Wednesday, May 31, 2017

"The Secret Life of Cats"

The Secret Life of Cats” from Superb Documentaries, by Allison Argo, is a 52-minute documentary, 4;3 aspect, showing how cats domesticated themselves and looking at the problem of proliferating feral cats killing off mammals and birds at various places around the world.  

The film explains how the cat domesticated himself, and then explains how people’s dumping unwanted kittens only raises the birth rate.  Feral cats can survive by hunting birds and small mammals.  People are amazed how they snatch birds feeding. The film also traced the life if pet cats in several homes.  In northern Virginia, a cat has a curfew.  In Adelaide, Australia, an owner has built a contained play space that allows the cat to roam without threatening birds.

There is a sequence where aborigines on the Australian outback hunt cats, who have in turn killed many of their game animals.  There is a long electric cat fence being built in the outback  (remember the 2002 film "Rabbit-Proof Fence" by Phillip Noyce). 

Cats that have bonded to their owners will return to their homes, through cat doors, and can find homes from long distances.  When I lived in a garden apartment in Dallas, I was “adopted” by a stray who recognized the sound of my car when I drove home and could remember where my apartment was and claw the door to be let in.  Yes, he would bring birds.  He would sometimes lie on the bed before I went to bed and want to knead.  He definitely recognized me as an individual (a biped who wears clothes and 7 times his size) the way a dog would and knew who he was.  

Picture: Princess, a family cat who found us in 1965.  

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