How to train your Dragon, er, African wildcat

YShahar

Enthusiastic duct-tape engineer
Joined
Feb 4, 2022
Messages
874
Reaction score
1,784
Showcase(s):
1
Country
Israel
Well, I'm still laughing over this one...

Some background: We have four cats, one of whom was sired by the local variety of wildcat - felis lybica - and it shows. This cat has both the personality and the build of his father, sort of broad at the shoulder and narrow at the hip. If any of our cats would be dangerous were he to develop a taste for sushi, it's this one. His name, fittingly enough, is Nammer (Hebrew for leopard).

Nammer_on_his_throne_web.jpg



Now, I've developed a trick to discourage the cats from thinking of the pond as "safe". Especially around the fish-feeding rock, which is where the fish are most vulnerable. If one of the cats gets that "hunting" gleam in their eyes, I very carefully chuck a small round pebble into the pond. With luck, the pebble causes a splash, and the cat reaches the conclusion that there is a dangerous cat-eating monster lurking just below the surface.

Now--and this is the important part--it's crucial that said cat not make any association between me and said splash. Cats are pretty good at associational logic (apparently a lot better than ChatGPT is!). They can work out little formulas like
A --> B --> ¬B --> ¬A.
If ever they make the association between my being there and a sudden unexpected splash, the game's up. They'll just wait until I'm not there! (And if any of you ever reveal this secret to any of the cats, you will be required to complete 20 laps through the string algae in the bog!).

OK, so this evening around 20:30, I'm sitting in my reading chair watching Nammer getting a drink from the fish-feeding rock. At some point, he sat up, his ears perked up, and I knew he had his eye on one of the fish. I wasn't overly concerned until I realized that it was Oro the golden ogon that was the object of interest. Now Oro is not the brightest of our fish. In fact, it's safe to say that he's the only one of the fish who is regularly outsmarted by koi pellets. He apparently thought that here was someone who might find a way to get a pellet into his mouth. So, in order to nip any unpleasantness in the bud, I snatched a pebble from the stash on the table and prepared a tactical intervention. But because Puma, one of the other potential "fish hunters" was cat-loafed on the dining table just behind my right shoulder, I determined to flick the pebble just shy of the pond with my left hand, so that she wouldn't see me toss it.

And here is where it all went pear-shaped. That little rock left my hand and hit, as intended, on the fish-feeding rock about 10 cm behind Nammer with a sharp "crack!". Normally, a startled cat will fly straight up into the air, assess the situation from a height, and come down looking over his shoulder and ready to run.

But that's not what happened. Nammer took flight all right... Straight into the pond!

He landed smack in the middle of the water lilies and then executed a mind-over-matter demonstration that has been hopelessly out of fashion for centuries. Being no dedicated follower of fashion, Nammer flew straight across the deep water a distance of about 1.5 meters onto the stones that we call "the Dragon", leaped ashore, possibly with one more push off the surface of the water, and vanished into the darkness.

I was laughing so hard that I couldn't breathe, and Puma was sitting up behind me with a look on her face that said that she was wondering why the missile alert failed to go off.

When Nammer finally overcame the embarrassment and reappeared, I was reluctant to let him inside, as I didn't want him to shake water all over the furniture. I needn't have worried. He was completely dry, other than his feet, with which he had accomplished a dated, but rather impressive bit of water walking!
 
Last edited:

Mmathis

TurtleMommy
Joined
Apr 28, 2011
Messages
14,029
Reaction score
8,172
Location
NW Louisiana -- zone 8b
Hardiness Zone
8b
Country
United States
That’s a great story! We have 6 cats, so it was very easy for me to “see” the situation unfold as you narrated. I have a little thing I’ve coined — I call it “the self perpetuating cat reaction.” You know, where one cat does something or startles, then startles itself again, and that reaction triggers another startle…….and on an on! It’s especially nice when multiple cats are involved, but in this case, Puma decided not to participate.
 

