instead, I snuggled further under the duvet and I tried to get back to sleep. Sleep didn’t come easily due to bladder discomfort. So while trying, I came up with a number of questions about the irrationality of adult fear of ghosts.

  1. Why do we think ghosts only lurk in the dark? Surely it doesn’t make any difference whether it is light or dark to a ghost. If there is a ghost in your house he or she is just as likely to be prowling around the landing at 3pm as 3am.
  2. Why do we think we are safe under a duvet? If a ghost really wanted to cause you harm, he or she would seek you out even as you lay quivering under a duvet. A duvet is not a ghost protection device.
  3. Why do we assume ghosts are out to get us? I have come across lots of people who claim they have encountered ghosts and not one of them has been harmed by a ghost.
  4. If ghosts aren’t solid and we can’t touch them, why do we think they can touch us (and presumably hack us to death)? It doesn’t make sense to be afraid of something that is perhaps just an echo or a faint image. Who is the strongest in this scenario – solid man or ethereal ghost?
  5. Why are we always scared of ghosts in human form? How about all the flies, spiders and slugs that have died where the house now stands? Could they jump out at us while on the loo?
  6. Why do we fear just one ghost? If ghosts exist, wouldn’t they hang about in groups, have parties, like we do sometimes?
  7. Even if we’ve never seen a ghost, ever, in 44 years, why do we worry that one might show up now for the first time? (At least, that is what I was trying to convince myself at 3am this morning.)
  8. If ghosts do exist, and they do want to cause us harm, surely if they had half a brain they wouldn’t try when we are expecting them? I was expecting a ghost at 3am. I’m generally not expecting one to appear at 3pm when I’m on the way to the toilet in the day time. That would be a better time to spook me, surely?
  9. Why do we think that if ghosts exist we would be able to see them? Perhaps I am watched by ghosts as I sit on the toilet at 3am but I can’t see them watching me. If so, who cares? Good for them. Let them have their cheap thrills. If that’s the case, there’s no point fearing them.
  10. Ghosts or no ghosts, if I need the toilet I’ll eventually have to go so I may as well face the ghosts now rather than when I’m in more pain in ten minutes, fifteen minutes or twenty minutes from the moment I wake up.

This last thought persuaded me that I just had to go. But wouldn’t it be a great end to this blog if I could tell you that I met a friendly ghost last night. Sadly, no, I didn’t. All I met was a cat which I accidentally thudded my foot against on my way to the bathroom (she likes to sleep in doorways).

Is that a ghost in the toilet, or a cat?

Is that a ghost in the toilet, or a cat?

 

 

 

The routine of life? It’s all a conspiracy

This is the weird thought I had last night as I was fighting the urge to sleep. I was cross because I didn’t want to go to bed yet. It had only been a full day since the last time I’d have the same urge. The thought started out as a desire to rebel against the routine of life (wake, breakfast, do stuff, lunch, do more stuff, tea, watch TV, sleep) and how the need to sleep every 24 hours for 8 hours stops us from having potentially amazing adventures. We can of course have an adventure that lasts about 16 hours or so, but then, we need to stop adventuring and find a bed. How dull is that? How bland and just, plain boring it is to have to find somewhere to sleep every day at the same time every day? Sleep is so annoying. What if we were on the cusp of a great adventure or discovery and it happened to be 11pm? Needing sleep is so yawnsville, don’t you think?

Then I came up with the idea that perhaps we don’t really need sleep every 24 hours and maybe we’ve been conditioned to think we need sleep regularly. So, I hear you ask, who do you think has done this conditioning? Is it the cats again? No, this time it isn’t the cats. I decided last night, as I crawled wearily under the duvet, that it is the banks and building societies, hotel owners and landlords who are responsible for this social conditioning. I have a theory that they have colluded together to brainwash us into thinking we need to find somewhere to sleep every 24 hours for about 8 hours in one stretch and it is they that we pay to do so. If we didn’t need that sleep, we wouldn’t have a need for hotels, B&Bs or houses. We could live freely and cheaply on the beach or in cities. So I think it is all  big conspiracy and the hotel owners, bank managers, and mortgage advisers are rubbing their hands in glee as I type this. The cats, for once, aren’t even close to the equation.

Not my fault for once

Not my fault for once

So tonight, at 11pm, as I find that overwhelming urge take over me yet again, and only 24 hours since the last time it took me, perhaps I should fight it and go out and have an adventure. Or, on the other hand, maybe I’ll just put on the Big Bang Theory, read my book, and gently drift off into dreamland where the adventures are the cost of a mortgage on a four-bedroomed house.

