Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Common [kitty] sense

Did you know that the classic, and somewhat sentimental, image of the fireman being called to rescue the kitten from the tree is a complete farce. Cats are far more acrobatic and daring than some of us give them credit for. A cat’s agility, in fact, is one of its most important survival mechanisms. There are not many other mammals that can climb trees with such aplomb as your average housecat. This ability allows them to escape predators who might be chasing them on the ground. And, perhaps just as importantly, it can be a tool of attack that helps a cat disguise itself when stalking prey. The fact of the matter is that if a cat can climb up the tree, it doesn’t need a fireman with a really long ladder to rescue it. The cat can just as easily jump down on its own – literally “running down” until it hits the ground. It’s part of the way cats are designed.