YShahar

Enthusiastic duct-tape engineer
Joined
Feb 4, 2022
Messages
874
Reaction score
1,784
Showcase(s):
1
Country
Israel
That’s a great story! We have 6 cats, so it was very easy for me to “see” the situation unfold as you narrated. I have a little thing I’ve coined — I call it “the self perpetuating cat reaction.” You know, where one cat does something or startles, then startles itself again, and that reaction triggers another startle…….and on an on! It’s especially nice when multiple cats are involved, but in this case, Puma decided not to participate.
Oh yes, I've seen that phenomenon when a cat startle goes critical, with sometimes hilarious results!
 
Joined
May 24, 2019
Messages
1,388
Reaction score
2,379
Location
Tennessee
Hardiness Zone
7a
Country
United States
Well, I'm still laughing over this one...

Some background: We have four cats, one of whom was sired by the local variety of wildcat - felis lybica - and it shows. This cat has both the personality and the build of his father, sort of broad at the shoulder and narrow at the hip. If any of our cats would be dangerous were he to develop a taste for sushi, it's this one. His name, fittingly enough, is Nammer (Hebrew for leopard).

View attachment 163832


Now, I've developed a trick to discourage the cats from thinking of the pond as "safe". Especially around the fish-feeding rock, which is where the fish are most vulnerable. If one of the cats gets that "hunting" gleam in their eyes, I very carefully chuck a small round pebble into the pond. With luck, the pebble causes a splash, and the cat reaches the conclusion that there is a dangerous cat-eating monster lurking just below the surface.

Now--and this is the important part--it's crucial that said cat not make any association between me and said splash. Cats are pretty good at associational logic (apparently a lot better than ChatGPT is!). They can work out little formulas like
A --> B --> ¬B --> ¬A.
If ever they make the association between my being there and a sudden unexpected splash, the game's up. They'll just wait until I'm not there! (And if any of you ever reveal this secret to any of the cats, you will be required to complete 20 laps through the string algae in the bog!).

OK, so this evening around 20:30, I'm sitting in my reading chair watching Nammer getting a drink from the fish-feeding rock. At some point, he sat up, his ears perked up, and I knew he had his eye on one of the fish. I wasn't overly concerned until I realized that it was Oro the golden ogon that was the object of interest. Now Oro is not the brightest of our fish. In fact, it's safe to say that he's the only one of the fish who is regularly outsmarted by koi pellets. He apparently thought that here was someone who might find a way to get a pellet into his mouth. So, in order to nip any unpleasantness in the bud, I snatched a pebble from the stash on the table and prepared a tactical intervention. But because Puma, one of the other potential "fish hunters" was cat-loafed on the dining table just behind my right shoulder, I determined to flick the pebble just shy of the pond with my left hand, so that she wouldn't see me toss it.

And here is where it all went pear-shaped. That little rock left my hand and hit, as intended, on the fish-feeding rock about 10 cm behind Nammer with a sharp "crack!". Normally, a startled cat will fly straight up into the air, assess the situation from a height, and come down looking over his shoulder and ready to run.

But that's not what happened. Nammer took flight all right... Straight into the pond!

He landed smack in the middle of the water lilies and then executed a mind-over-matter demonstration that has been hopelessly out of fashion for centuries. Being no dedicated follower of fashion, Nammer flew straight across the deep water a distance of about 1.5 meters onto the stones that we call "the Dragon", leaped ashore, possibly with one more push off the surface of the water, and vanished into the darkness.

I was laughing so hard that I couldn't breathe, and Puma was sitting up behind me with a look on her face that said that she was wondering why the missile alert failed to go off.

When Nammer finally overcame the embarrassment and reappeared, I was reluctant to let him inside, as I didn't want him to shake water all over the furniture. I needn't have worried. He was completely dry, other than his feet, with which he had accomplished a dated, but rather impressive bit of water walking!
What a great story and a great laugh! So vivid and easy to imagine too :) Great stuff. :cat:
 

j.w

I Love my Goldies
Joined
Feb 1, 2010
Messages
33,322
Reaction score
20,515
Location
Arlington, Washington
Showcase(s):
1
Hardiness Zone
USDA 8a
Country
United States
Well, I'm still laughing over this one...