An expensive place to sleep

An expensive place to sleep

 

Do animals get B.O.?

This is a weird thought I had yesterday morning as I thought about how tedious it is to have to spray my armpits every day and how I stink after Zumba on a Monday night. As I sprayed my armpits, the cat looked at me and I looked back at the cat. I asked her: why don’t you have to do this? She just sniffed the air in reply. Why doesn’t she smell bad in hot weather? I smelt her armpits, they smelt nice (of fluff and cat).

B.O. Basher

B.O. Basher

I’ve never smelt a stinky animal. I have, however, smelt a stinky person.

Perhaps humans only smell so awful when they have forgotten to protect their armpits because we have adapted to constant spraying of our armpits. In other words, the body now overproduces the hormones that give off the smell to compensate (a bit like that theory that if you stop washing your hair eventually it won’t need washing). Or, alternatively, maybe we notice the smell because most of the time we mask it so that when we forget, we notice it. If we all stopped spraying ourselves, eventually we wouldn’t notice the smell.

My armpits are fragrant delights

My armpits are fragrant delights

Animals don’t use deodorant so they either don’t smell for reason one above, or we don’t notice it for reason two.

Or, maybe, animal B.O. is beyond our radar of smell abilities (a bit like bat sounds for our ears). After all, when dogs come across other dogs they give each other a good whiff and either hump or fight. And body odor is supposed to be related to sexual attention (we might like the smell of one person, but not the next, and there have been scientific studies to show that we actually like the smell of people who will produce good offspring with us – I don’t know how this works but this website explains).

Whatever the reason, I’m quite glad the cat doesn’t have to spray her armpits every day (and fill the bathroom with cat armpit products). I’m also quite  glad she smells nice. I’m now going to bury my head in her armpit hair and have a good sniff.

Why I can’t stop watching Game of Thrones

I’ve recently started watching Game of Thrones and every night, and as I watch another episode I ponder what it is that I like about it. I really like it. In fact, I love it. So I’ve been trying to work out why. It’s not my usual TV passion. After all, I like The Gilmore Girls and The West Wing, these are not happy bedfellows for Game of  Thrones.

This is why I find Game of Thrones appealing.

  1. It reminds me of epic pieces of literature such as War and Peace. I love War and Peace. What makes War and Peace so great is how confusing it all is with too many characters and lots of intrigue and incestuous activities. Game of Thrones has this in common with War and Peace. There are also too many people to remember and plenty of incestuous activity, and I spend a lot of the time when watching it trying to work out who the hell is who and whether they should be doing this with that person or not.

    A great epic tale of many people falling out and sleeping with each other

    A great epic tale of many people falling out and sleeping with each other

  2. It reminds me of Dallas. I used to love Dallas as a child. Dallas was all about families and power. So is Game of Thrones. Families fall out. Oh it is so exciting.

    The Lanisters?

    The Lanisters?

  3. It is set in a fantasy historic past. I think anyone who remembers the imaginative adventures of their childhood will have a soft spot for fantasy historic pasts where princesses were princesses, everyone rode on horses, men were blindingly handsome yet able to rip a wild boar steak with their teeth with finesse and everyone had scraggly hair and grubby faces.
  4. It is cosy. It is a winter programme. They sleep under furry blankets in Game of Thrones and they sleep next to roaring fires. It makes me feel cosy. I used to love cosy TV as a child so I love this also as an adult.

    Inherited from my Game of Thornes ancesters

    Inherited from my Game of Thornes ancesters

  5. They sometimes refer to their bowel movements. This is bound to win me over after my weird thoughts on why people in science fiction don’t go to the toilet or at least talk about it. This alone makes Game of Thrones more quirky than it might be otherwise.
  6. One of the main characters is a feisty girl. I’ve always been attracted to literature (or film) which includes a feisty female character. It reminds me of the best books of my childhood: Little Women, The Famous Five and Anne of Green Gables. I wanted to be all of the feisty females in those books.

    Feisty females - we all want to be one

    Feisty females – we all want to be one

  7. Every conversation (except those about going to the toilet) is intense and dark. It is a very sexy TV programme. I don’t usually like unrealistic conversations when they never ask anyone if they fancy a cup of tea or whether they saw last night’s EastEnders but in this case, it seems so appropriate.
  8. In common with some of the best science fiction of the last century, Game of Thrones has symbolic meaning for all the power struggles that have happened throughout history. It speaks about the political and social struggles that we continue to have time and time again. I love that about it. It is a thinking programme.
  9. It is unpredictable. Just when you think things are going along swimmingly, along comes a gory beheading or the ghastly yet sudden death of one of the main characters.
  10. The characters are likeable, even the baddies. I love the baddies. My favourite was white-haired brother (see point 11) until he came to a sudden (see point 9) end.
  11. Finally, I like the fact that I have no idea what the real names of the characters are and I doubt I ever will. I have my own pet names for them: little quick-witted chap; white-haired, grey-eyebrowed straggly girl who is married to GRRRRR man who speaks Klingon (or not after the end of Season One); drippy girl who fancies the boy who looks like Malfoy; big, fat, dead drunk king; the rumpy pumpy twins; Sean Bean; Sean Bean’s wife; feisty girl; and the chancellor of the exchequer who owns a brothel (to name but a few (there are so many)).

    I'm also a king in Game of Thrones

    I’m also a king in Game of Thrones

I’m only on Season Two but I am going to keep watching almost every night. They call me Mother of Cats.

Cool names for cats

We have one cat. She’s called Aki. We named her Aki as that is Japanese for autumn and she has autumn colours in her fur. We thought that was very clever and interesting.

Our cat

Our cat

It turns out that ‘aki’ is not a cool name for a Shropshire cat. ‘Aki’ in Shropshire-ease is an adjective to describe something that is germy and most likely found abandoned on the ground. For example, in the sentence: ‘Don’t pick up that, it’s aki’. (I’m not sure that it the correct spelling of the Shropshire ‘aki’.) I am asked this question a lot: ‘Why did you call your cat Aki?’

Aki the cat

Aki the cat

The cat we had before Aki (in fact there was an overlap but that’s not important to this weird thought) was called Liquorice. We didn’t name her. She came pre-named. She wasn’t black. I liked the fact that we had a non-black cat named after a very black sweet derived from a root. I also liked her name because for me personally it was ironic. I hate Liquorice. So every time I declared ‘Yuch, I hate liquorice’ I would be met with the cry of ‘Awww, what has she ever done to you?’

The lovely Liquorice

The lovely Liquorice

We’ve already decided on the names of our next two cats (yes, before we’ve even met them). I’ve decided that naming future cats is more fun than naming future babies (not that there will be any of those now).

The first next cat is going to be called Fire. This name came from the fact that whenever the children trail a piece of string in front of the cat (Aki) I tell them ‘Stop playing with fire’. With the next cat, my sentence will have a literal interpretation.

The second next cat is going to be called Temptation. Every night when I put my dinner plate on the carpet (I know, eating in front of the TV is so late 20th century) I tell my husband ‘I really shouldn’t put this in front of temptation’. Temptation, of course, refers to the cat (Aki). Again, I like the idea of my oft-used phrase becoming literal.

The third cat I suspect will be named ‘Get Down’. Again, for the humour factor derived from a mutation from a command to a literal meaning. As in ‘Get Down!’ This is what my husband says to Aki daily.

The fourth cat? I don’t know yet. I’ll be lucky if we get that far.

It’s not just any old cats trying to take over the world, it is Welsh cats!

Disclaimer: I have nothing against Wales or the people who hale from it. I’m married to one. I’m not so sure about the cats from that part of the world though…

The idea of Welsh cats taking over the world is the weird thought I had yesterday when I found a balloon trapped under a police car at Shrewsbury train station. In my current art project, I am seeking out all of the lost and abandoned balloons of Britain and so when I find one, I take a photo of it. Yesterday I found this one:

The lost balloon caught by the police

The lost balloon caught by the police

I am sure you are wondering what this all has to do with cats taking over the world. There isn’t even a cat in this picture. Or indeed sign of feline intervention (cats don’t like balloons, everybody knows that). Let me ask you this: do you notice anything particularly Welsh about this police car? I imagine that the bright among you will have spotted the word Heddlu on the side of the police car. Heddlu is Welsh for police. Bilingual police cars are not an usual sight in Shrewsbury. In fact, they are the norm. As are bilingual bank machines, Ambulances and a few other random official objects are also floating around this town sporting instruction in two languages. However, the very bright among you will know that Shrewsbury is not in Wales (at least not at the moment). But it is very close to Wales and there is a Welshness about it in many ways. A lot of people travel from rural Wales to Shrewsbury to go shopping (particularly on a Wednesday I am told by my friend who used to work in a shop in town). There is a slight Welsh tinge to the accent (imagine Welsh plus West Midlands with a sprinkling of countryside and you have the Shrewsbury accent). It is surrounded by hills. It is probably one of the Welshest English towns I have been to (other contenders might be Hereford, Hay-on-Wye and Chester). Until yesterday, this wasn’t of any concern to me at all. In fact, I liked it.