Some background: We have four cats, one of whom was sired by the local variety of wildcat - felis lybica - and it shows. This cat has both the personality and the build of his father, sort of broad at the shoulder and narrow at the hip. If any of our cats would be dangerous were he to develop a taste for sushi, it's this one. His name, fittingly enough, is Nammer (Hebrew for leopard).

View attachment 163832


Now, I've developed a trick to discourage the cats from thinking of the pond as "safe". Especially around the fish-feeding rock, which is where the fish are most vulnerable. If one of the cats gets that "hunting" gleam in their eyes, I very carefully chuck a small round pebble into the pond. With luck, the pebble causes a splash, and the cat reaches the conclusion that there is a dangerous cat-eating monster lurking just below the surface.

Now--and this is the important part--it's crucial that said cat not make any association between me and said splash. Cats are pretty good at associational logic (apparently a lot better than ChatGPT is!). They can work out little formulas like
A --> B --> ¬B --> ¬A.
If ever they make the association between my being there and a sudden unexpected splash, the game's up. They'll just wait until I'm not there! (And if any of you ever reveal this secret to any of the cats, you will be required to complete 20 laps through the string algae in the bog!).

OK, so this evening around 20:30, I'm sitting in my reading chair watching Nammer getting a drink from the fish-feeding rock. At some point, he sat up, his ears perked up, and I knew he had his eye on one of the fish. I wasn't overly concerned until I realized that it was Oro the golden ogon that was the object of interest. Now Oro is not the brightest of our fish. In fact, it's safe to say that he's the only one of the fish who is regularly outsmarted by koi pellets. He apparently thought that here was someone who might find a way to get a pellet into his mouth. So, in order to nip any unpleasantness in the bud, I snatched a pebble from the stash on the table and prepared a tactical intervention. But because Puma, one of the other potential "fish hunters" was cat-loafed on the dining table just behind my right shoulder, I determined to flick the pebble just shy of the pond with my left hand, so that she wouldn't see me toss it.

And here is where it all went pear-shaped. That little rock left my hand and hit, as intended, on the fish-feeding rock about 10 cm behind Nammer with a sharp "crack!". Normally, a startled cat will fly straight up into the air, assess the situation from a height, and come down looking over his shoulder and ready to run.

But that's not what happened. Nammer took flight all right... Straight into the pond!

He landed smack in the middle of the water lilies and then executed a mind-over-matter demonstration that has been hopelessly out of fashion for centuries. Being no dedicated follower of fashion, Nammer flew straight across the deep water a distance of about 1.5 meters onto the stones that we call "the Dragon", leaped ashore, possibly with one more push off the surface of the water, and vanished into the darkness.

I was laughing so hard that I couldn't breathe, and Puma was sitting up behind me with a look on her face that said that she was wondering why the missile alert failed to go off.

When Nammer finally overcame the embarrassment and reappeared, I was reluctant to let him inside, as I didn't want him to shake water all over the furniture. I needn't have worried. He was completely dry, other than his feet, with which he had accomplished a dated, but rather impressive bit of water walking!
Love your calamity cat story! Animals can and to get themselves into predicaments at times. I remember years ago when we had a dog named Zeke who jumped into a big wooden box we set up for collecting aluminum cans for recycling. He jumped in and could not get out so he just sat there staring at us and acting like he was very comfortable and had done this on purpose. Was interesting eventually trying to get him out :love:

IMG_0108.jpg
 
Joined
Oct 28, 2013
Messages
13,164
Reaction score
13,519
Location
Northern IL
Showcase(s):
1
I can totally see this happening! We've watched frogs cross the pond without getting wet - just leap leap leap on the surface and they're over. Quite impressive!
 

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Members online

Forum statistics

Threads
31,131
Messages
512,812
Members
13,365
Latest member
myluckycrickett

Latest Threads

Top