Interestingly, you also will find Welsh as an option for bank machines in the further-inland town of Telford. The trains that run to and from Shrewsbury to Birmingham are bilingual. I now have my suspicions that these bilingual facilities are not for the benefit of the odd person from Wales who’s first language is Welsh who suddenly finds him- or herself strapped for cash in Telford or in need of an ambulance. I think this is for the cats. Or more specifically, the Welsh cats. They need bilingual bank machines so that they can get money out in Telford and they need to know who to run away from when they see a car with the word Heddlu on the side coming towards them when they are TAKING OVER THE WORLD!

An army marches on its stomach

An army marches on its stomach

I’m not sure how they have engineered this part of their plot. I need to do some further research.But when I find out, I will write about it here. I think it is more than just opposable thumbs that is the cause of this. So watch out, it isn’t just any old cats coming to get you, it is the army of Welsh cats!

 

 

What ‘Freud on cats – narcissism’ refers to

I have a note book that I keep by my bedside and when I have a weird thought or an idea I write it down in there. I recently wrote ‘Freud on cats – narcissism’ and this morning when I woke up, for the life of me I couldn’t remember what that was about.

I googled ‘Freud on cats’, ‘Freud cats narcissism’ and nothing initially jogged my memory. However, in my search I learnt that Freud did not like cats, which sparked my interest as a cat lover. It is commonly assumed that he did. He is even attributed with saying ‘Time spent with cats is never wasted’. He didn’t say this. For most of his life, he preferred dogs and books to cats. According to the Freud Museum in London (the authority of which I do not doubt) he once said, in contradiction to his alleged famous cat quote: I, as is well known, do not like cats’.

Freud next to a quote he didn't say

Freud next to a quote he didn’t say

Determined not to give up I kept googling various combinations of ‘Freud and cats’, ‘Freud narcissism cats’, ‘Freud narcissistic cat’ as I knew there must be something there, and eventually I hit jackpot.

It is true, Freud, largely, did not like cats. However, he was once bewitched by a cat. He started off disliking the creatures and probably said the above words during this phase in his life. But, the truth is, he was turned into a cat lover, by a cat.

I put it to you, dear reader, that this beguiling cat was one of the many cats plotting to take over the world and in this aim, this cat managed to create a whole branch of thinking in the world of psychoanalysis which sticks with us today. This cat, very cleverly, led Freud to come up with his thoughts on narcissism. These thoughts, which turned into a book, it could be argued, contributed to the rise of feminism in the 1960s and beyond. Therefore, I argue that the cat is responsible for existence of the feminist movement and feminist thought. If it wasn’t for the cat, we wouldn’t have had Margaret Thatcher. If it wasn’t for Margaret Thatcher, the British economy wouldn’t be in such a state and we wouldn’t have as much support for the likes of UKIP as we do.  I suspect that this is part of the cats’ grand master plan to take over the world. They are going to lure us into chaos and then strike. The story hasn’t finished yet. I’m not sure what is going to happen next. One thing I am sure of, the cats know.

So back to earth, how did this cat bewitch Freud? I will tell you the story.

Lou Andreas-Salomé knew that Freud actually liked cats

Lou Andreas-Salomé knew that Freud actually liked cats

Freud’s friend and contemporary, Lou Andreas-Salomé, I have found out, wrote an entry in her dairy in 1913 recounting a story Freud had told her about his one encounter with a cat. This story is called ‘die reizende Erzaehlung von der “narzisstischen Katze‘ (the charming tale of the ‘narcissistic cat”‘). I quote from her diary:

When Freud maintained his office on the ground floor, the cat had climbed in through the open windows. He did not care much for cats or dogs or animals generally, and in the beginning the cat aroused mixed feelings in him, especially when it climbed down from the sofa on which it had made itself comfortable and began to inspect in passing the antique objects which he had placed for the time being on the floor.… But when the cat proceeded to make known its archaeological satisfaction by purring and with its lithe grace did not cause the slightest damage, Freud’s heart melted and he ordered milk for it. From then on the cat claimed its rights daily to take a place on the sofa, inspect the antiques and get its bowl of milk. However, despite Freud’s increasing affection and admiration, the cat paid him not a bit of attention and coldly turned its green eyes with their slanting pupils towards him as toward any other object…. Finally, after this unequal relationship had lasted a long time without any change, one day he found the cat feverish and gasping on the sofa. And although it was most painstakingly treated with hot fomentations and other remedies, it succumbed to pneumonia, leaving naught of itself but a symbolic picture of all the peaceful and playful charm of true egoism.

The book that came from a cat

The book that came from a cat

So there are two conclusions here. Freud did grow to like cats despite what the Freud Museum in London claims. Cats are indeed very dangerous creatures if they are capable of influencing the intellectual thought of the father of psychoanalysis, and through him changing the minds of a nation’s population (and indeed the world’s) and we need to watch them very, very closely.

See - the man loves cats

See – the man loves cats

If humans were cat-like

This weird thought came to me as I watched my cat contentedly rubbing her nose against the edge of a cardboard box the other night. She seems to get such pleasure from this activity. She does it a lot. I began to wonder what it would be like if people derived pleasure from rubbing their cheeks and ears against cardboard. Would we sit in front of the TV of an evening with a piece of cardboard in our hand, contentedly rubbing our faces against it as we watched? Would we keep a piece by the  bed for early morning rubbings? I might perhaps need one in the car for traffic jam boredom.

If we were cat-like we wouldn't need expensive beds - boxes are just fine

If we were cat-like we wouldn’t need expensive beds – boxes are just fine

If we were cat-like, would we find comfort in sitting in recycling bins because they are warm? If there was nothing on TV, might I find myself curled up in the paper recycling? It seems a good place to go to when life gets a bit much.

Move over, let me in

Move over, let me in

If we were cat-like would we find the need to kneed on the chest of anyone sitting down?

If we were cat-like would we  find the warmth of laptop keyboards more appealing than the temptation to type?

Why are laptops so appealing to cats?

Why are laptops so appealing to cats?

If we were cat-like would it take ages for us to walk to the shops? We’d need to stop at every tree to sharpen our finger nails.

If we were cat-like there would be no need for baths or showers. When we’re not rubbing our faces against cardboard while watching TV we could be washing our bits and pieces.

I’m not sure we’d get much done if we were cat-like. We’d spend most of our time sleeping and we’d sleep in fits and starts rather than in one solid period of time so work would be a big no-no for starters. But, then again, as I’ve written about recently, perhaps it is a good thing we are not more cat-like. We’d be busy plotting world domination.

You know that I am adorable

You know that I am adorable

 

Are cats the real threat to world peace?

This is a weird thought I have a lot, especially when I’m sat quietly minding my own business and I get that unsettling feeling that I am being stared at. That feeling, always turns out not to be paranoia, and the cause is always my cat.

If anyone, I think it is the cats of this world who are plotting word domination

If anyone, I think it is the cats of this world who are plotting word domination

Cats are to the main quiet, gentle, sleepy creatures. They purr, they sit close to their owners, they keep themselves very clean. They appear to only care about sleep and food. I think this behaviour is very suspicious.

I believe that cats are secretly planning world domination. I think they are close to getting there. Catageddon is in the not-so-distant future. They have been planning world domination for centuries, since Roman times. I think the Egyptians knew this, and this is why they worshipped cats (keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer). In fact, if it weren’t for the Egyptians, cats would have taken over the world centuries ago.

Cats want us to venerate them

Cats want us to venerate them

I’d better not spend too long writing this blog. My cat is approaching me. She knows I am on to her. She must be able to smell my suspicion. I think she can read my mind. She pretends to be dumb. She acts stupid. She pretends not to know that drinking milk out of my cereal bowl is naughty because that perpetuates the image of Stupid Cat. My husband thinks she is a Stupid Cat. My children think she is a Stupid Cat.

Have you ever wondered: where do cats go at night? I am certain that after we go to bed, they have meetings. They plot. They make plans. They have agendas and minutes. They have a chair, vice-chair and secretary. They have regional leaders. Those regional leaders have county-wide meetings, and country-wide ones, and country-to-country ones via Skype.

You may be reading this and thinking that I am deluded. I am not. Type in ‘Cats are plann…’ into google and see what google predicts you may be wishing to google. And once you type ‘cats are planning to kill you’ you will find that there are a lot of websites on cat conspiracy theories. This one is my favourite. Most troubling in the list given here for me is: ‘sleeping on your electronics’. My cat does that all the time. She loves my laptop. I thought it was for the warmth. How wrong I was.

I'm NOT paranoid

I’m NOT paranoid

There is a YouTube video warning the world about seemingly sweet felines. Have we headed this warning yet? No.

Why do cats love boxes so much? So they can eavesdrop on our conversations, aka SPY, that is why. Who came up with the idea of cat hotels and cat cafes? It was not people. It was the cats brainwashing the people. I don’t know how they have been able to do this. But I am sure that they have psychic skills.

This is a good place for meetings

This is a good place for meetings

Louis Wain knew the secret about cats. This secret sent him mad. He painted the future leaders of the world.

Our future leader

Our future leader

The day will come when the cats of the world will unite. Watch out. They are waiting, patiently for the go-ahead. I’m surprised the Daily Mail hasn’t yet written about this threat. At least that is what I thought. In fact, believe it or not, they have! It must be true. I’m not paranoid. I wonder if Nigel Farage is aware of this impending catastrophe? Perhaps not yet. He will be once he reads this blog.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Armies of cats are coming to get you

Armies of cats are on their way

Do cats laugh?

This is a weird thought I have quite often when hanging out with my cat. The thought could relate to any animal but since I spend more time with my cat than I do with any other of the animal species (even slugs) here I will relate this thought to cats.

My weird thought is: do cats have a sense of humour? Do they have wit? I believe they do. I think they are deeply sarcastic. At least, every cat I have ever owned has had a penchant for sarcasm and irony.

Anyone who owns a pet of any sort (except perhaps a stick insect) will tell you that their pet has a personality. People who work closely with animals will also say so. Dogs can be timid, lively, noisy, quiet, loving, hostile and aggressive. They can be deeply loyal. Cats can be timid, lively, noisy (my cat is very noisy), quiet, loving, hostile and aggressive. I’ve never had a rabbit, snake, guinea pig or rat but I’m sure they have personalities too.

I'm lazy and I love the sunshine

I’m lazy and I love the sunshine

Science is gradually finding out that cats, and other animals, feel emotions. Bizarrely, this notion has been little studied until the last few decades. Biologists of the 18th- and 19th-centuries seemed relatively uninterested in the emotional lives of animals. Perhaps we will never know exactly how they feel emotions. We can never know exactly what it is like to be a cat. We can know what it might be like to be like a cat. We can study brain patterns and patterns of behaviour in cats. But we can’t be cats. Philosophers who ponder this argue that consciousness is always subjective and cannot be reduced to physical values. I agree with them. I think this applies to other humans as well. I can empathize with a friend who is upset but I can never truly know how they feel, even if the same thing happens to me. It particularly applies to animals. I can never truly know what it is to be a cat. Even if my cat could tell me, I am not a cat myself.

You know that I am adorable

You know that I am adorable, but I am secretly laughing at you

One well-known scientist in the field of animal studies believes that all mammals may have a sense of humour. Marc Beckoff, author of The Emotional Lives of Animals, thinks we are on the cusp of being able to prove this. His argument is partly based on Darwinian theory which states that the difference between human and animal intelligence is a matter of degree, not of kind.

This book looks interesting

This book looks interesting

Other scientists have discovered that dogs can recognise unfairness, spiders have moods and bees can feel pessimistic. I like the idea of glass-is-half-empty bees.

Sad bees

Sad bees

In the late 1990s, some other scientists, under the guidance of psychologist Jaak Panksepp, decided to tickle rats. They found that if they did, the rats gave off a high-pitched sound inaudible to the human ear. Basically, a ultrasound giggle. Interestingly, the rats sought to be ticked further. They enjoyed laughing.

Happy rats

Happy rats

Vet Jonathan Cracknell claims that he has observed crows sliding down snow and repeating the action, apparently enjoying it. He states that there is no evolutionary benefit to this activity so they must be just having fun.

Next time it snows, I suggest you go and watch the crows having fun. As for me and my cat? We’re going to watch an Episode of The Big Bang Theory now. She loves it.

My cat loves Sheldon

My cat loves Sheldon, especially when he’s poorly

Older posts